- all settled in waiting for the gate to open. eating my gummy bears, sippin on sprite and reading a book. slowly gather my things and stand in line. anxious my bag might exceed the measurements, the man tells me I forgot to get my boarding pass stamped. I look at him like wtf? He tells me to go back and get it. “Hurry!” Shit. I sprint through the airport all the way back to the airport entrance. ask the lady for a stamp. she tells me she’s closed. I look at her…… She stamps me. I sprint back. Go through security a 2nd time. run with all of my belongings in my arms and hope I make it. Frantically re-dressing my hot mess of a self, I hand over my ticket. They let me in. WOOFTA!
- Wednesday: Kiaya met me at the airport. It was glorious! Chatting, laughing, eating pizza. Her castle/house/place where she has class/place where the professors live resembles something like a combination of Hogwarts and Pride and Prejudice. The view from her bedroom window, legit.
- Sat through Kiaya’s lecture with her and wrote out a few postcards.
- Later on at night, we went to an irish pub called Finnigans. great 2 man IRISH live band. requested sweet caroline. HIGH: they sang happy birthday to me. had a few shots at midnight to celebrate the night!
- Thursday: my 21st birthday!!!!!!!!! went for a walk around Kiaya’s campus. freaking beautiful. she’s studying in Dalkeith (about 20 miles south of Edinburgh) in a cozy forested area. the scenery reminded me of Pride and Prejudice. Checked into our hostel in Edinburgh. Pub crawl. 5 bars. free shot at every bar. sang karaoke, did a jager train…What’s a jager train? The bartender lines up a bunch of glasses filled with Red Bull. Then the shots of jager are balanced on the rims of the glasses beside each other. A randomly selected individual is then chosen to tip the first shot glass (which then creates a domino effect) and lands each shot into its respective glass. The jager train! Because it was my birthday, I got to do it 😀
- ate pizza, wore all of my ridiculous 21 year old get up, and danced the night away. Though I’ve been able to legally drink here since I arrived, I was sure to celebrate as if I were back home.
- Friday: Did I sleep in the morning after my 21st birthday? Nope. Woke up to find Kiaya examining her tooth in the mirror. Part of it was missing. Yikes. Took a 9am train to Stirling. Saw a castle. Then trained it over to Linlithgow to see a palace. Neat history. Really windy. An early night in for Kiaya and me.
Stirling Castle– It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
- Saturday: Hiked Arthur’s Seat. Did a walking tour of the city. Sooo cool. Ate traditional Scottish food called Haggis: minced meat with onions, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt mixed with stock. Traditionally, this mixture was encased in the stomach of a sheep and cooked for 3 hours. Sooooooooo good 🙂
- I then followed up the Haggis appetizer with a little taste of home….
- Met up with Mary Shoemaker (a pal from Madison studying in Galway, Ireland for the semester)
- Went to a bar called Three Sisters and watched a rugby game outside. Felt like I was back in Madison on a Badger saturday 🙂 Ireland vs. Scotland. Fun atmosphere! People were waaaaaaaay into the game. There was even one drunk idiot who chanted U-S-A every time someone scored. Haha, thanks for representing, pal. Left our first hostel to check into a different one. The second hostel was SKETCH. A 73 stair-climb to get to the top.
- We were not given keys. Didn’t need them since there were no locks on the doors. Funny smells. Faded pillow cases and sheets. Slept like a baby, ha! Did a ghost tour. Edinburgh’s got some haunting history. Stories of witch trials, grave digging and fairies:
Arthur’s Seat–the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park (a royal park where the King/Queen resides) described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design.”
Sunday: Went to a free art museum. Went to the Elephant Cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter!!!!!!!!
Felt so cool. I was happy to know that J.K and I have sat on the same toilet seat. Haha. She currently lives in Edinburgh! Walked around the city some more, then caught a bus to the airport in Edinburgh. Arrived in Bratislava. Took a bus back to Vienna. Greeted by my roommates around 10:30 and laughing/sharing stories until the wee hours of the morning.