In Scotland, I noticed right away Scots have a curious habit of saying “Cheers” as a way of saying goodbye. Whenever I paid money for something (food in a restaurant, bus ticket, drink in a bar), the person would always respond by going “Cheers.” I never knew what I was supposed to say back! I felt like I was supposed to lift an imaginary glass each time and say “Cheers back to you!” Megan says she doesn’t know why they do this either but I guess it’s one of those cultural things, sort of like the way guys in the US greet each other by clasping their hands really weirdly and pounding each other on the back.

So just a brief recap of what I’ve been up to in Toulouse before I go on to Scotland… Actually there isn’t much to tell. I’ve been busy “preparing” for exams and papers which means mostly I have been fooling around on Facebook, playing Sorority Life. Such an addictive game! I did see 17 Again last week, the movie with Zac Efron from High School Musical fame. It was funny to hear Zac Efron speaking French but it was a good movie. However even though Zac Efron is in it, it’s not really a movie for young kids so if you have kiddies under the age of 12, go take them to something else!

Hmm what else? Oh my god, I LOVE our program director this semester!!!! Mme. D, as we shall call her, is this older, grandmotherly type woman and she is the nicest person ever. She is French and was married to an American (I think her husband died) but she has been Americanized to the point where she just laughs at the French’s weird logic and cultural rules. She was the one who taught our internship seminar and I learned a lot about the French, including that “no” actually means yes and that they like to confuse lies with the truth. Whenever I go see her to ask her something, she always likes to talk to me and gossip about other professors in the language department at Dson. There was one Spanish professor in particular I had last year that I absolutely HATED. I won’t go into the hows and the whys but Mme. D immediately made a face and expressed her dislike of that particular professor. I then learned this professor was being given the boot and that this was her last year at Dickinson. I suppose they do sometimes give those lengthy class evaluations to students at the end of the semester some consideration! Unless the profs have tenure.

Anyways this week was our last internship seminar so Mme. D made all these kinds of quiches for us. So delicious! There was some leftover even afterwards which she encourages us to take. Mme. D lives on the 2nd floor of the Dson Center and I’ve been up there before twice. It is so ridiculously big! In fact the whole Dson Center building has so many rooms and is very big. According to Mme. D, Georges Labit, the guy who founded the Asian art museum across the street from the center, built the house for his mistress and was going to call it Villa Monplaisir. How cute. However he was going to get married to some other girl and the brother of his mistress didn’t like the fact that his sister was going to remain his mistress. So the brother ended up killing Georges Labit (not in the house so sorry, no ghosts!) and the mistress ended up never moving him. Some other guy bought the house and added the spacious second floor. Mme. D bought the housein 1983 which is when she founded the Toulouse program. So the center has been hosting Dson students for 26 years! I had no idea the house had that kind of scandalous past.

Alright, I’ll stop yapping.

The day we left Athens, we also left Nicole behind at the hostel. She was headed to Italy and taking a much later flight so we bid her goodbye and then made our way to the airport. Once there, I parted ways with Erika and Gaelle who were heading back to Paris. It was kind of weird to be separating after having spent so much time together. The way we said goodbye was awkward, there was no hugging or sentimentality involved though Erika did ask that I send her a text once I made it to Scotland safely. (Which I forgot to do, but I called my mom instead so whatevs.)

So I made it to Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, after a stop over at London Gatwick airport where the security is INSANE, it is absolutely ridiculous. I had to keep on my too heavy backpack as I browsed a bookstore, I couldn’t even put it down in there for a second. Ugh. Anywho, I got to the Edinburgh airport, grabbed my suitcase, and took the Airlink bus that would take me to Waverley Train Station, where Megan’s train was coming in from St. Andrews. It was dark when I got to Edinburgh but still light enough that I could admire all the little Scottish houses we passed by and some older stone buildings that got me all excited. I got off the bus and started walking down in the general direction of the train station and all of a sudden, Megan appeared around the corner out of nowhere. We were both surprised and greeted each other very enthusiastically since it had been nearly a YEAR since we had seen each other last. I know my cousin Julien and Sebastien find this American girl phenomenon highly amusing, when girls greet each other with over excited cries and act like they haven’t seen each other in years. Well I hadn’t seen Megan in almost a year so I think I was entitled to doing that. 😛 Honestly, one thing I don’t like about France is the way people greet each other calmly after years of not seeing each other. We do the bise and then they ask me how my flight was. SERIOUSLY guys hugging each other and acting excited are not signs of weakness, we Americans like the emotional fireworks. Embrace emotion! At least I know Mom will be jumping up and down at Newark (which is NEW JERSEY not NY, stupid New Jersey always trying to be like NY) airport just like I will be when I go home! I thank God every day I have an American mom! Honestly, Papa always squirms his ways out of hugs and kisses, just like Milou! Like owner, like dog…

