Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weekend in Edinburgh

     One of the lovely things about being abroad in London is that we are fairly close to many other countries. This makes traveling relatively cheap and possible to do for a quick weekend. So my friends and I did just that. There are 6 of us in total and we pretty much do everything together. This weekend was a little different. My roommate Grace and friend Kerryn already had a pre-booked trip to Paris for the weekend, so we knew that they would be away. So, instead of staying in London for the weekend, Meggie, Caitlin, Ashley and I decided to take advantage of the cheap travel and book a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. Scotland was on our list of places that we really wanted to go, so we jumped on the chance.
     We booked our flight and accommodations a few weeks ago and were surprised to find the weekend creep up so soon. Other than those two things, we really had nothing else planned.
     Our flight was scheduled to leave at noon on Friday. We woke up at 6:15 to be able to make it out of the dorm by 6:45 to walk to the tube station on Gloucester Rd. We took the Piccadilly line to St. Pancras and then from there got on the train to take up to Luton Airport. Tip #1: when you take the train to Luton airport, you need to buy a ticket because your Oyster card is not your ticket. Also, tickets are exponentially cheaper when you buy them before hand. We arrived at the station to Luton Airport and from there we had to get on a bus. I think it was the lack of sleep but getting onto the shuttle bus proved a bit of a challenge for us.
(l to r: Caitlin, Ashley, Me, Meggie)
     Finally we arrived at the airport and got some caffeine and food into our system. Probably one of the funniest things was when we were sitting waiting for Caitlin to come back with her breakfast of Burger King chicken nuggets and fries. As Meggie, Ashley and I were waiting, a strange (and obviously intoxicated) man walked up behind Meggie and complimented her on her "costume". It was totally creepy and strange and absolutely hilarious all at the same time. Needless to say, as soon as Caitlin got back we picked up our stuff and moved to a different location.
     It was then time to go through security. No one was there which was lovely, so we thought that we would get through quickly. Wrong. Ashley got stopped for a random search where they had to go through ALL of her belongings. It was both very funny and annoying all at the same time. We got through and headed to our gate (sort of). Tip #2: smaller airports don't tell you what gate you are flying out of until a designated time. So we had to sit and wait at a small cafe for about an hour and a half waiting for them to tell us what gate we were at. But, there was a Krispy Kreme right near us so I guess that made up for it. When they told us what gate we were at you practically had to run to it because they only give you about 10 minutes.
Hello Scotland!
A warm greeting by Titus!
     We got to the gate perfectly fine and boarded the plane. The flight was super easy and quick (less than an hour) and we were in Scotland! We walked out of the airport and got a taxi to our Bed & Breakfast. Tip #3: airbnb.com is lovely. We found this amazing B&B for £35 for 2 nights a person. It was basically a steal. It was this old couple's home (kind of odd, but hear me out). It was this massive home with amazing bedrooms and a lovely bathroom. the owner, Marianne, was the nicest lady I have ever met. She welcomed us in and offered us tea and coffee and all the maps that we could possibly need. Her dog, Titus, was such a sweetheart and reminded me so much of my mom's friend's dog, Farley. The bedrooms were very well decorated and very comfortable. 
The lovely house. You can see Titus, the dog, in the doorway.
(Photo creds to Caitlin)

Caitlin and Meggie's room in the B&B.
(photo creds to Caitlin)
     After settling in for a little bit we went to meet up with my friend Max. One of the things I love about being a camp counselor is that you get to meet people from all over the world. Max was currently studying in Edinburgh at a university only a short walk away from where we were staying. After that we caught a bus into the city center so Max could show us around. We had some lunch, walked the streets and then climbed what seemed like a million stairs to the top of the castle. It was a beautiful view and we caught it right at sunset so it was even better. After that we headed to an amazing pub for a drink and to catch up a bit. We then headed back to the B&B with plans of catching back up with him later. But we never made it back out. We were all so tired that we decided not to go back out. Instead, we found the nearest Pizza Hut and made a trip there for dinner. After that we headed back to the B&B and basically passed out asleep.

Top of the castle at sunset.

Hey look! I found Max!

     The next day we all woke up. On the door to the bathroom Marianne had posted a lovely note saying how there were scones and tea waiting for us downstairs. It was so delicious. Like, absolutely amazing. After a lovely breakfast we got dressed and started to make our way back into town to meet up with Max again and also my friends Morven, Nicole and Rachael. It was so nice to see them again as I haven't seen them since August. We walked around a little bit then Ashley, Meggie and Caitlin went to explore. As they explored, I had lunch with Max, Morven, Nicole and Rachael at this small Italian Restaurant. I had a delicious panini. After lunch, we wandered a bit more and eventually found ourselves at the castle again along with an art museum. We met back up with my friends for drinks at a pub before we headed to a quick dinner.

I was so beyond happy to get to see my friends from camp again!
(l to r: Morven, Max, Nicole, Me, Rachael)
Delicious scones and jam with tea. YUM YUM YUM.
     We ended up back at the B&B around 8pm (I believe) and we all just passed out asleep. At around 6:30am a taxi arrived to take us all to the airport. Our flight left at 8:50 and we were back in London by 9:40. We ventured back to Kensington and arrived around noon. When we got back we dropped off our bags and went to grab lunch. After lunch we all headed back to the dorm and I took about a 4 hour nap because I was so tired. Annnnnnnnnnnnd that was my weekend. Crazy, right?
Oh! And I also got to Skype my puppy (and my mom).
Zoey didn't quite understand the concept of Skype. 


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