The fastest way to start this trip off with a bang is by starting in Edinburgh, Scotland. My school does a five day little add on trip at the start of the London semester that you can opt in to so you can explore this gorgeous city during festival season. I took full advantage of it.
Of course, there’s all the traveling to get there. I left my house at 7:30AM EST, boarded a connector flight at 11AM EST and landed in JFK at about noon. My plane to London didn’t leave until 7:30PM EST. Then it was seven plus hours to Heathrow airport, where we boarded a coach to the school center that took about a half an hour. Some waiting ensued, and our train to Edinburgh left King’s Cross Station at a few hours later. Five hours later, we showed up in Scotland, tired of traveling and everything else but unable to sleep because JETLAG. Do yourself a favor and don’t count my travel hours. They made me a little ill.
BUT. The next day the adventures could begin!
The school scheduled some events for us, but a lot of time was also left to ourselves, which you’ll soon see. Our first scheduled event was a bus tour around the city with a guide. I took way too many pictures of the architecture. Seriously. Like 60.
I’m not going to bore you with this day by day itinerary, don’t worry. But I can’t help but mention the fun times had at Camera Obscura, an optical illusion interactive museum, where we all shuffled through a mirror maze and screamed through the Vortex Tunnel. There was also the Edinburgh Dungeons, which I really didn’t want to go to but ended up having a great time. These two were choices by my friends, which were very, very good choices for attractions.
The school got us into Edinburgh Castle, where we had a fantastically sarcastic and also good looking tour guide. They also brought us to Arthur’s Seat, the hike of which I was not prepared for in any sense. (I was not warned to bring a mountain pony and sherpas. I was wearing knockoff Converse for goodness sake.) They helped us partake in the Film Festival, however the play we watched left even those majoring in the theatrical arts scratching their heads.
And yes, there was some drinking of my own involved. Turns out I really, really like the UK acceptance of cider. Who knew?
I didn’t expect to love Scotland as much as I did; I don’t know why. I literally turned to a friend and said, “I hope I like London as much as I like Edinburgh.” After all, a majority of my four months was about to be spent in a city I had yet to see. As our train headed out of Edinburgh Waverly and headed towards King’s Cross, I could only cross my own fingers.
*Dear Sam – I swear this was the title of this post before I saw what you’d titled yours.