After our joyful reunion, we got dinner near the train station since we were limited by my dragging suitcase. We then took a train to Leuchars, the closest train station to St. Andrews. Unfortunately, it was dark so I wasn’t able to see much on the way there. At one point we were going over the Firth of Forth (aka water) which I was totally unaware of until Megan told me. The whole time in the restaurant and in the train, we chatted away since we had a year to catch up on. It was sooooooooooooo good to finally spend time with a real friend! Not saying the people I’ve met through these abroad programs aren’t nice but you get kind of sick of always being around them and long for your BFFs.

When we got to Leuchars, we then took a bus to the St. Andrews bus station and from there we walked to Megan’s dorm. From my perspective, the St. Andrews campus seemed big but then it was dark and I was disoriented. Anywho, we made it to Megan’s dorm and when I entered her room, I was surprised to see she had a single. I was also surprised to discover she had a full size bed to herself AND her own bathroom WITH cleaning service that comes around once a week. Dickinson, take notes!

Since Megan’s bed was so big, we shared it for 4 nights so I didn’t have to sleep on the floor which was nice! And it was also quiet which was amazing after loud and gritty Athens. We watched part of a movie called Eagle Eye with Shia Leboeuf and then we eventually went to sleep.

The next morning, Megan had class but she showed me where the laundry was in her dorm since after nearly 2 weeks of traveling, I hadn’t had the opportunity to do laundry. Clean laundry is the greatest thing ever! So while Megan went off to class, I read, did laundry, and played around on the Internet on Megan’s computer. Then Megan came back from class and we ate lunch in her dorm’s cafeteria. Yeah, there’s a caf in there too! Dickinson, are you paying attention???? jajajaja

Megan then took me on a walking tour of the town of St. Andrews. Besides the university, St. Andrews is known for its exclusive golf courses. Basically, the town is like my hometown/Greenwich, very preppy. The students dress very preppy too. However St. Andrews is a lot cuter than my town (or Carlisle) and has a lot more bars and pubs.

We first started with “the circle of death” dubbed so by Megan. It’s a roundabout students like to cut across instead of using the crosswalks, which sounds a lot like the way Dickinsonians jaywalk across High Street between Morgan Field and the library. We walked up and down the main streets and I could not stop voicing my awe and amazement at how charming and cute St. Andrews is and how Megan is so lucky to be studying there. Honestly, if I had known how pretty the campus and the town were, I would have applied there! It seriously reminded me of an Ivy League campus like Princeton or Brown or something. All the old stone buildings were like something out of a movie! I can’t put into words how beautiful it all was. We stopped by some academic quads where Megan takes her classes and also passed by where Prince William lived his 4 years at St. Andrews (where he met current girlfriend Kate Middleton).

Megan then took me to see the ruins of the St. Andrews Castle which lie right on the coast. In fact, St. Andrews is right on the eastern coast of Scotland, overlooking the North Sea. The ruins date from the 1500s even though the castle was rebuilt several times in earlier centuries. We didn’t pay to go in since you can adequately admire the ruins without entering. When you see outlines of the ruins against the backdrop of the sea, it is almost like you are in another world. It is one of the most picturesque and most romantic views I have ever seen. Unfortunately, during all my time at St. Andrews, the sky remained overcast and foggy with mist. I’m sure it would have seemed even more magical with a blue sky. Here is some more info:

St Andrews Castle
is a picturesque ruin located in the coastal Royal Burgh of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. The castle sits on a rocky promontory overlooking a small beach called Castle Sands and the adjoining North Sea. There has been a castle standing at the site since the times of Bishop Roger (1189-1202), son of the Earl of Leicester. It housed the burgh’s wealthy and powerful bishops while St Andrews served as the ecclesiastical centre of Scotland during the years before the Protestant Reformation.

