Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Scottish Adventure

(We had a special bonding moment)

Scotland was always on our list of places to go during our travels. Originally we were going to visit in the beginning of our trip, but we changed our plans once we got here and decided to head to Wales instead. We didn't think we were going to have the opportunity to go back until my friend Danielle invited us to go stay with her in Glasgow. I met Danielle during my sophomore year of college while I sang in one of my university's choirs and she was the piano accompanist. She's now getting her masters degree in piano accompaniment at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and when she found out I was traveling she very generously offered to host me for a few days. So, Angelina and I jumped on the opportunity and booked a flight over to see her!

(View of Glasgow from the Lighthouse art & design center)

Glasgow is a really cool city. It strangely reminds me a lot of downtown Seattle (so random, I know). It's got a big city vibe with a lot of character and a mix of old and new architecture. Despite the fact that Glasgow is known for being a little on the rough side, I found people to be incredibly nice and helpful. It was fucking COLD though, holy shit. It got to be -5 celsius, which is 23 degrees Fahrenheit. My daily attire consisted of two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, boots, gloves, a massive scarf, and four layers of shirts including a thermal long sleeve top, a sweater, a windbreaker and a pea coat. And half the time I was still cold. Being from California + Scottish winters = death by hypothermia.

Danielle lives right in the center of town, so we were lucky enough to be able to walk everywhere. We visited a Christmas market, went to an art & design center, saw the famous Glasgow cathedral and Necropolis, walked through the city's oldest house (creepy!) and enjoyed a classic British afternoon tea. We spent our nights hanging out at Danielle's place, watching movies and having girl talk with her and her roommate, Mairi.

(Inside Glasgow cathedral)

(Angelina skipping through the Necropolis)

(Danielle and I at tea. Not my best photo but check out our fancy spread!)
One of the days during our stay we took a train over to Edinburgh, which is just absolutely stunning. By far one of the prettiest places I've been on this trip. It's another one of those cities that looks like you walked into a fairy tale. There's even an epic castle to go along with it! We spent our day walking around aimlessly, visiting the Christmas fair, trying out traditional Scottish food (I did end up trying haggis on this trip and I totally dig it) and doing some window shopping. We hiked up to the castle to tour it, but by the time we got there it was closing! I was bummed.

(View of Edinburgh right when you exit the train)

(Edinburgh Christmas fair!)

(Edinburgh castle at night)
I loved Scotland. I definitely want to go back and see Inverness (where Loch Ness is) and the Highlands. I also want to go to Edinburgh, spend more time there and tour the castle!

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