Europe

Trip to Europe Part 1: Scotland

Earlier this summer Phil and I went to Europe to celebrate my long awaited graduation and my new sport psychology masters degree. Graduate school was both rewarding and stressful and leaving the country was a great way to close that chapter of my life. It was nice to get on a plane and forget about everyday life for a while, and we were really excited to go on this adventure. Neither of us had ever left the country before!

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6/25/18: After spending Sunday night in Denver between going to California for my graduation and our Europe trip, we woke up on Monday morning ready to fly to Philadelphia for our connecting flight to Glasgow, Scotland. Since we live 3+ hours away from the Denver airport we opted not to drive home between the two trips. This entire day was spent traveling to Scotland.

6/26/18: We arrived in Glasgow around 6:30 in the morning on Tuesday. Because of the 7 hour time difference between Colorado and the UK,  we were exhausted and ready for bed. The only issue with this was that it was a new day and we needed to stay awake. We also couldn’t check into our airbnb until 2pm so our options were limited to staying awake and exploring Glasgow or sleeping on the side of the street. Tuesday was also our wedding anniversary but we were too tired to realize that for the first few hours of our trip. Once we got off the plane and made it through customs we took a bus from the airport to Cafe Wander in Glasgow. Phil had picked this cafe for breakfast before we even left for our trip. This was our first experience having a “Full Breakfast”, which included beans and something called black pudding. The coffee, food and atmosphere at Cafe Wander were all great, but the black pudding wasn’t something I opted to eat again the rest of the trip.

 

After we ate breakfast at Cafe Wander we wandered around Glasgow to pass the time until we could take a train to Edinburgh and check into our airbnb. We were exhausted and thankful we’d only brought backpacks with us on this trip. Yes, we each only had 1 backpack as luggage! If we had more luggage we would have been miserable wandering around Europe with nowhere to go. Eventually, we took the ScotRail to Edinburgh where we would be staying for the next few days. It was still too early to check into our airbnb so we went to another cafe and had more coffee. This coffee was necessary because we were struggling to stay awake. Then, we wandered around Edinburgh to familiarize ourselves with the city, though it never actually seemed familiar to me. I was amazed by the architecture and the views.

 

Finally, 2 o’clock came and we were able to check into our airbnb. After we checked in and dropped our backpacks off we went to the grocery store to pick up some things for dinner. We made an early dinner and took a nap. When we woke up we went for an easy 4 mile run. We didn’t really know where we were going though so it was a lot of stopping and starting and me crashing into Phil because he just haphazardly turns without warning. He also got us lost but won’t admit it. We finished running around 9:30pm and it was still light outside. This is when I realized that the sun would not set in Scotland until 10pm, SUPER exciting if you ask me!!!!

6/27/18: Waking up was amazing because we went for a walk and found a little coffee cart called The Waverly Cafe. The Waverly Cafe was the best part of the trip because they had PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES!!!! My love for the fall is strong and Scotland was having fall-like weather while we were visiting. This pumpkin spice latte has had me impatiently waiting for the fall to arrive ever since!

 

After my pumpkin spice dreams came true we headed over to the Edinburgh Castle to learn more about Scotland. The Castle was beautiful, the architecture was amazing, and the history was impressive. Our favorite part was the firing of the time gun at 1 o’clock. We walked around for a while exploring the castle and then settled into the crowd awaiting the time gun to be fired.

 

After the castle we walked over to the National Museum of Scotland, which was the best museum I’ve ever been to. There were so many floors and so many things to see, but the best thing was the blind robot that could spell GOALden Peak!IMG_1764.jpg

After that we walked down the Royal Mile, had some french fries for lunch, saw a guy wearing a kilt and tourists wanting to take a picture with him, went to a Christmas store and bought a plaid snowflake ornament, and then stopped at the Museum of Edinburgh. The museum was free so we walked right in! Actually, both of these museums were FREE!

After the museum we went to parliament to learn about the governing bodies of Scotland and the United Kingdom before we went back to to our airbnb and got ready to attend a group run! The start of the run was at a park about a mile away so we jogged over and met a few locals for a run. This was really out of my comfort zone but also really fun! We got to learn more about Edinburgh from people who actually live there and the park we ran in was nice. After the run we jogged back, ate dinner, and then had dessert and cappuccino at Cafe Nom De Plume.

 

6/29/18: On our last day in Scotland we woke up early and ran to the peak or Arthur’s Seat. It had been clear every other day we were in Scotland except for the day that we ran up the hill. We couldn’t see the view through the fog. We also ran around Holyrood Park, saw the queen’s house in Scotland (she was actually visiting while we were there), and then we had coffee and lunch at the Bluebird Cafe, not to be confused with the Bluebird Cafe we frequent regularly here in Colorado.

 

With only half a day left to explore Scotland, we took the ScotRail to Stirling to tour The Stirling Castle! This time we joined a tour group–absolutely worth it. The guided tour was filled with lots of funny stories and unique anecdotes that we would have otherwise missed out on. This castle had a lot of fireplaces, so many that I lost count. The views were incredible too! If I hadn’t found a pumpkin spice latte The Stirling Castle would have been my favorite part of Scotland.

 

We took the ScotRail back to Edinburgh for our last night in Scotland. We had some desert and tea at the only restaurant we could find that was open before we shoved all of our belongings back into our backpacks and went to bed. In the morning we would be traveling to Newcastle Upon Tyne!

 

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