The Castle grounds are now maintained by Historic Scotland, and are entered through a visitor centre with displays on its history. Some of the best surviving carved fragments from the Castle are displayed in the centre, which also has a shop, but no café (entrance charge).

The castle has a lot of history tied to the Wars of Scottish Independence and the Reformation and became a center of religious persecution and controversy. For you history buffs, I suggest you take a look, because it is really very interesting:

We then made our way to the old cemetery where the remains of the St. Andrews Cathedral tower over everything. The cathedral also has an interesting history and was meant to house the relics of St. Andrew, the apostle, for whom the town is named.,_St_Andrews

As usual, I couldn’t contain my amazement and I wouldn’t shut up about how beautiful everything was. It was all so ethereal and surreal, like I was walking back in time a few centuries back. The only downside was that it was pretty chilly (I finally was able to wear my coat) and to make it worse, a little windy. As we walked along the path that overlooked the sea, we were both pretty cold!

Megan then showed me all her favorite St. Andrews hang outs like her fave restaurants, pubs, and stores. I absolutely loved everything so safe to say I’ve been bewitched by the place. And I know Mom would too if she ever makes it to Scotland. (But she first needs to go to Ireland)

Megan than took me to Anstruther, a little fishing village about 20 minutes away from St. Andrews by bus. She insisted we sit on the top floor of the double decker so I could get a better view. And what a view! The scenery is basically rolling hills of farmland with cows and sheep all over the place. I kept looking back to see the town of St. Andrews with the castle silhouetted against the sea. It was too beautiful to bear!

Once we got in Anstruther, we didn’t walk around too much because it was cold. Megan had taken her friend Jessie there a few weeks prior so I don’t think she was as keen to go on an adventure but that was okay with me! I admired the little harbor with all the fishing boats and snapped pictures of the little houses right on the coast. Again it was all charming and ridiculously cute. We then ate dinner at the famous award winning Anstruther Fish Bar, one of the best fish and chips place in Scotland. I didn’t end up finishing the fish and chips (actually fries for us Americans) and Megan thought that meant I didn’t like them. It wasn’t, it was just ridiculously early for me to be eating dinner (5 PM) and I wasn’t hungry enough!
Fore more info on Anstruther and the Anstruther Fish Bar (and some very beautiful pictures):

After waiting for the bus in the cold for a tad too long, we headed back to St. Andrews. We tried to get into some debate thing hosted by St. Andrews but it was already full by the time we got there. So we went to The Rule instead, a bar Megan really likes and met up with one of her St. Andrews friends named Rina. I discovered the very tasty drink Malibu & Coke! Rina isn’t a study abroad student, she lives near London but she is planning to study at St. Andrews all 5 years (including studying abroad for a year in Russia!). After that, we called it a night… though I think Megan and I finished the movie Eagle Eye.

I’m having trouble remembering what we did on Thursday because that is when I stopped writing stuff down. I think it was another low key day, Megan had class again so we really couldn’t go anywhere. I ended up meeting her in town after her class and she took me to The Couch, her favorite tea place in St. Andrews. We then walked around St. Andrews again and ended up eating in a restaurant that I believe was called Little John’s. This is where I tried haggis and I really liked it even though it’s sheep intestines or something like that. Afterwards we met up with two other of Megan’s friends, Rachel and Jen, and headed out to a few of the different bars in St. Andrews. I don’t really remember their names, unfortunately, but I had about a drink at each of them. And because I paced myself, I didn’t get tipsy, I was perfectly aware of my surroundings the entire time. We then headed to the Union, a University of St. Andrews hang out place/bar where every Tuesday/Friday nights they have “bops”. All the students come to these themed party nights because the drinks are a lot cheaper at the Union then at the bars in St. Andrews. By this time, Megan and I were pretty tired but Rachel and Jen had imbibed a lot more than us and were ready to carry on with their night hehe.

