So! On Saturday, Kristine, Hannah, Katie and I headed off to Stirling with the International Student Center from campus. We boarded the bus around 8:45 and drove for about an hour through lovely mountainous countryside. We crossed the bridge over the Firth of Forth and it was gorgeous. The best part, though, was probably all of the sheep roaming about (Kristine and I debated over whether or not they were "wild" sheep). At that point in the day we had absolutely no idea what was planned for us, but we were excited nonetheless. Not only that, but Stirling is right around where Amy used to live, so it was really neat to be there!
The first stop on the trip was in Dollar, Scotland at Castle Campbell. It was built in the late 1400s (a few years earlier than Craigmillar Castle, the one I posted about earlier) but only a small part of the original remains stood standing. Unfortunately, unlike Craigmillar Castle, Castle Campbell had been ravaged by a civil war and the owners never bothered to rebuild it. Even though the castle itself wasn't much to look at, it did have an amazing view from the top lookout. The real adventure came from actually getting to the castle. When we got off of the bus, our disorganized and non-English speaking coordinator pointed us over to the direction the castle was in, claimed there would be a short walk, and that we'd be to the castle soon. Not so. In fact, we had to hike up a muddy, unkempt, narrow pathway up a mountain! It was certainly unexpected but a ton of fun. It took at least a half hour climbing up, and I was pretty much focused on not dying or falling off a cliff into the gushing river. On the way down though, we got to take our time so I recorded this little video! It's only about a minute or so, but it gives you a general idea of what the mountain looked like.
After that adventure, we got back on the bus to Stirling. We were absolutely ravenous by this point, as none of us were smart enough to eat breakfast and, you know, we had just hiked a mountain and everything. Unfortunately there was still no food to be had, because we were about to be dropped off at the William Wallace Monument. William Wallace was the guy Mel Gibson played in Braveheart and is one of their beloved national heroes. They built this giant monument to him in the 1800s and it was actually pretty cool. We climbed 246 steps up to the top of the tower and experienced the power of wind like never before! It was as if you combined all the wind in Boston and condensed it into one 10 square foot space. It was intense. The view was also spectacular...I tried capturing it on camera but of course it didn't work. Here's my attempt at the video, though, to at least give you an idea. You might want to turn your sound down, though- the wind is howling!
After that, they dropped us off in the center of Stirling to find some food and do shopping/sightseeing. After climbing a mountain, the large hill leading up to the monument and then the stairs up the tower, we were definitely ready for some food. We plopped ourselves down in a sportsbar and ate until we felt sick, haha. Always the way to go. Afterwards, we wandered around for a half hour then caught the bus back home at 5. We went back to Kristine's flat and then made a delicious make-shift veggie soup out of some random vegetables Hannah had lying around. It was DELICIOUS! I know it doesn't look too apetizing, but trust me on this one. Mmmm.
Sunday, we all got together and I made everyone one of my favorite Faigi dishes- crowpretzluch! For those of you who sadly don't know what crowpretzluch is, it's just bowtie noodles with simmered cabbage, onions, salt and white pepper. I was afraid it would come out horrible, but I must say...it was pretty tasty. Faigi will be proud.
And, on an unrelated note, here is a little video of what my room looks like. Fun fun.
Last night, we went to our 3rd swing dancing lesson and I'm still awful! It's so much fun though, so it's okay. Tonight we're joining the Uni's film society, where for only 10 pounds we get to go to as many movies as we want. What's Eating Gilbert Grape is on the schedule for tonight, so that should be good. Other than that, not much else is going on! Keeping busy busy busy, and it's good that way.
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