Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Yea yea yea, cheesy pun, I know. But fun puns make the world go round.

I spent this past weekend up in Edinburgh with people from my study abroad program. The train ride was only 4 hours but when you wake up early on a Friday morning to make the trek, it seemed a bit longer. Arriving at around 2 we dropped our bags at our hostel and immediately went in search of some food. A few of us ended up at a Thai restaurant before heading back to the hostel to figure out plans for the rest of the night.

One of my favorite, unexpected finds from the trip came that night and it was a second hand book store. We spotted it on a walk back to the hostel from a Sainsbury's and it was like walking to heaven on earth. The smell of old books stacked from the floor to the ceilings and a selection containing so many great writers nearly made me giddy. I could have spent hours in there if I had the time. I did find a book containing all 56 of the Sherlock Holmes short stories with their original illustrations. And with my student discount all it cost me was a fiver! Definitely the best £5 I've spent since arriving in the UK.

That night some of us decided to hit a local club and after a bit of a wait ended up in a place with plastic American flags everywhere. It was a bit weird, but nonetheless the night was a blast after everyone got there as the music was, for the most part, pretty on point. And of course, we couldn't not have a little Scotch in Scotland.

On Saturday one of my best friends, who is doing a semester at St. Andrews, made the short trip to Edinburgh to hang out with me, which was really exciting! First thing a bunch of us decided to do was to make the hike up to Arthur's Seat and boy was it a hike. But the view from the top was absolutely worth it.  For those who don't know, Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano from the top of which you can see basically all of the Edinburgh skyline. The climb to the top was a bit of a mess as it was muddy, slippery, cold, and extremely windy, but the view from the top was breathtaking. Pictures truly don't do it justice. The hike back down was much easier aside from the fact that it started to snow. That part was a bit odd.

With a view like that I couldn't help but throw up my diamond at Arthur's Seat. FTK.

After the hike we made our way to a local Mexican restaurant before we headed over to Edinburgh Castle. We didn't have as much time as we'd have necessarily liked because the castle closes at 5, but nonetheless we made the most of it. The castle as a whole was absolutely beautiful despite being so old. The part that most interested me was the prisons. On one of the preserved doors on display you could see where an American prisoner actually carved an early version of the US flag. It was actually really cool to see when you consider it was done during the Revolutionary War, or as it was called here: the War of American Independence. 

One of the things about the prison that struck me was the showers: they reminded me of the showers in East halls, but better. Seriously. Part of it could've been how they were remodeled but they still looked better. And the sleeping quarters for the prisoners were barely bigger than the East dorms.

By this time the castle was about to close so we headed back to our hostel, which was fortunately only a short walk, to relax a bit. A few of us met up with some others from our group and headed out to the Fiddler's Arms pub for a bit to eat. It wouldn't be right to head to Scotland and not get some fish and chips and a pint. As you can see below, mine was massive.

Unfortunately we left early the next day to head back to London. I wish we'd have had more time to explore but despite being short, my trip to Edinburgh was a lot of fun and hopefully I'll go back. Just with some more cold weather gear. This weekend it's off to tour Leavesden Studios, better known as the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I'm already kind of geeking out about that one!

Talk to y'all soon!


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