Saying goodbye is never easy. Trying to spend last minute time with friends and packing whilst trying to say goodbye to others is even harder. Because, one, you can’t do everything at the same time, two, it's exhausting. People were leaving all though the week. Sometimes I wish that everyone just left at the same time, so I wouldn't have to worry about saying goodbye fifty times. I also wish that people could have waited until everyone's exams were over before they left.
The last couple of days in St Andrews were crowned with beautiful weather; temperature in the 20s (Celcius) and sunshine all around. I was feeling quite hot and had to keep reminding myself I was still in Scotland.
I had loads of packing to do. Trying to fit your life into two suitcases is never easy. I had to give away a lot of my stuff. I knew I should have been more careful about buying stuff. Thing is, I actually used most of what I bought; I just wish there was space for me to bring it all back.
I took my last walk into town on Thursday. It was hot. I stopped by the St Andrews
Exams are on. My last one is on Tuesday (ie tomorrow). Well, what am I doing here then, you ask? Why, procrastinating, of course!
While I'm on revision break, I thought I'd let you know how my wee trip went.
I travelled with three of my friends around part of Scotland and we went to Stonehaven, Aberdeen and Inverness. We had sorted ourselves an itinerary, and had originally planned to visit approximately 6-7 castles. Well, Jane left the itinerary in her room and our adventures began from there!
We got to Stonehaven station properly, and then from there we had to walk to Dunnottar Castle which was on the coast about two miles away from the town. When we were almost at the end of our hike, it started to rain. Rain while walking on a windy cliff is not a good thing and its even worse when the rain is cold and feels like it's slapping you. That only lasted a few minutes, thankfully. The castle ruins were nice and it was sunny while we walked around in there. We spent three hours there instead of our scheduled two (and that's not including the time it took to walk there). We had lunch at a cute little restaurant by the beach and then set off for Aberdeen.
Inverness, I have to say, is the most beautiful city I've seen so far. Maybe it's just because the weather was so good while we were there, but the scenery was breathtaking! One day, when I have enough money, I think I want to get myself a summer home in Inverness. We had our "lunch" on the castle grounds at half five. We sat on a bench overlooking the Rive Ness and shared our meal with a seagull. We named him "Alfredo". The Inverness castle is currently used as a courthouse and for some other government purposes, so we didn't get to see the inside. But the outside is lovely.
We spent the rest of the evening walking along the banks of the River and enjoyed the beauty of nature all around us. We ended the evening in a pub in town where there was live folk music playing.
The next day we set off for Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle on a tour bus and cruise. We got a 30 min cruise down the Loch and got off at Urquhart Castle. We walked around those ruins a while, saw a short film about its history at the visitor centre and went back to Inverness by the bus. It was beautiful. Loch Ness was so amazing, the scenery, the air, the freshness, all lovely. It made me really happy.
We had lunch at an all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurant where we stuffed ourselves and spent the rest of the afternoon in the Inverness castle museum and later sunning ourselves on the grassy slopes below the Castle itself.
Then it was time to pack up and take the train back. The trip was a great experience and I'm glad I did it. It was teh first time I'd ever been in hostels and the also the Scottish countryside is so pretty, especially in the spring. Plus the fact that the sun doesn’t set till ten is a huge bonus. So much more time to explore!
I last left you all with a promise to tell you about my experience of the May Dip. It was great. I stayed up most of the night with a friend. I managed to sleep for two hours from 11 to 1 and then we woke up walked to this fast food place called KFB (Yes, it's KFB, not KFC). We got ourselves some food and kept awake by watching TV shows on my computer. At around 4am we got ready to go outside. We reached Castle Sands a little before 5 when dawn was breaking. There was quite a crowd and the most difficult part was actually getting onto the beach through the steps cut out form the cliff, they were crowded, sandy and slippery. We finally got down to the beach an dthen made a mad dash for the frigid North Sea! Ran in, dipped under and came out. We loved it so much that we did it again! It was cold, but not as cold as I was expecting and it was very very salty. I'd forgotten how salty the sea can be. Another friend joined us later. She didn't dip, but she brought us towels which we wrapped ourselves in before we walked back to hall. It was fun. My legs felt like pins and needles for a while when we were in the water, but it was good fun.