Scotland was amazing!

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.

Love, Elizabeth

More photos of Loch Ness

"Loch Ness is so deep that you could stand three Big Bens in it and they would still not reach the top.

The Statue of Liberty could dive in happily without any chance of her head hitting the bottom.

And five jumbo jets could be placed wingtip to wingtip and still have room to loop the loop…

…plenty of room for a monster!”

Nessie: The Most Famous Tale of Monster Mayhem Ever… by Richard Brassey

Love, Elizabeth

Loch Ness

Because we had already seen pretty much all of Inverness, Molly and I took a bus to Loch Ness on Thursday. The weather was incredibly warm, and we enjoyed walking around without our coats. We looked for the Loch Ness Monster, but unfortunately, Nessie didn’t make an appearance that day.

Loch Ness is definitely on my list of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The amazing weather made it even more gorgeous. Just look at the sky in the pictures! I think the clouds are the prettiest part of British weather.

I can’t decide which photos to choose of Loch Ness, so I’m just going to share all of them. Here’s the first batch!

Love, Elizabeth

Inverness

Molly and I met up on Wednesday morning at the bus station and boarded our bus. Four hours later, we arrived at Inverness and made our way to our hostel. After my horrible hostel experience last time I was in London, I was a little nervous, but I’ve since decided that this is the best hostel ever. Nice location (right in the town centre), nice kitchen, nice staff, nice price (£11/night), nice toilets, nice showers, nice bedrooms. The pillow is a little lumpy, but that’s okay because I brought my own.

We spent the day just walking through the town. Everyone I had talked to told me that Inverness was really small, but in my opinion, any town that has a mall and streets upon streets of restaurants, cafes, and shops isn’t “really small” (but maybe that’s because I grew up in a tiny village in the middle of a cornfield). I really liked Inverness. It had quirky shops and cute cafes. It was full of beautiful churches. The grass was bright green and the River Ness runs right through the town.

My favourite thing in the town was a place called Leakey’s Bookshop. It was in what used to be an old church, so the windows are still stained-glass and there’s an overall antique feel to the building. I didn’t take any photos of it because some shops are weird about that, but you’ll just have to believe me that it was an incredible place. There were shelves upon shelves of old books. The smell of the books mixed with the smoke from the wood-burning stove that warmed up the entire building. Upstairs was a cafe, some couches, and more shelves of books. It took so much discipline to leave that place without buying anything, but my backpack was heavy enough already without adding books to it, and I didn’t want to think about trying to haul more back home in a few days.

After our wanders, Molly and I went back to the hostel so that I could write all of my blog posts and she could work on homework.

Love, Elizabeth