A visit from my family
Hello to all my readers,
I am sorry it has taken so long to add a new blog post. The past three weeks have been absolutely crazy (in the best way possible). I had my family come in for ten days (more on this below), then I had “midterms” (one paper that took me forever to write because I procrastinated for 5 days), and then friends came and visited me this past weekend! So nonetheless, it has been a hectic last few weeks. Anyway, let me just dive in on the time I spent with my family in Europe.
My family arrived in Edinburgh bright and early Friday the 15th of February. After helping them transport their stuff to the hotel, I showed them around Edinburgh. Because everyone was so tired from the flight, we took the day to relax, catchup, and walk around the city.
On Saturday we woke up bright and early to head over to Glasgow, a city that is roughly an hour away by bus from Edinburgh. Although Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland (followed by Edinburgh), Glasgow was basic. It definitely did not have the charm and culture that is present in Edinburgh. The buildings are also a hodgepodge of ugly architecture, and we had trouble finding a lot of things to do there. Thankfully we were only spending the morning in Glasgow because in the afternoon we headed over to the Celtic Football (soccer) stadium to watch a soccer match. This was definitely a great experience, and made the trip to Glasgow worthwhile.
On Sunday we woke up bright and early again to catch a tour bus that was headed towards the highlands. The highlands are the northern rural region of Scotland that are not highly populated for various reasons (cold, bad land, etc.). Nonetheless, the highlands do attract millions of tourist every year for the beautiful scenery that exist there. The tour we did was fantastic, and we saw some pretty amazing sites! We also got to ride a boat on Loch Ness, home to the famous Loch Ness Monster! Although no monsters were found, the trip to the highlands with my family was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone who finds their way to Scotland.
On Monday we spent majority of our day at the Edinburgh Castle. Definitely an impressive place to spend five hours in. After the castle we made our way to this beautiful park that overlooks Edinburgh. I also had the whole entire week off from school as a sort of “reading week” in preparation for midterms. While most of my American friends traveled around europe and my scottish friends went home, it was nice to have my family in Edinburgh at this time because I did not have to fret over work.
On Tuesday we spent the morning and early afternoon in St. Andrews, Scotland. St. Andrews is home to the wonderful University of St. Andrews (also a popular study abroad place for Vandy students), a beautiful coast line, the world’s oldest golf course, a quaint village, and the alma matter of the future King and Queen.
Wednesday was our last day in Edinburgh so we took the time to do all of the things we had not done yet. We went to the National Museum of Scotland which was fantastic, hiked arthur’s seat (which was a lot harder than it looked) and walked around the city streets one last time.
Thursday, all five of us woke up bright and early again (this is the theme of the vacation) and headed to the airport to catch our plane to Dublin!!! The plane ride was funny because by the time they approved all portable electronics for use, they told us to turn everything off literally five minutes later. The plane ride was probably 30 minutes top. Anyways, Dublin was great! We walked around the first day and checked what the city had to offer. One really cool thing about Dublin was all of the live music and street performances that were going on. Definitely not something you see in Edinburgh every day! Later on in the day, I ended up meeting my best friend Maura from home (who’s abroad in Dublin) for dinner and a night out. It was so great to see her, and I was glad I got to experience Dublin from an “expert”.
On Friday my family and I took another bus tour, but this time to the Cliffs of Moher and its surrounding towns. It was a lot like the highlands tour where we would hop on and off the bus every hour or so to check out awesome scenery or a cool fishing village. Definitely a great tour as well! And later that night I got to see my friend Maura again!
On Saturday my mom, sister and I took a train to Howthe and Malahide, two beach towns thirty minutes outside of Dublin. There were a lot of cool little shops, great scenery, and lots and lots of fish and chip shops! My brother and dad stayed behind in Dublin to tour the Guinness Factory, which they said was fantastic as wel!. Later that day we made our way back to the Dublin Airport and headed back to Edinburgh so my family could fly out of Edinburgh Sunday morning.
My trip with my family went by too fast, but it was great to spend so much time with them in Scotland and Ireland! I hope they had as much fun as I did, and I am excited to see them again this summer!
Until next time,