Wow, I can’t believe that week 2 here in Scotland is coming to a close. I feel like I have done so much since the last time I posted! Let’s see… last Monday, we had a golfing event at the campus golf course (which is right next to a castle I might add) where we practiced various skills and even got to play a few rounds of golf. I’m not going to say I am good at golf, I’m not, but I did end up winning a prize for the longest drive! My Dad and Grandpa will be so proud!
The campus castle next to the golf course.
Then later in the week, we had a day trip to Glasgow. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know much about the town, but I had a blast. We went to a couple museums (all of which were free), did some shopping, and even had tea at the famous Willow Tea Room (which was delicious). It was also fun because Glasgow is hosting the Commonwealth Games this year, and they were setting things up and had merchandise everywhere (it was like the mini-Olympics).
My favorite part of the day had to be finding not one, but three police boxes (like the TARDIS from Doctor Who) and taking pictures with them, I was nerding out pretty hard to be honest. Another great part of the day was going to the Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis. I have never been in such a beautiful building in my life. It was HUGE! Then, walking around the necropolis and looking at all of the graves was actually cool, and not as creepy as it sounds, I swear! Oh, but the best moment for me was going into Waterstones (UK version of Barnes and Noble) and buying Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It may not seem significant, but that day also happened to be the 17th anniversary of when the book was first published! Needless to say, it was a pretty magical moment for me.
Me with a Police Box!
Inside the Cathedral
Another picture in the Cathedral
Then Friday, I went to Edinburgh on an excursion to see St. Giles Cathedral and Greyfriars Church and Kirkyard. The cathedral wasn’t as large as the one in Glasgow, but still quite a sight to see. Then, we walked down the road to Greyfriars Church, which also contains the Covenenters Prison in the graveyard, which is supposed to be one of the most haunted (and best documented) places in the UK. They keep it locked up and you can only get in with a tour guide, I didn’t find it too creepy, but then again, I wasn’t there in the dark either. Also in the graveyard are headstones that JK Rowling got inspiration from when writing Harry Potter. We saw one with the name McGonagall and one with the name Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort), which was pretty cool. Then we headed back to Stirling, and when I got back, I went to bed because I had had two long days of traveling and sightseeing.
Me next to Tom Riddle’s Grave
Sign that was next to the gate leading into the most haunted part of the graveyard (the prison).
Then today (Sunday), after a good days rest, I went to Bannockburn Live, which was a celebration/festival commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, where the Scots (led by Robert the Bruce) beat the English and drove them out of Stirling. The activities included storytellers, music, food, ancestry tents, games, and even a reenactment of the battle. The battle reenactment was a lot of fun to watch, it was very well done. After watching the reenactment, we got the chance to walk around the “camp” and see what life would have been like back then. There were soldiers, animals, crafts, artisans, and even a blacksmith. It was a really cool and unforgettable experience. With so much to do, we pent nearly all day there checking everything out, there were people from all over the world there, I even met some more American Wallaces! Even with all of the fun events and places I have been going to, I still have to remember to do my homework, that is where I am off to now. Until next time!
Robert the Bruce during the battle reenactment