On Thursday night Cath, Abs, Laur, Mandi, Annie, and I began our whirlwind adventure to Scotland! Little did we know we were in for quite the ride. In order to get to Scotland we had to take an overnight coach. Word to the wise...Never do this. It was, quite possibly, one of the most painful journeys of my life. This was for a number of reasons. A) I was still sick. B) It was freezing. C) Sleeping is basically impossible. However, after nine hours morning did come and we finally reached Edinburgh. From here, however, we were "homeless" for the next little while. So where did we go?...McDonald's of course! You better believe we used their restroom to brush our teeth, change our clothes, and attempt to make ourselves look like we hadn't just been on the bus ride from Hell. I enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate for breakfast and then we journeyed to our hotel. It took us about 20 minutes, but I have to say that staying in a Best Western has its perks. It was right by the castle and they happened to give us a handicap room with three twin beds! It was perfect. Cath and I checked us in and dropped our bags and we were off to the castle.
The castle was really cool. I went there last year on Europe trip '08, but still learned a lot. It was freezing and raining outside so it was a little miserable, but we made the best of it. Some of the girls took a guided tour, but Annie and I went against the grain and took ourselves on a tour. I think it was just as, if not more educational. When we decided we had seen everything we wanted to we headed down the Royal Mile in search of some lunch.
The Elephant House!
We decided to go to The Elephant House for lunch. This is where J.K.Rowling first started writing Harry Potter. As you can probably guess I was beyond happy to be there. I'm lucky because I went there last summer, but it was equally as special this year. Laura and Annie are big fans too so I was excited for them to get to see it. Annie and I shared a delicious cup of hot chocolate and a pizza. It tasted delicious. I think we were overdue for some good quality food, and we definitely found it there. It was a great way to spend our time. Harry Potter forever!
Next up for the day: NAP TIME. We finished lunch around 2 o'clock and were basically dead on our feet. A bed has honestly never sounded so good. We made our way back to our hotel and I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. Annie and I shared a bed and we literally slept side by side like dead bodies. I don't think I moved, I know she didn't move, and yet I've never been so comfortable and happy to be asleep. When I woke up a couple hours later I felt so much better. Naps are true lifesavers. We enjoyed a nice dinner of rice cakes, peanut butter, hummus, carrots, crackers, and Oh's. Don't judge us please, we do the best we can.
From here we decided we better get back out there and do something. It was tempting to stay in bed, but we were only in the city for a little over 24 hours so we knew we needed to pack everything in. We walked over to the Royal Mile and got some 60p Diet Cokes (another true lifesaver) and ended up at a tour of the "Underground City of the Dead". We weren't really sure what to expect from it, but figured why not? Our tourguide was quite the character. He began by giving us a rundown of Edinburgh's history and then taking us to the underground city. It is actually pretty crazy. This entire city exists under Edinburgh that they only discovered 30 years ago. As far as anyone knew it was all an urban myth. Clearly they were wrong. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little creeped out. When we were in the official tunnels he wasted no time in telling us that this was where all the criminals, murderers, baby snatchers, and every other bad person resided back in the day. He also told us a number of spooky ghost stories. At one point a hooded figure ran through and scared me so badly! Anne literally grabbed me and yanked me against the wall. Her, Laura, and I don't do too well with scary things. At the end he decided to blow out all the candles and the three of us literally ran toward the lit tunnel. I just don't do that kind of stuff. When it was over Cath, Abs, Mandi, and Laur wanted to go to a pub, but Annie and I were both still feeling sick and pretty tired so we decided to head back to the hotel room. Those girls had a fun time, but ya know Annie and I really wouldn't trade our night in. We each showered and caught the end of "Fun with Dick and Jane". Now that's a good time. It was a fun first day in Edinburgh!