Here in England they do a strange thing where they give you a month off from classes. So for a month I was basically free to do whatever. I intended to write essays during the first two weeks. The next two weeks I spent in Scotland and Spain.
We only stayed in Edinburgh, and from what I was told before going there it’s pretty “capitaly”, fittingly since it’s the capital of Scotland. So we did all the typical tourist stuff. Went to the castle. Paid, actually, 14 pounds to get into the castle. Was told that the thing to do at the castle was to watch the canon go off at 1 p.m. Watched the canon, though from what I could tell it was more of a big, modern-looking gun on wheels. I was expecting a colonial-era type thing. Was unimpressed. I guess it’s because I’m an American. And in America practically all our houses are castles and we all own canons and fire at will. That said, really, let’s get this gun control legislation going, America. If not only to keep mass murders to a minimum, but also because I want to be able to look at a canon and be awed.
We went to Arthur’s Seat as well. Something about Arthur’s Seat that no one discloses is that it is the windiest place you will ever go in your life. I was blown off of my feet and onto the ground, screaming with terror along with the rest of the people on the mountain of a hill that day. All this actually happened. I locked eyes with an Asian tourist, and in that moment we mutually recognized that this may very well be our last day on Earth. To get to the very top peak you actually do have to do some pretty rigorous climbing. After a point, It’s not just simply walking up a hill. Despite the risk of losing my life, the view was pretty incredible and I got in more exercise that day than I do in a year.
After the trip to Arthur’s Seat though, I seriously did google if anyone had died there because it just seems like one of those places. Like Yellowstone National Park. Just a death trap. That suspicion was confirmed. Thankfully though, me and the Asian tourist got to live to see another day. You’ll have us yet, Arthur’s Seat.
The city of Edinburgh is really lovely. I found myself falling in love with everyone I talked to. Maybe it was the accent, but I think they were just really laidback, friendly people. Walking around the city was beautiful. Everything was old, typical europe, but it was charming.
The day after I got back from Edinburgh we flew to Barcelona. Some of the people I was with weren’t that fond of Barcelona, saying that it was kind of stinky and dirty, which admittedly was so. However, I really liked Barcelona. It’s adventurous and lively. In a lot of ways it reminded me of Miami: beachy, people who speak Spanish…ish (they actually speak Catalan there mainly), casual. Except it was 400 times better than Miami. I’ve said this before, but one of the things I dislike most about the U.K. is how done-up everyone is: girls wear make-up and false eyelashes, boys wear quiffs and dress like mods. In Barcelona I was reminded so much of the style we have back home. People were so much more natural there and it was refreshing. I think the people, mainly, were what made the experience so great.
Like the guy we met on our way to Montserrat after getting off the train at the wrong stop and wandering along a highway for two hours. He let us use his cellphone to call a cab, while talking to me about the places he’d been in Florida. Or the cab driver, who spoke no English, but was willing to cram 5 students in his 4 person car and giggle with us on the way to Montserrat. Or our landlord. She gave us a bowl of fruit. FRUIT. I, again, fell in love with everyone I met there.
So, I mentioned Montserrat. Montserrat is a mountain that has a monastery on it. It is massive, and we hiked to the top. It was, by far, one of the best places I have ever been. It was breath-taking. I also googled if anyone had died here either. Surprisingly I couldn’t find anything. Therefore, Montserrat is safer than Arthur’s Seat. Let it be known.
The previous day we had hiked to the top of Park Guell, and got a nice view of the city of Barcelona:
On our last day we went to Tarragona, which is a city about an hour and a half away from Barcelona. It’s quaint. It has roman ruins.
It also has a lovely little beach, which is something I have been sorely missing since leaving Florida.
That’s everyone on the trip, but me, who is behind the camera.