Here we go again – another blog post by Laura, as I promised you a few days ago. 😉
What to do when you’re in Edinburgh – or somewhere else in Scotland:
I had a great time when my Mum came to visit me a while ago. 🙂 It’s always nice to have somebody from home visiting you, and I am lucky enough to have had visits of my Dad, my Stepmum, my brother and now also my Mum. We spent some great days together, but the best part was when we went to Glasgow to see a concert of one of my favourite artists called Banks. You guys probably don’t know her, since she doesn’t get the attention she deserves – at least in my opinion. 😉 But her music, which is mostly experimental electronic pop, is really good, so check her out, if you don’t know her. 🙂
I’ve actually only been to the concert venue and the city centre of Glasgow, but I think looked pretty nice, especially with the Christmas decorations right now. However, it’s not as nice as Edinburgh. It’s a great place for shopping, but the historical buildings in Edinburgh are much more impressive, in my opinion.
But another thing that’s great about Glasgow is that there are very many concerts. I am actually a little disappointed that there aren’t more concerts happening in Edinburgh, but I guess all the popular artists just automatically go to Glasgow. Luckily, it’s not too far away: if you go by train, it just takes about an hour, which is really not that much, considering the distances I’ve already travelled for concerts in Germany…
Loch Ness and Inverness:
During Welcome Week, I did not only join two creative writing societies, but also the International and Exchange Student Society, and that was a good decision, because they always organize great trips. I think that when you’re abroad, you shouldn’t just stay in the city you’re studying in, but also see some other parts of the country – and these trips are a great opportunity to do that.
Well, you’ve probably already read about this 50 times by now, but yes, I’ve also been to the Highlands. The trip started very early in the morning and most people slept in the bus, but I’ve actually never been able to do this, so I just talked to my neighbour and got to know him a little. Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, was our first stop, and I loved it! Of all the Scottish towns I’ve been to by now, Inverness is my second favourite, right after Edinburgh. 🙂 It’s pretty small, but so picturesque, and it reminded me very much of the town where I study in Germany. If you ever go there, you should definitely visit the castle. We also bought a ticket for the tower, which cost us 5 pounds and included admission to a little museum and a viewpoint with a gorgeous view over the whole town (the picture was taken there).
After that, we went to Loch Ness, which is very close to Inverness, and took a 2 hour boat trip. Sadly, the weather was too good for the monster to show up. I guess it requires a little more fog to take a picture of it. Nevertheless, it was very nice. Just remember to wear warm clothes when you go there: I was wearing my winter jacket, a scarf, a warm hat and gloves, and I still felt cold after an hour, because the wind was very strong on the boat, so that I had to go inside. Maybe it would be a good idea to revisit the Loch in spring…
Aberdeen and Dunnottar Castle:
The second trip I went on with the International and Exchange Student Society was a trip to the “Granite City” Aberdeen and the nearby Dunnottar Castle, which you can see in the title image.
The trip started roughly at the same time as the one before, so if you guys want to avoid getting up early at all costs, these trips are probably not the right thing for you. But if you want to discover something completely new, like this beautiful castle, they are perfect for you. I had never heard of Dunnottar Castle before, and when we got there, it looked quite small from the bus window. But don’t let that first impression fool you! The castle is actually huge, and it is located right by the sea, so that it looks exactly like this cliché image people have in mind when they think of Scotland – an old castle, green meadows and the stormy sea. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in Scotland, and I recommend visiting it to everybody.
After this, we went to Aberdeen, which is also called “The Grey City” or “The Silver City”, because all the buildings are made of granite. It looks pretty unusual when you’re there for the first time, but it definitely has a certain charm. I and a girl I met on the trip visited the old town and also the Maritime Museum, which provides you with a beautiful view on the harbour.
All in all, I can definitely say that you guys should go on at least one short trip. Sure, Edinburgh is beautiful – probably the most beautiful city in Scotland – but there is so much more to see! Make use of the time you have! I also had to hand in an essay on the day after the Aberdeen trip, but when you’re abroad, deadlines shouldn’t be the number one priority in your life. It should be the new experiences you make. In 50 years, I probably won’t remember the topic of one single essay I’ve written here, but I will certainly remember the beautiful places I’ve seen.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and see you next year!