Jen is a study abroad student like Megan and goes to Mt. Holyoke in Massachusetts. She mostly grew up in the US even though she has UK citizenship because her whole family is British. So I had no idea she had a British background because she has an American accent. She is at St. Andrews for the year though, as opposed to Megan who is only there for a semester. Rachel is from Missouri (where Mark Twain is from, Megan and I got into an argument about this and Rachel confirmed my assertion that MT was indeed from Missouri woo) and she is actually a freshman (or a fresher as they call them there) at St. Andrews, planning to study all 4 years there. (Rina is a freshman too) They were both very nice girls and I’m glad Megan was able to meet some really cool people while studying abroad.

While Jen and Rachel partied onwards, Megan and I tumbled into bed since we had planned to get up early the next morning.

We took the train to Stirling, a place Megan had always wanted to visit in Scotland. We had to switch trains in Dundee and actually missed the train we were going to Stirling because we were waiting at the wrong part of the platform. Oopsies!

So we finally made it to Stirling and after a quick lunch at this all you could eat buffet type place, we headed to Stirling Castle, one of the main attractions in the town. The castle sits on a cliff and overlooks the valley with the town of Stirling beneath it. The views from the castle are unbelievable. There was actually some blue sky that day and the valley and mountains opposite the castle were just incredible.

Megan chose to do the audio tour so while I waited for her, she would point out a few historical facts she thought I might find interesting. Which I did!

Stirling Castle is very important in Scotland’s history, the location where Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned queen and also where she gave birth to her only child Jame VI. Many Scottish kings lived here (a lot of Jameses and Roberts). However it’s a lot of history I was totally unaware of before visiting the castle so if you’re a monarchy freak, go here:

Megan and I both loved the castle and visited the Great Hall, the chapel, the apartments where the Stuarts lived, the kitchens, the dungeons, the place where they are restoring some tapestries (the really famous ones about the unicorn hunt). The castle also served as a military fortress and has a whole museum dedicated to the Argylls and Sutherland Highlanders (an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish division). We were in the museum for quite awhile because Megan is a slowpoke and likes to take everything in. It talked all about the regiment’s military history throughout all the wars and it was very interesting.

However we spent so much time in there that we weren’t able to make it to the Wallace Monument, a tower standing on the summit of Abbey Craig, on the other side of the valley. I just looked up on Wikipedia info on the monument and there is a really funny anecdote about a statue of William Wallace that was place in the parking lot of the monument. Apparently the fact that the statue’s face resembled more Mel Gibson from the movie Braveheart (in which he played William Wallace) than William Wallace really ticked off visitors and the statue was subject to regular vandalism. It was finally removed in 2008.

After that, we walked around Stirling for a little bit, passing by the jail that was closed. However there were some funny photo ops we took advantage of, including one of those things where you poke your head in the hole of a character (in this case a jailer and his prisoner) and also stocks for your feet (or whatever they called those things prisoners put their feet in in which they were locked in). Megan actually got her feet stuck in them and had to take her shoes off in order to take them out. We also went past some closed churches (including some ruins) and we ran into some Spanish tourists who were debating on asking us for help but then realized we were tourists with our cameras. I decided to be smart and say “Si, si, somos turistas!” and then I ended up talking to them a little bit in Spanish and told them the castle was worth visiting, though I didn’t know if it was closing soon. They then gestured to Megan and asked what language she spoke to which Megan said “Ingles!” since she only took a year or two of Spanish in high school. Oh those Spaniards!

After leaving super cute Stirling, we went back to St. Andrews. I can’t remember where we ate dinner but I think we went out again to The Rule with Rina and Rachel. We then went to bed early because we were going to go to Edinburgh the next day!

After repacking all my junk, I hauled all my stuff to the St. Andrews station with Megan. Once we got to Edinburgh (and walked up a lot of stairs), we headed to the National Museum of Scotland where they have huge storage lockers. This is where we stored our gear for most of the day. We took the opportunity to wander around the museum for a bit which has a rather eclectic collection with items ranging from prehistoric ages (or so it seems) to fairly recent. We also went out on the top to admire the Edinburgh skyline and to take a rather cliche Theta kite picture.

Afterwards we walked up the Royal Mile to the Castle of Edinburgh. Megan had already been there but she was glad to go again it seemed. The castle is perched atop “Castle Rock” aka another cliff and towers above the rest of Edinburgh (pronounced Eh-din-borough in English, not Eh-din-burg!) So yeah it was bigger than Stirling Castle and has a lot of history behind it going back centuries that would take eons to recite. Consult Wiki if interested.

