okay so i have to start by saying that this is my second time writing this out since yesterday the website freaked out on me and only saved one paragraph of this so hopefully I don't leave anything out.
ah i had such a wonderful weekend in Scotland with ahn, jen, jess, danielle, sejal and nicole! but before Scotland, I had my final on Friday which was very difficult so we'll see how it turned out. I should probably get my final grade for my public finance class sometime late this week or early next week. after my final I came back to my room and had lunch and hung out with some people before going to the LSE farewell reception which had free food and drinks (so of course i went!) then I came back to my dorm to shower and pack and then practically sprint to the bus station (running through the tube stations is really fun with 6 other girls all with backpacks haha). after the long adventure to the bus station we finally got on the bus and started our 8-9 hour bus ride to Edinburgh which is the capital of Scotland! of course i slept a little on the bus because I can practically sleep anywhere but it wasn't the best conditions for sleep after a few scarce hours of sleep the nights before.
We arrived in Edinburgh around 8am on Saturday and went right to the train station because we were planning on taking the train back to London on Sunday night. We weren't able to buy the tickets online because something didn't work right with everyone's credit cards so we were just going to get them at the station but after we found out that it would cost us over a hundred pounds our plans quickly changed. So we went to our hostel and checked in however our room wasn't ready until noon so we just kinda hung out in the hostel and used the computer room until then. We decided to just take the bus back to London and the only possible time was another overnight bus that left Edinburgh at 10:30pm on Sunday night and got into London around 7am. After that we got our keys for our room and put all of our stuff in the lockers/ freshened up a bit since we were on a bus the whole night. Our room was really big and nice (see the Edinburgh album) and since we were 7 people, there was only one random person in our room and I didn't even meet/see her cause she left early on Sunday morning.
We didn't really know what to do at this point so we asked the hostel for suggestions and they were really helpful. We decided to take a 3 hour walking tour of Edinburgh run by Sandemans Europe which actually runs tours all around Europe for free and you basically tip whatever you think the tour was worth. We basically walked all of Edinburgh and I learned a lot of cool facts about Scotland's history and culture. On the tour we walked all down the Royal Mile (the road that connects Edinburgh castle and Holyrood House which is where the Queen stays when she visits Scotland.) we also saw the outside of the castle and the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling wrote most of the Harry Potter books. I know you are all probably thinking why would I care at all about this since I don't like the books but I thought it was cool cause she's pretty famous. I also learned that she's not from Scotland but after her divorce from her husband, she moved from Portugal to Scotland. Because she didn't have any money at the time she couldn't afford to heat her house in the winter so she went to the coffee house to write. Okay enough about Harry Potter… we then went to one of the famous graveyards in edinburgh and heard a story about "the most loyal dog" who sat by his owner's grave for 14 years and was actually a citizen of the city (the result from a new law that was passed saying all stray dogs had to be killed and everyone loved this dog too much to see that happen so he became a citizen ha). The tour ended in the princes street park where we heard the story behind the stone of destiny.
After that the tour was over and we went back to the hostel to shower/rest/get ready for the night. Once we were all ready, we went to a pub for some Scottish food. Ahn and I split a veggie burger with chips (french fries) and haggis neeps and tatties. If you don't know anything about Scottish food then you may be wondering what's haggis, neeps and tatties? Well if so then read below for a description:
A haggis is a small animal native to Scotland. Well when I say animal, actually it's a bird with vestigial wings - like the ostrich. Because the habitat of the haggis in exclusively mountainous, andbecause it is always found on the sides of Scottish mountains, it has evolved a rather strange gait. The poor thing has only three legs, and each leg is a different length - the result of this is that when hunting haggis, you must get them on to a flat plain - then they are very easy to catch - they can only run round in circles.
After catching your haggis, and dispatching it in time honoured fashion, it is cooked in boiling water for a period of time, then served with tatties and neeps (and before you ask, that's potatoes and turnips).
The haggis is considered a great delicacy in Scotland, and as many of your compatriots will tell you, it tastes great - many visitors from the US have been known to ask for second helpings of haggis!
The noise haggis make during the mating season gave rise to that other great Scottish invention, the bagpipes
Well that was definitely an experience but I actually really enjoyed it! after eating dinner we went on a pub crawl (my first ever!) that was run by the company we took the walking tour with. The pub crawl went to 5 different pubs then ended at one of Edinburgh's clubs. At each pub we got a drink/shot/shooter and they had drink specials as well. I also had my first jagerbomb which was an experience because it was actually a whole jager train with 48 drinks! It was absolutely crazy and I've never seen so many drinks in a row! I attempted to take pictures at each pub but I'm pretty sure I wasn't successful haha. Anyways after that we went back to the hostel for a much needed nights sleep!
On Sunday we got ready then had breakfast in our hostel before having to check out at noon. We were able to keep our bags at the hostel which was really nice and so then we left to do some more sightseeing! We went to the Edinburgh castle for a few hours which was really cool and I got tons of amazing pictures of the city and area all around the city. I also got to see the crown jewels of Scotland and learn more about the battles that the castle was involved in. after that we went to the baked potato shop and got jacket potatoes stuffed with pretty much anything you wanted! I got cheese and onion and it was sooo tasty :) we actually took our potatoes into the park and ate there because the weather was pretty nice and there was no room in the shop for all 7 of us. Then we just walked along the Royal Mile for a bit longer and bought some souvenirs. We went back and hung out at the hostel for like 2 hours (we played sooo many games of spoons haha) then walked over to the bus station and got on our buses. So our bus left at 10:30pm on Sunday and we got into London around 7:30am on Monday morning. It was quite the long adventure but as soon as I got back to my dorm I had to get ready, get breakfast then head straight to class!
Monday was my first day of my next class which is Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development (phew that's such a long name). My lecturer is German and he's soo funny. Pretty much he doesn't have any filter whatsoever so he just says whatever he thinks. Today we were talking about BP and he was like "British Petroleum" but apparently they changed the name to Beyond Petroleum and someone brought this up and my professor (who were only allowed to call Eric) was like they should really change their name to deep s***! I may have killed the moment/joke but trust me, he's pretty funny. My class doesn't seem to be too difficult so far (most of it has been a review from my last class which is really nice to actually understand what he's talking about) so hopefully it stays at this pace and I'll actually have time and energy to explore more in London! There was also a welcome reception last night for everyone since the second session started yesterday and so me and ahn went to the finance and accounting one and I actually met someone who goes to Bentley! Its so crazy how I'm in London but keep meeting other people from Boston!
Oh well I'm going to read a little for my class tomorrow and see what everyone's up tonight! Hopefully I'll have time to actually fill out those postcards that I bought like 2 weeks ago! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!