Follow Her: to Scotland!

For my spring break this year I went to visit one of my best friends from home who goes to school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland! Since we are both seniors, I knew this was my last chance to see her in her school environment, so when I found a roundtrip ticket for under $400 I swiped it as soon as possible!

I arrived in Edinburgh at 8:00 am, managed to get on the right bus, and found my way to Annabelle, feeling quite proud of myself! We greeted with big hugs and naturally got some brunch. We stopped by her flat and I can honestly say it was the cutest place ever. One of my favorite things about Europe is the architecture. Her building was beautiful and right across the street from a gigantic park called “The Meadows”, and we could see doggos playing all day which was an excellent perk.

One of the best things about going somewhere you’ve never been with someone who lives there, is you get the best tour. Ani knew the best route for us to see all the sights. We saw the castle, Holyrood Palace, where the Queen stays when visiting (RIP my heart for not getting to see Prince George), her school, and so much more.  The castle is built literally right into a rocky cliff, so it could not be in a more perfect place. I’m glad that it didn’t come under attack while I was there, but it certainly would have been a sight to see.

Next we walked down the Royal Mile and Victoria Street, which is a street that has a big curve and a bunch of stores that are painted beautiful colors. It’s a great street for Scotland because it can be rather gloomy there so having that pop of color really brightened the day. It was much needed because we were hit by a downpour and just had to seek refuge in a coffee shop... and order cappuccinos.

Over the next few days, we did more exploring and meeting her friends. I loved getting to meet the people that she’s talked about for four years, and see the life that she has built for herself across the pond. One night we went out for a pub quiz, which we did not do well on, but it was so fun to have something to do while we were out, and just to figure out the answer to everything from the top 5 wine exporters in Europe to identifying the Jurassic Park theme music.

We walked everywhere, except to the beach because it was a tad too far away. The beach was definitely not Miami beach spring break, but it was in a very cute part of town and we had fun watching and listening to the waves. There also more dogs again, a theme of the trip, playing there as an added bonus.

On my last full day we hiked up to Arthur’s Seat, which is a huge hill in the city that you can see from just about everywhere and has incredible once you make it to the top. Let me tell you, this was not an easy climb. I made the excuse of needing to take a picture at several points on our climb, which was  half true, but mostly just me needing extra time to breath. It was SO steep, had some loose rock, and it was so windy once we reached the top I had to stop taking pictures because I thought my phone was going to fly away. But the view was gorgeous and luckily we enlisted one if Ani’s friends to come along as our personal photographer.

We also visited the graveyard that was the source of inspiration for some of the characters names in Harry Potter. As an avid fan I was hyped to see it. We saw the grave of Tom Riddle and McGonagall, apparently a man who was a terrible poet.

The activities in Scotland are endless, walking and going out on the town, but my favorite part was just visiting with my friend. We had the best chats, and I’m so happy that we can fall back into place even though we live a world  apart. This semester has been a doozy and she provided some much needed perspective and laughs while we made dinners and explored. Sometimes you need to get away in order to come back anew, and this trip came at the right time and was exactly what I needed. I’ll never be able to replicate this trip because it was so unique, balling on a budget and with a local, but I’ll certainly always remember it.