How you like them bagpipes?

By Jantsen McBride

Hiya friends and fam! (People really do say hiya here. Think ‘hi’ mixed together with ‘you’… One word, two syllables… Hiya.) Now that you’ve had your English lesson for today, it’s time to talk about my latest trip to Scotland! I took a day trip with my girl Lindsay to the land of kilts and haggis a couple of weeks ago. Lancaster Uni has a fantastic on-campus travel center that takes day and weekend trips around the world for a pretty affordable price. So we booked our coach bus tickets and joined the ranks at the ripe ol’ hour of 7:30 a.m.

The four hour bus ride there went by fast as I napped for a solid two hours. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I do not sleep a wink when traveling by car, bus, plane or hovercraft. So my nap attests to just how tired I was feeling that morning. Plus, the heater was on and I was all cozy and cuddled up in my over-sized seater. After taking a quick group bathroom break, we hopped back on the coach and proceeded to travel through the English countryside. The rolling hills scattered with sheep and evergreen was such an amazing backdrop to our voyage. Because it rains so heavily here in the United Kingdom, everything is spruce and bursting with life.

View from my bus seat!

When we arrived in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, the group of 70+ students split up. Lindsay and I joined up with two other students, Eric and Sam, to tour the city. We hopped on a tour bus and took in all that Edinburgh had to offer. My favorite sight was the castle. It sits atop a gigantic hill surrounded by massive stone and rocks. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the ninth century B.C. The castle has been of royal importance since David I in the 12th century, and continued to be inhabited by royals until the Union of the Crowns in 1603 when Scotland became unified with Ireland and England’s thrones of reign under James VI. The fortress overlooks the city and made for a beautiful picture-taking hub.

Edinborough's Castle!

By this time we were starving and decided to pop into one of the city’s restaurants for some traditional Scottish food. What we ended up having was anything but traditional Scottish food. There was one man working the whole café and it took over an hour to get our food even though we were one of two tables occupied. Eric ordered a scone from the glass cake stand but was told they were fake and just for decoration. So we quickly gobbled up our paninis (which are NOT Scottish, but we were too skeptical to try this café’s haggis!) and were on our way to tour around some more.

We browsed the shops and I swear every store in Edinburgh was selling kilts. Pink kilts, mini kilts, cashmere kilts, baby kilts — you name it, Edinburgh’s got you covered. After seeing more of the city via the bus for tourists (we were all hanging out the double-decker with our cameras waiting for the perfect shot), we made our way back for a quick ice cream and coffee at a local Italian restaurant. The journey home was much quicker as we didn’t stop for a break. About midway through, I thought I was going to have a potty crisis. It took me a solid 45 minutes to realize there was a bathroom on the coach. I have never felt more relieved in my life — figuratively and realistically speaking.

All in all, a great trip with a great friend made for a wonderful memory filled experience of Scotland.

Until next time.

Your royal princess in waiting,

Jantsen

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