I'm Olivia. I'm a perpetually hungry redheaded girl from New York. I eat, sleep and breathe Korean pop music. I speak French and am studying Korean language and business in school. This fall, I'm setting forth on an exciting and terrifying (seriously I'm so nervous I might pee) solo journey across Europe. Hopefully this experience is full of bright, fun, and exciting as well as ridiculously stupid experiences that I can share with you!
It's been a long time but I've been really distracted lately, so hopefully now I can get all caught up!
On the last day of my Loch Ness and Skye tour, we went to this place with mountains that were really tall and I'm so sorry I don't remember the name this was like two weeks ago. -_-
Casually blocking them with my entire body....
After that we stopped at the Commando memorial. There were plaques and flowers left for former commandos who had died in service. Some of them were as young as me. The memorial was extremely powerful.
Our tour guide would stop the bus at random scenic locations, so again, I don't know where this is.
Or where this is...
We also stopped at the William Wallace memorial. We hiked up the hill to the top, and it was really hard to get a photo of the actual monument because it was so tall, but I will tell you that it was extremely...well...phallic. Yi-Han also taught me the best way to take a selfie!!
I wish I could provide more of a description but most of the names of these places were hard to pronounce...but we got back to Edinburgh at around 5 pm. Jiwon, Yi-Han and I then went to Mum's for dinner. They had sheperd's pie and I had steak and ale stew with dumplings. The waiter was extremely touchy-feely on me and was a little weird, but the food was amazing! I'm glad I got to eat there a second time. After that we went to the Elephant House for dessert because it was right across the street and Jiwon and Yi-Han hadn't been there yet. I had a cappuccino and a piece of chocolate cake.
After that we went up to the top of Calton Hill and got an amazing view of the city at night. It was kind of creepy at night though and I didn't take very good pictures. The next day we went to the Palace of Holyrood House, the Queen's royal residence in Scotland. You couldn't take photos inside, but as you got closer to the king's chanbers, the rooms got increasingly more extravagant. We saw Mary Queen of Scots' room and they had a whole room full of personal objects belonging to former royals. In the gardens there were ruins of Holyrood Abbey. They were so cool!
After that we decided to hike Arthur's Seat. At 251 meters, it's not too bad of a hike, but it was pouring rain when we got up there, making it slippery and dangerous. We made it to the top, the view was incredible! We made it up and down in about an hour and a half.
Coincidentally, the second we got down it got sunny and beautiful outside. We went into the National Museum of Scotland but were overwhelmed by its vast array of historical objects. We did see Dolly the sheep though!
We had haggis for lunch (that'll be the third time for me!) I really miss haggis, if we're being honest here. I think we should eat it in America. We went to the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions museum. This was probably one of the most fun places I've been on my entire trip, and I'm so glad I had friends with me because if I were alone, it probably would've been a little tragic and sad. The Camera Obscura itself is a set of mirrors in a tower that, by reflecting sunglight, are able to create a live image of Edinburgh on a table. You could see cars moving and people going about their days. We were pretty much spying on the whole city. That demonstration lasted about 15 minutes, and there were four floors of crazy optical illusions and trick mirrors. You could switch faces with the person opposite you, see what you would've looked like as a baby, a chimpanzee, or a different race than your own.
These were made so that no matter what way you looked at them, they'd be looking back at you.
WHERE'S MY BODY? Okay I know none of you are K-Pop fans, but there's a Block B video I'm obsessed with, so when I did this all I could think about was this...
We're twiiiins....anyway, moving on.
This took a picture of your shadow and stayed there when you walked away. We took maybe five minutes trying to come up with intense poses...I think it went pretty well.
This came out so cool, it looks like an album cover to me..
My ADD went nuts in this room...so many colors...
I suppose by, "turn yourself into a baby" it meant, "turn yourself into a porcelain-doll thing."
From the top floor there was also a balcony with a beautiful view of the Royal Mile.
After that we tried to go to a place that selled pulled pork sandwiches called Oink! They roast a whole pig and once they run out, they close. When we got there, this had happened and Jiwon was so let down! She had tried the day before to go there and it was closed. We went to a baked potato shop that only had one table. We all had "small" potatoes which was a total lie because LOOK AT THIS.
The place was vegetarian, I got cheese, chili, butter, and salt. That night we had to say goodbye to Jiwon, which was really sad. Our time together went by too fast :( The next day Yi-Han and I decided to go to Roslin chapel outside Edinburgh. This chapel was famously mentioned in The Da Vinci Code, and parts of the movie were filmed there. Getting there was an ordeal, though, let me tell you. At first we had to find the right bus, and the app we were using was unclear about which stop to get off at. We got on the right bus, but we went too far from the place we were supposed to switch buses from. We got off at the next station and walked back. We waited on the wrong side of the road for about half an hour and realized we needed the bus going the other direction. The bus going that direction wasn't coming for another 30-40 minutes, so we decided to try and walk to Roslin Chapel. What we didn't realize was that it was about a 3 mile walk. Yi-Han was kind enough to switch coats with me as I had stupidly only worn one layer underneath my windbreaker. We got to a small village and got on the bus there and made it to Roslin. We got to the chapel and listened to the short talk the guide was giving. It was such a beautiful chapel, but of course, you couldn't take photos inside.
When we got back we had sandwiches at oink. I got chili sauce and haggis on mine, and Yi-Han got apples on hers. They were so delicious, but we were sad Jiwon couldn't be there to share with us!
At the City Arts Center, they had an exhibit with costumes from the Lion King musical! This was really exciting for both of us, and we're going to try to see the musical together in London before I go home.
We tried to go to a few other galleries and walked through the Princes Street Gardens. We went into the National Gallery about 15 minutes before closing and managed to walk through and glance at most of the art inside.
We tried to go into the Edinburgh Castle but they were closing in an hour and the guy at the desk told us you needed at least 2 to see everything, and since it cost 16 pounds to go inside, we decided to skip it. I did see a rainbow though!
We walked around for hours trying to find a place for dinner that wasn't too expensive. We settled on a place and I had a salad with salmon in it. We tried to go to a pub to hea rlive music but I, stupidly, took for granted that I wouldn't be ID'ed and had given mine to the hostel as collateral for the room key. I felt really bad that we missed out on music, but after that we were both pretty tired and decided to say goodbye. It was really sad for me to say goodbye to Yi-Han too! All three of us are planning multiple meetings in the near future, and I have a feeling that even though we were only together four days, we'll stay friends for a long time. One of the best and worst things about traveling is all of the people you meet throughout your journey. Worst, because a lot of times you'll probably never see those people again, and best because sometimes you connect with people so much that you want to make an effort to stay connected with them. That's what I hope will happen for the three of us. I was going to start talking about Paris in this entry, but this alone took me almost two hours to write (due to general internet distractions.) I'm going to try to finish tomorrow but I have some homework that needs to get done. Ah, procrastination.