Monday, May 23, 2011

Travel Week Day 2: Doing Edinburgh Right

So after going to bed in our hostel we then woke up around 3am-ish. 3 IN THE MORNING. For a sunrise hike on a volcano called Arthur's Seat. All 12 of us made it out of bed and to the trail on time and all together. Miracle? Yes. We started off on a trail that looked pretty steep because apparently it looked like it went up to the top of the hill even though it was on the opposite side of the mountain where the sunset would be. More than halfway up we figure this out and head back down but the sun had already begun rising. However it was still absolutely gorgeous and I got to see some of the sunrise as we came down. After we got to the bottom some of us still wanted to hike to the top of Arthur's Seat because we found a map with the actual trail. We hiked for a while that morning, and let me tell you, it was so worth it. The view hiking up was breathtaking. It was so green and the yellow flowers were blooming along the sides of hills. We got to the top and as I caught the view of Edinburgh below I gasped, and I won't lie, my eyes might have teared up a little bit. It was incredibly windy up there and I felt like I was going to blow over, but it felt amazing. And for a couple minutes as the hymns "High On A Mountain Top" and "How Great Thou Art" ran through my head, I was the highest person in Scotland. It was the perfect way to start the day and no pictures or words can describe it.

After the hike we went back and slept for about two hours and ate our free breakfast. Next after we were a little refreshed went to the Edinburgh Castle to explore. I have been to many castles in my life time and I have found a common theme: they are ancient and made out of rock. Don't get me wrong, they are very interesting but after a while they all kinda blend, especially after you have been up since the wee hours of the morning. So I am not really sure if I remember too much about the castle haha. Our group of 12 then divided in half- 6 to stay in Scotland and head north, and 6 of us to head over to Ireland aka the motherland. I was in the Ireland group so after we were done at the castle we had time to kill before we had to catch our flight. We wandered down this street and happend to come upon a cafe called The Elephant House...and guess what it just happened to be?! The cafe where JK Rowling wrote a lot of the Harry Potter series. They had pictures and articles on the wall about her and even a Harry Potter toilet. I will admit that I used it, but it's just one of those things you have to do. I loved the elephant house though, it was so cute, there were elephants everywhere and the food was great. I got a beef and mushroom pie and an elephant shortbread.

We then went to a souvenir shop  before catching a bus to the airport. I found my dad a Scottish tie (he gave me specifics types to look for) and I was so proud of myself for finding one for him, since he only wear Scottish ties I had to do it for him. So we get to the airport, check in, and get in line to board the aircraft (yes we were in the tunnel almost out the door) when one the airport stewardesses tells us that our plane has been delayed until 10pm. At this point I had been awake for way too long and they were telling us we would be waiting in the airport for like another 5 or 6 hours. My reaction? I just bust out laughing. This is how I respond to ridiculous things out of my control, especially when I am slap happy. This trip was full of my tired gigglings. So we attempted to sleep, we ate a couple of times, I listened to music and then eventually the time came and we boarded the plane for real this time. It was a short flight to Dublin from Edinburgh and when we got in we tried to get a bus to our hostel, but we soon found that nobody knows anything in Dublin, and maybe all of Ireland while we are at it. The first Irish man we meet and ask for help is rude and grumpy and gives us poor information. Lovely. After talking to a couple more workers we finally figure out how to catch the bus and make it to our hostel after more wrong directions while trying to walk there from the bus stop. We get to the hostel eventually and it looks to me like the Leaky Cauldron from the outside, complete with a bald hunch-backed man creeping outside the entrance. But we checked in safe and sound and extremely tired. Safe to say after a much needed shower, I slept like a rock that night.
ps- I didn't take any pictures of the 2nd hostel and I can't find any from the others, sorry.

Song of the Day: Modern Nature by Sondre Lerche


Linda said...

Having been to arthur's seat myself, I know exactly how you felt. Amazing, isn't it? The yellow flowers are gorse bushes; I think they may be mentioned in Jane Austen's books. Glad you loved Scotland so much!

xoxo, andrea said...

Yes, so amazing. Ah I don't remember them being mentioned, I'll have to look for it when I read them again!

Steve and Donna said...

my poor daughter always so tired even as she writes this but having a marvelous time!

xoxo, andrea said...

haha so true. its 3am here, but i am devoted to blog this, it must be recorded.