Friday, July 21, 2017

Conference and More (Scotland #2)

On our first full day in Scotland, I slept in. 

I don't remember how late, but I'd say that I sufficiently caught up on sleep! 

Meanwhile, Carson attended his conference. The setting looked beautiful, and this reminded him of Harry Potter (which he's reading for the first time right now, so everything reminds him of Harry Potter). Oddly enough, JK Rowling started writing the series in Edinburgh (she also finished it there), so we would later see quite a few things that were related to the story.

While he was presenting his paper and having famous people in the field ask him tough questions, I struck out on my own to walk around. I took some pictures and browsed stores, mostly. I knew we were going to do more exploring together the next day, so I didn't want to do too much.

Here is Edinburgh Castle. Castles on hills just seem more like real castles, don't they?

A thistle in the Princes Street Gardens.

The Balmoral Hotel, where JK Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's a fancy hotel, but what I found fun was that the doormen helping people in and out of cabs were wearing kilts! Not all that abnormal in Scotland I guess, but I liked it.

Just like in London, we had to remember to look right first and then left. It's hard to train your brain that way! I'd be really interested to see the numbers on tourists who forget and get hit (I hope they're small, but I still wonder).

Statues of David Livingstone and Sir Walter Scott.

Reunited with Mr. Bay.

We walked down this street in search of my dinner. It was after 8 when we met, and Carson ate at the conference.

I didn't know this before but my first name is the name of a Scottish clan! I didn't purchase anything related to this clan, but I was still pretty excited to see my name everywhere!

Carson really wanted to do this dramatic drop with his paper he presented. Haha.

This is the backside of a Highland Cow.

And this is Carson, who said he "wasn't tired" and was "just going to read for a little bit". Spoiler alert: he was snoring in this picture, taken about 60 seconds after he made those claims.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Evening in Edinburgh (Scotland #1)

I'm about to recap our very last trip from our year abroad! Yes, it's true! The adventures will come to an end after this!

The reason we went to Scotland was because Carson presented a paper at a conference there, and because we got a little funding, I was able to go too! The timing wasn't awesome, because he came home from his week-long seminar in Austria at 5 in the morning on a Saturday (I'd gotten back from Paris on Friday night at around 11), and then we turned around and left for the airport at 9am on Sunday. Thankfully, our trip was long enough that it was a lot more relaxed than either of our trips were the week before, so we weren't dying from too much activity. 

We left Düsseldorf at 2pm and because Scotland is an hour behind us in Germany, it was 3pm when we arrived! We took a bus from the airport to the Haymarket stop, and then walked the rest of the way to our hotel.

I'm not sure what was going on with my hair this whole trip - the idea of major humidity (aka RAIN) really made it think it was in Texas or something.

We checked in to the hotel, and very shortly left in search of food. I know I said that on our trip in Paris, Jaime and I barely ate, but in Edinburgh, I made up for it. I was hungry the entire trip, and I think I'm going to blame the weather. In Paris, it was so hot and humid that the last thing we wanted to do was eat (the thought made me feel sick, and I just drank a ton of water instead). Whereas in Scotland, it was cold, rainy and windy which is apparently the sort of weather where eating every 30 minutes seems like a good solution.

Anyway, we found a pub and I had fish and chips, while Carson enjoyed bangers and mash. They were good! Too much food though!

After dinner, we walked around a little bit. The whole time we were in the city of Edinburgh, it was drizzly and grey. In some of the pictures it may not look that way, but oh, it was. It was really quite chilly also. It was forecast to be in the 50s and 60s, but it felt much colder than that to me - a surprise, since Germany has recently been the same temperature, but didn't feel that cold.

Taking this picture was Carson's idea.

We visited the cemetery behind St. John's Church on Prince's Street. Old cemeteries are so beautiful, aren't they? Hope you think so too, because I think we visited two more the next day!

After we'd caught some glimpses of the castle and seen that Edinburgh was definitely really beautiful, we hit up the grocery store for some snacks, which included a block of sharp cheddar cheese! it almost brought tears to our eyes since we haven't had it since we were in the states! It was delicious. Our hotel was interesting in that in every wing, there's a shared kitchen with dishes and pots and pans and fridges. I guess some people take an extended stay. Anyway, we could store our beloved cheese there, and thankfully nobody bothered it. It's not pictured, but we had a snack of cheese every night, and thought about bringing a block back in our suitcases, but we figured that we probably would be getting more soon in the US.

We were sleepy and went to bed early that night!
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