On Wednesday it was the first international society pub night. I met a few people there including students from France, Denmark, the U.S. and Canada. On Thursday night I met a bunch of Mike’s friends at the University of Glasgow. We then went to the pub night there and danced the whole night inside a church, which was turned into 2 bars and a club about 30 years ago. The church itself is gorgeous on the outside with a giant steeple that you can’t miss from miles around. On Friday Mike and I decided to walk around the city of Glasgow and take pictures. We ended up going to the Glasgow Greens, which is a giant park where the Royal Doulton fountain made from terracotta is. We also went into a museum that was all about the history of Glasgow as a city. Afterwards, we walked around the Merchant City and went to the Museum of Modern Art, which wasn’t very spectacular.
On Saturday Mike and I went on the University of Glasgow international society’s trip to Stirling. On the way there along the sides of the roads in the farms there were sheep EVERYWHERE. In Scotland there are 23 million sheep and 3 million people. Made our sheep count rather difficult after seeing the first few farms. We got to visit the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery and tried some of their whisky. I of course didn’t like it, so I gave the rest to Mike, which he didn’t complain about. Unfortunately there was a power outage while we were there so we could only get a tour of part of the distillery. Next, we visited Stirling Castle, and got to go inside it. Afterwards, we walked down to the town and grabbed some lunch. The town was very cute with pedestrian streets and reminded me of Annecy in France a bit, just not as pretty.
Mike and I walked around the entire castle below it on a trail, and then we came to a small park and cemetery, which we decided to walk through to see a view of the city below. While we were walking we heard a dog whining and screeching and he was with his owner, which was a woman and her daughter. The daughter went running to get their car, and you could tell that there was something wrong. We stood there watching from a distance trying to figure out what had happened. We continued to walk, and since we were the only other people there the mother called out to us to see if we had a hanky. We unfortunately didn’t, and I knew something was wrong with the dog. The women had a napkin and from a distance it was all red with blood as she put it to her dog’s mouth. You could hear the dog crying and whining from far away and it broke my heart. I really wanted to help but I couldn’t. We walked back towards them after we got a few pictures from the viewpoint and asked her if her dog was going to be okay. She said that he is just a year old, and her dog cut his face on broken glass that was lying on the ground. She sat there hugging him closely and it really upset me that I couldn’t help the poor guy out. She said that her daughter would be there soon with the car and they’d take him straight to the vet so he’ll probably be okay. Just goes to show how ignorant people are that leave their broken glass bottles in the middle of nowhere.
After witnessing that incident we then went to the Wallace Monument, which wasn’t anything special. It was a giant monument that you couldn’t go inside even though there were doors on it. We had to walk up a giant hill to get there, and then walk back down so it was a let down for me. The only good thing about it was the view we got to see from that height. After a long day of walking all around the town and up and down hills it was finally time to go home.
On Sunday Mike and I went to Edinburgh with some friends I’ve made here at Strathclyde. The entire group consisted of 9 girls and one guy – lucky Mike. For the whole day our little group consisted of 6 girls and Mike since we split into 2 groups. We saw the outside of Edinburgh Castle, saw the Elephant Room which is a café where J.K. Rowling wrote her first few Harry Potter books, and walked up and down the Royal Mile going into the little shops. We also went to the cemetery where J.K. Rowling got most of the names for the characters in Harry Potter. We then went on a tour of the Real Mary King’s Close. Our tour guide was hilarious and the tour was overall really well done. We went in the Mary King’s close, which is now underground, but hundreds of years ago when people lived there it wasn’t. There were small houses, which were just small rooms with stone ceilings, floors, and walls where 8-12 people would live. We also saw dummies that looked like they had a plague. That was definitely a nasty disease. 1/3 of the Edinburgh population died every year from that single disease. The conditions that people lived in back then are unimaginable compared to now. They had no hygiene at all, which shows why a lot of them either died young, or got the plague, and then died.
After the tour we walked down and saw the Palace of Holyroodhouse where the Queen stays when she comes to Edinburgh. We then walked half way up Arthur’s Seat, which is a giant hill of rock with trails along the sides of it. The view of the city from up there was amazing. We’ll come back one day and walk up to the top of it, you just need a lot of time to do so. Finally it was time to go home, and we were all exhausted from such a busy day. It was a good weekend spent with some new friends, but it was just the beginning of our travels we’ll be doing these next few months.