Woo hoo! I'm on Spring Break!
I don't have too many plans. I have some very non-fun things to do--some grading, some house cleaning, some getting ready for a garage sale, some detoxing from sugar. But I have one little project that I'm working on that I'm rather enjoying.
It's way overdue.
Way way waaaay overdue.
I'm finally going through all my Scotland pictures and putting them into a photobook. I know! Fifty-one weeks later! Ridiculous! I can assure you that it isn't something I have procrastinated on; it just hasn't been at the top of the priority list.
I'm doing it now, though, and that's what counts.
Are you going anywhere spectacular for spring break? Well, if you don't have any plans for spring break, let me bring you along on my trip down memory lane. I'll post a day for each day of travel, almost exactly a year after it happened. So today, I'll share what we did on Monday, April 2, 2012.
(Important sidenote: I am notoriously bad at following up on "the rest of the story" when it comes to blogging, so I made sure that I pre-blogged a few posts over the weekend so that I'll be able to keep caught up.)
To catch you up: We started our trip on Saturday, March 31, by flying to Iceland.
Then on Sunday, Iceland's idea of an April Fool's joke: We weren't going to be heading on Scotland that day afterall. Thirty-six hours later we made our way onto a plane that was bound for Glasgow.
All caught up? Off to Neverland!
Well, Glasgow anyway.
My sister was there to greet us at the airport, and I cried happy tears. She had rented a car, and fortunately she would be driving because I never did quite get the hang of driving on the other side of the road. I think I could have managed it except for turning into traffic. Turning left into traffic and then staying left was unnerving.
We drove to her flat, dropped some stuff off, and then we headed to Edinburgh.
Our original plan was to spend Sunday in Glasgow, and then spend Monday in Edinburgh. Because it would have been nearly impossible to change our itinerary, we missed out on spending much time in either one of those cities (though we did get to see Glasgow again at the end of our trip).
People say that Edinburgh is one of their most favorite European cities, so charming and so much to do.
I will just have to take them at their word because we only spent a few hours in Edinburgh.
First we went to Edinburgh Castle.
We were lucky enough to get a little bit of daylight while we were still in the city. We walked around the lower grounds of the castle, and Andrea gave us a few history lessons. Although it was cold (so cold!) and rainy (so rainy!), it was still spring.
And while, of course, modern living is going on all around, you cannot escape the reminders that centuries of history has happened in this country. Old buildings, statues, monuments and plaques are everywhere. There was somebody famous who said he didn't want a statue of himself because birds would come and poop on it. I can't remember who, but they knew what they were talking about.
Then we walked up the steep road to the castle and were treated to fabulous views.
You can imagine why this was an ideal place for putting a castle. The views! And, okay, being well-fortified and being able to see your enemies coming was probably also a key factor.
We didn't take a tour of the castle because it was closed, and we opted not to come back the following day to tour the castle because we were already going to tour (spoiler alert!) Stirling Castle on our trip.
I can't vouch for which castle is the better tour, but Andrea has done them both and she recommends Stirling Castle over Edinburgh Castle. I can agree that Stirling Castle is fantastic.
After a quick walk around the castle courtyard, we headed down the Royal Mile, so named because it is just over one mile long and is the main road through the old part of Edinburgh.
It was quite steep, and the cobblestones made the terrain rather unpredictable. I loved the look of those old stones.
Most of the stores were closing up by now, so we only had a couple options. We had hoped to get a tour of a whiskey distillery, but it was closed, which ended up being fine because we were able to do a tour of Mary King's Close ("close" as in "she is standing close to me" not "close the door"). It's almost all underground, and it shows the old streets and spaces as they were lived in hundreds of years ago. It was super cool and very informative. Alas, no photos because it was mostly all in the dark.
Before the tour, we got a bite to eat in a traditional Scottish pub, and then after the tour we were off to our B&B for the night.
(An otherwise nice picture of us, slightly ruined by my hand awkwardly holding that glass.)
You'd think that checking into our B&B would have been rather uneventful, but we did manage to have a good laugh about it. Andrea had looked into staying at several places in the area before choosing the Hampton House B&B. Unfortunately, her notes had not clarified that this was where we were staying, and so we stopped at another place. And gave that proprietor quite the scare when we inquired about checking in, and what's that? You don't have our reservation?
Fortunately, we were able to piece it together and did manage to make it to the proper place.
A good sleep was had by all, and we woke up to...snow!
Tomorrow: Saint Andrews!