Monday, March 16, 2009
First off, I am still alive. The best excuse I have for my leave of absence from blogging is this weird funk I have been in. Let me try to explain… So I took about 7 touristesque pictures total while in France, what then I thought to be a brilliant, revolutionary idea that I should be experiencing now and not documenting later. You know live in the moment and what have you, but more over doing things for myself and not doing them in order to tell someone about it later or show someone a picture later. But I have realised (British spelling, yeah you can bet I’m working on my accent too!) that there are benefits to picture taking, one of which is key in supporting the scrapbook that will inevitably come out of this trip. And I have gotten better at pulling out my camera recently. So I suppose since I have been documenting my time here in that way, I have neglected my written documentationating (not British spelling, just Nicolish) via blog. And yes I will confirm speculation and say that I have been having way too much fun to bother writing about it.
But ok …let’s rewind to about 3 and a half weeks ago. Wednesday February the 25th we (as a Britain Today class that is) hopped on a north bound train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh Scotland! Now that’s Ed-in-burr-uh, none of this edinburG American business. Natalia, from work, was so excited for me to visit her hometown and marked her parents house on my map along with all the best cafes, museums, bars and castles (haha there’s just one, so I suppose it is best by default). We got off the train and were greeted by the marvelous Edinburgh wind. Alice convinced me to not bring my coat as we headed off to the castle. Of course it poured on us and then the wind cut through my shirt and to my organs practically! The castle turned out to be a hypothermic adventure dashing for cover to get out of the wind and the rain. We got stylish and informative audio guides and met the most national pride filled Scotsman in the whole country in the jewels room. I know more about Scottish medical and scientific discoveries than I ever wanted to after spending 10 minutes with this old man. He was indeed wearing plaid pants. We had a pajama party with 12 girls in our hostel room and played Kings with our new “friend” Glens.
The next morning Martin marched us up some sort of hill to the Scottish National Monument. Hurray! We could see the sea from the top of this hill as well as the entire city. We climbed a twisty staircase to the top of this tower thing too, windy, windy. Then we climbed all over the monument. Went to the Scottish Museum, basically we went through and tried on all of the children’s dress up like a Viking, Roman Solider, fill in the blank exhibits. I was doing an Egyptian puzzle in the kids discovery zone when the alarm went off and we were all escorted out of the building. Claire, Alice and I snuck off and found Harry Potter’s birthplace or rather J.K. Rowling’s café! After a while we went back, I had 0.5 percent interest in the museum and so I just sat in the train section and sketched. Next as a class we National Galleryed it up. I borrowed a sketching stool and sat in front of a Degas dancer statue and then moved to the basement to sketch a sleepy Martin Luther painting. The class left without me, time kind of stands still when I am sketching. So I went and found the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and zoomed around there. On my way home I passed a wedding store and found that kilts are the equivalent to the tux in the states. I picked up all the brochures with the intent to make cards for my friends featuring sexy Scotland models posing in skirts with their furry pouches saying things like, “Great Scots!” Back at the hostel I reunited with my class. Dannica tried to get to me to go on the underground tour, but I was scared by the flier. Needless to say I didn’t go. We had our own fun though dressing up and going out! We met some Scottish boys who said they were 19 and worked in bars (this concept is so odd to me!) So they took us to their respective bars and got us free drinks! The Scots are so nice! Oh and I met a guy who lives a block away from me in London and his sister went to school in Tacoma, how oddly coincidental is that? Insta-friends!
Friday was class, we went to the Scottish Parliament. I would have rather poked out my eyeballs. No comment, besides the tour guide needed to go through Red Carpet Club training. The rest of the class left for home. We stayed and caught a train to Glasgow that afternoon. There was some wonderful, girl politics (ie drama drama drama) so I peaced out on Saturday for a lovely day of art with Wilbur. The thing about being by yourself is you can go wherever you want and stay as long as you want. I bought 3 new pairs of shoes for 20 pounds! One of which was boots! And hit up all the art galleries in Glasgow. I met the girls for Tesco dinner and then we danceddddd.
SUNDAY WAS NESSIE! The best day trip tour ever! Dannica, Anne and I went on an adventure to find Nessie. We left Glasgow on a bus at 7:45am and went alllll around the country to Loch Lomond and Glenco and Loch Ness. We went on a cruise on Loch Ness to the ruins of a castle. Scottish rock candy is to die for! It was so great to get out of the city and see the country side! It was all so green and the hills were amazing. We drove these winding roads through sheep farms (Scotland has 11 million sheep!) and through heather moors. We saw castle, after castle and even saw the Hogwarts Express and where Harry Potter was filmed in Glenco. We didn’t get back to Glasgow til 8 pm just in time to catch a 12 hour bus ride back to London. I arrived in central London at 6:00 am. I walked home just as the sun was rising and crashed in my bed until 9 when I had to go to work. So worth it though!
More to come about other things happening here!