Saturday, June 04, 2005

Flashback Part 2: Scotland

On this day a year ago, I arrived in Stirling with my friend Mike. Guidebooks call Stirling the "gateway to the highlands" which is, despite being a seventh-grade-textbook description, apparently true. The Ochil Hills, as in this picture, positively leap out of the flat ground a bit north of Stirling Castle. You can see them from basically anywhere.

Ochil Hills; Stirling

I took this picture on the way to the Wallace Monument (yes, that's William Wallace of Braveheart fame) which you can't see here, but which is right in front of the line of these hills. Mike and I didn't actually have a map, as I recall. We just walked out of the hostel, got the Monument in sight, and started toward it in as straight a line as possible, telling ourselves, "If we can see it, it can't be that far." And after making a trek so extraordinarily beautiful that it quite surpassed the surreal--and took about two hours--we arrived in time for the sunset.

The next day we set off for St. Andrews, which is probably an hour away by bus. On this bus we met the Minnesotan Pete, with whom we spent that day and the next. Besides being good company, Pete had the brilliant idea that we should stop at Tesco and buy a gallon of ice cream and since we couldn't find spoons, we should just get a bag of cookies and scoop with those. Mike and Pete between them finished most of the gallon. I myself had an egg mayonnaise sandwich and tried not to look. Anyway, St. Andrews is quite charming. This was taken at the ruined cathedral:

St. Andrews Cathedral; St. Andrews

I'm pretty sure a real Scotsman wears a kilt, not plaid golf pants, but I'll forgive him since I guess golf was invented there or something. And the music was nice. (Sorry, Ivan.)

Mike had class and had to go back to school, but I elected to skip a lecture and stay another two days. I had gotten back into the Lymond Chronicles and rather desperately wanted to go back Lymondville, otherwise known as Edinburgh. There was a Dorothy Dunnett exhibit at the Writers' Museum in Edinburgh that I wanted to see (again), which I thoroughly enjoyed (again) and took illegal pictures of (dude, I didn't realize they were illegal at the time and then it isn't like I could have deleted them off Anyway, it turned into a rather pleasant day and I took many many pictures of various portions of the Royal Mile, of which this is one:

Down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Shortly after this I made the mistake of going into the Children's Museum by myself right before it closed. If you ever go to Edinburgh be sure to avoid being alone in a room on the third floor of a silent museum with really old, yellowing dolls whose owners have long since grown up and probably been dead for a hundred years already staring at you with their creepy beady little eyes. I was not surprised when, two days later in my Modern British Drama class, the Edinburgh Museum of Childhood was brought up in connection with a play about a serial killer.

But um, Scotland is lots of fun. To illustrate this I will tell you the following joke in Scots:

Whit has fower legs, a big bahoochie, an mair tales than it can coont?

An itchy coo.

I really don't know how I was able to leave.

1 comment:

.Maeve said...