Today I got to wear a skimpy sundress. No sweater or coat or scarf or anything! It was incredibly sunny and it got up to about 65 degrees. And when I got out of my class at 5:30, it wasn’t completely dark. We’ve barely had a winter here, but I’m already feeling so excited for summer right now!
Also, I just got my latest fix of American politics by watching the Republican debate from last night. I’m missing a very interesting time for American right now with the election coming up in November, but I do like hearing the opinions of everyone over here who pays attention to America’s politics (which a lot of people do, as British politics can be pretty boring, but American’s politics can be pretty amusing).
Most people Everyone that I’ve talked to over here disagrees wholehearted with all of the Republican candidates. Issues in the States that are controversial, such as gun control, universal healthcare, birth control, and gay rights are complete non-issues over here. There are about three parties here in England (and four in Scotland, I think), and they all are pretty close to the American Democratic Party. So that is why a lot of British people (and I think a lot of other Europeans) can be so skeptical of America when it has a Republican leader.
So there’s your daily dose of politics. I hope I haven’t offended anyone too severely; none of these opinions are my own. Well, okay, maybe I agree with some of the opinions, but I’m just passing on what has been said to me about our political system. Do with that what you will!
On Friday morning, Molly and I went back to Edinburgh and spent one last night there. The bus to Birmingham left at 3 on Saturday and we got home just before midnight. I was so glad to be heading home—I was at the point where I was really excited to sleep in my own bed, use my own shower, wear something other than the two outfits I’d been circulating all week, make tea with my own kettle, and eat real food (I spent part of the week running on protein bars, pumpkin seeds and apples).
However, I was really sad to be leaving behind such an amazing place full of wonderful new friends. I’ll definitely be going back in a few months!
Here’s a quick recap of my trip:
Glasgow: It has a pretty bad reputation (people wrinkle their noses in disgust when they hear that I went there), but I actually really liked it. It reminded me a little bit of Cincinnati because there are rough, stabby parts of the city, but the rest is really beautiful. I mean, just look at the architecture. Any city that has a Ferris wheel is automatically awesome, in my opinion. Not to mention the TARDIS that I saw there. That was pretty neat.
Aberdeen: This was probably my least favourite city. The university part was really pretty, but other than that, Aberdeen was pretty bland. It’s probably the fact that all of the buildings are gray and boring. I’m sure some people love it, but it was just not the place for me. I had a nice time there, nonetheless. The best part about Aberdeen was staying with Bridget.
Stonehaven: I loved this quiet little town! I can see myself going back for a relaxed holiday sometime. The feel of the place was wonderful, and the walk to the castle from there was one of the prettiest treks I’ve ever been on, even though it was an overcast, windy day. And the castle on the cliffs was probably the most beautiful thing I saw during my time in Scotland.
Inverness: I definitely hope to come back here. I would love to have had more time to browse through the quaint bookshops and spend time at some of the many cute coffee shops. Plus, it’s in a great location for seeing some of the surrounding Highlands. Which brings me to my next point…
Loch Ness: Absolutely beautiful. Right after the castle near Stonehaven, it was one of the prettiest sights I saw in Scotland. I probably wouldn’t make it a priority to go back (unless I happened to be nearby anyway) because seeing it once was enough; however, it was still one of my favourite places.
Edinburgh: This city was so beautiful. The castle was gorgeous, because it’s situated on a hill, so you can see it from lots of different places within the city.Arthur’s Seat was a lot of fun to climb with my friends, and next time I’m here, I’ll go up there during the daytime. There were kilt-making shops everywhere, and I even saw a few people walking around wearing kilts. I had so much fun here because I got to spend my time with friends, and so I will be going back to visit them and to see more of Edinburgh.
On Monday morning, Molly and I were up bright and early again to board a bus, this time to Aberdeen. Once more, I slept for most of the trip, but the few glimpses that I caught of the Scottish scenery were absolutely breathtaking, especially the view of the sea as we approached Aberdeen.
Molly’s friend from University of Aberdeen met us and we got some lunch and went shopping for a little bit before I met up with my friend Bridget. She showed me around the city centre, and I saw a little bit more of the city as we walked back to her flat. Aberdeen is called the Grey City or the Granite City because almost all of the houses are made of granite. Against the cloudy backdrop, it can be a little oppressive, but I was told that (on the two days of the year) when the sun shines, the buildings sparkle in the light.
Bridget has travelled a lot, so we swapped travel stories and she gave me some tips for some of my upcoming trips. She’s Irish, so she told me where I should go when I visit Ireland. (I hope to get there sometime this spring!) I was just recovering from a cold and she was just coming down with one, so we stayed in for a movie night and then went to bed early to prepare for our adventure the next morning.
I haven’t had much to write about this past month. It’s been less adventure and more schoolwork. Luckily, I’ve worked ahead in all of my classes, and I now have time for some pretty big travels. In two days, I leave for Scotland and I’ll be there for eight days, which will be really exciting. I haven’t planned what I’m going to be doing there yet, so it’ll be a spontaneous trip, and I’m excited to see where my whims take me. Within the next month, I have a few more big trips coming up, but I’ll keep those a secret for now.
I should have internet for at least part of my stay in Scotland, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to write a few posts while I’m there, or at least upload a few photos.