Happy Valentines Day!
I hope you were able to spend this day with a special someone. If not I hope you did not weep in self-pity too much. For me I just stayed at home because I am on my half-term break for school. I walked into town and bought myself some chocolate and I am slowly eating it as I type this. Amanda my host mom is also making Valentine cookies, because we are having an anti-valentine girl’s night plus my host brother. This should be exciting! Now enough of all this Valentines talk, because I know what you are really here for. Yes, you want to hear about my weekend in Scotland! Before you begin I must warn that this is a very long post.
Well, I will begin this adventure on last Thursday, when I went and stayed with another host family for the night. I had to stay with another host family because I had to be at the bus station by 5 a.m and it would have been impossible for me to get there because no trains are running at that time. The host family that I was staying with was just an older lady, and her two host students. I was very pleased to know that the host family I was staying with was also hosting Marina, who was the girl I hung out with in Bath. We had fun and laughed a lot because evidently my “Americanisms” are very laughable. Because we were unsure if it would snow and if it did snow we were unsure if the car that would get us to the bus station would be able to make it up the hills, so I ended up waking up at about two in the morning so I could be ready incase we had to leave early before the snow got bad. Although, the snow was very little and we left the house at about four. When we got to the station no one was there yet so I stood in the freezing snowy cold waiting for our bus to arrive.
When the bus finally did arrive at the station the sun still had not risen and it was evident that everyone boarding the bus was still a half asleep. I had no complaints because I was so tired that when the bus did leave the station I was already falling back to sleep.Marinawas not going on the trip so I really did not know anyone else that was on the bus so I sat by myself for a majority of the ride to Scotland.
The trip was long and quite uneventful. On our way to Edinburgh we stopped at Gretna Green. Gretna Green is famous as the place for runaway weddings, and I thought it was an adorable little village.
We stayed here for about forty-five minutes because we had to get back on the coach to be able to make it to Edinburgh on time because we were going to the Edinburgh dungeons! For the rest of the ride to Scotland I alternated from sleeping, and reading a book I had bought before I left. When we were about an hour away from Edinburgh a group of the kids on the bus apparently had a lot of energy and were bored so they started to sing. Now these kids were from Thailand, so they were singing inThai.It was nice to hear their cultural songs, and I was surprised at how many they all knew!
We got to the dungeons at about half past three. When I heard we were going to the dungeons I expected it to be more of a museum. But, instead the dungeons were set up to be more of a thriller haunted house type of thing. Now, if you know me at all, you will know that I am deathly terrified of anything slightly scary. I can’t even walk through my house without having a light on. So needless to say I was scared, but I knew I had to do it. Yes, it made it through the whole thing, but I mostly covered my eyes the whole time and just stumbled through it all. At one point we were all bustled onto a boat and I had my face covered and in my lap, while one of the actors talked about how she was going to eat us. We were all on the boat and the boat had stopped and all the lights were out so I could not see anything, and just as I thought I was literally going to die, two of the boys that were sitting in front of me yelled out “expecto patronum” and everyone in the boat started laughing.
I made it out of the dungeons alive, and we were then headed to our hostel that we would be staying at for the weekend. In America it is not very common to stay in a hostel, and truthfully I thought these were places people went when they decided they wanted to die. Although, this hostel was extremely nice and obviously I survived. I was placed in one of the bigger rooms that had twelve beds in it. That night I hung out with two girls from Slovakia, a girl from Italy, a girl from Colorado, and a girl from Australia. We ate at an Italian restaurant, and then I went back to my room and went to bed at about eleven because I was exhausted. I think the other girls in the room stayed up talking until like two in the morning, but I did not notice
I woke up at about seven and had a “Scottish” breakfast. This was: eggs, haggis, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bacon. Then I went back to the hostel and took a shower in a co-ed bathroom which was defiantly an experience. At 9:45 everyone met outside the hostel and we walked to the Edinburgh Castle.
The castle was so pretty, and I must say it looked similar to the Hogwarts castle.
We had the rest of the day to just wander around the city and I took a lot of pictures. The group of girls I was with walked down the Royal mile and Jourdan who was from Australia is leaving in about three weeks so she had to buy some souvenirs to bring back home with her. I bought a few post cards and a key chain. We found a farmers market in a park below the castle and I tried a buffalo burger (best thing ever!), I also bought some organic chocolate that is probably the best chocolate I have had in a very long time. the girls that I was with decided that they wanted to walk back to the hostel to drop off the things that they had bought, but I decided to stay behind and just walk around and we decided to meet back up in an hour and a half. After walking around a park for a while I noticed that I had seen this on a television show on the travel channel which I thought was really cool. I also went to a Scottish art museum which had free admission. Then because I had about ten minutes before I was to meet up with the girls I sat and watched a Scottish band play.
As you can see they look a bit, um, cave man-ish? But I really liked the music they were playing, and I couldn’t help but think how much my mom would have really enjoyed listening to them.
Once I met up with the girls we walked around and looked at some shops. We stopped and have some coffee because we were all really cold and tired of walking around. Once we were done we started walking around again, but at one point we got to some stairs which I did not notice until it was to late…well I got a nice tear in the knee of my trousers and every time I wear them I shall always remember that day, and now I need another pair of trousers. At around five o’clock we decided to go have dinner at a Japanese restaurant. I had sushi and soup, and it was so good! We all split the bill which made it pretty cheap, and I felt like a real adult! Because it was only about eight and we still had a few hours before we had to be back at the hostel we decided to go and get some coffee. Here shops close really early so of course everything was pretty much closed. The only place we could find was a super posh café. The waitresses kept giving us really rude looks and at first we were really behaving ourselves. Although, they just kept being so rude that we all could not help it and we all broke down in laughter. Once we finished we hurried up and left. I think that was when the laughter really began. The entire way home we could not stop laughing over everything that happened.
When we got back to the hostel we decided to play cards. We started out in our room but since there were no plugs and we needed to charge our phones and such we headed out to the corridor. We played card games such as, BS, and spoons. Spoons were the most popular and we played that for a good two hours. Everyone was having such a good time. When everything was charged we went back into our rooms and sat on our beds and talked. I really don’t know how but the time flew and before I knew it, it was already about two in the morning.
The next morning I woke up and we were all so tired! When we went to breakfast we were watching the news and saw the Whitney Houston had died. And my friend from Australia really liked her and was quite sad, so she started singing her songs; she can’t really sing that well, Haha. Before I was forced to dig out my eardrums we went back to the hostel and packed our things and got back on the bus to go home. The ride home was very pretty, and I actually stayed awake for the most part. The Scottish country side is so wonderful! The hills are green and there were sheep roaming everywhere. This would be a place I would not mind coming back to in the future.
On our way home we stopped in a small town called Cumbria, where you can find Lake Windermere, the biggest natural lake in all of England! This small village was so cute! And it was home to the famous author Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter wrote the book called “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”. I was in love with these books as a child, and I was so happy to be able to be there.
The shop was really cute and I got a postcard with little stories on them.
While I was here I also held a really tiny owl, which was super adorable! Then after walking around for a few hours we all got back on the bus and headed home. We got back to the bus station at around 11:30 and my group leaders drove me home because once again there were no trains.
Over all I had a great weekend. I fell in love with the Scottish, the culture, and the land. One weekend there and I already miss it. What will it be like when I have to leave England in only a few months?
What this week will hold I do not know, but whatever it is, it is always exciting! I hope you had/have a great valentines day!