However, I got to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland!
This vaulted 17th-century strongroom is located on the first floor of the Royal Palace, and contains the Honours of Scotland: the Crown of Scotland, the sceptre and the sword of state. The Crown dates from 1540, is made of Scottish gold and is set with 94 pearls, ten diamonds and 33 other precious and semi-precious gemstones. The Sceptre is also made of gold, and topped with a large rock crystal. The Stone of Scone, upon which the monarchs of Scotland were traditionally crowned, is also kept in the Crown Room, since its return to Scotland in 1996.

The Honours of Scotland, also known as the Scottish regalia and the Scottish Crown Jewels, dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, are the oldest set of Crown Jewels in the British Isles. The existing set were used for the coronation of Scottish monarchs from 1543 (Mary I) to 1651 (Charles II). Since then, they have been used to represent Royal Assent to legislation in both the Parliament of Scotland and Scottish Parliament, and have also been used at State occasions including the first visit to Scotland as sovereign by King George IV in 1822 and the first visit to Scotland as sovereign by Queen Elizabeth in 1953.

There are three primary elements of the Honours of Scotland: the Crown, the Sceptre, and the Sword of State. These three elements also appear upon the crest of the Royal coat of arms of Scotland, where the red lion of the King of Scots is depicted wearing the Crown and holding both the Sword and the Sceptre.

I thought the stone thing was hilarious only because it’s a damn rock, who cares???? It is just as about as interesting as Plymouth Rock. At the castle is also the Scottish National War Memorial.

After the castle, we walked down the Royal Mile which takes us through Edinburgh’s Old Town. What’s that you ask? It is a mile long street that connects Edinburgh Castle on the top of the hill and Holyrood Abbey, two buildings famous for housing royalty. Therefore the name, the Royal Mile. It is also very touristy and has a lot of men playing the bagpipes in traditional Scottish regalia (aka kilt!). We passed by the Elephant House, now famous for being the cafe where JK Rowling wrote most of the first Harry Potter. We also went into St. Giles’ Cathedral, a very imposing and beautiful cathedral.

Near the Elephant House is the Greyfriars Kirkyard, a cemetery that is reputedly haunted. We only went in near the entrance to see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, a skye terrior dog that reportedly spent 14 years watching over his owner’s grave after he died of tuberculosis in the 19th century. Even though a headstone appears at the cemetery’s entrance, Bobby is actually buried somewhere along the fence not too far from his owner’s grave because the cemetery is consecrated ground. I guess you can’t bury animals on consecrated ground?

Bobby belonged to John Gray, who worked for the Edinburgh City Police as a night watchman, and the two were inseparable for approximately two years.[1] On 15 February 1858 Gray died of tuberculosis. He was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Bobby, who survived Gray by fourteen years, is said to have spent the rest of his life sitting on his master’s grave. A more realistic account[citation needed] has it that he spent a great deal of time at Gray’s grave, but that he left regularly for meals at a restaurant beside the graveyard, and may have spent colder winters in nearby houses.
In 1867 when it was pointed out that an ownerless dog should be destroyed, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers (who was also a director of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), paid for a renewal of Bobby’s licence, making him the responsibility of the city council.
Bobby died in 1872 and could not be buried within the cemetery itself, since it was consecrated ground; instead, he was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray’s grave.

This story has inspired many movies, books, songs in today’s culture. Dogs are still man’s best friend! 😀

I also took a touristy picture in one of the distinctive red phonebooths you usually see in London. Well, they’ve got them in Edinburgh too! We finally reached the end of the Royal Mile where a modern building housing the Scottish Parliament was built facing in inactive volcano mountain. The building is supremely ugly in my opinion and clashes with the smaller stone buildings that make up Edinburgh’s charm. It just doesn’t belong there at all. It’s actually a recent creation and was finished in 2004.

At the end of the Royal Mile stands the Holyrood Palace and the official residence of the UK’s monarch in Scotland. Meaning that every time Queen Elizabeth drops by Edinburgh, this is where she stays. According to Wiki, the Queen spends a week here at the beginning of each summer and then goes on to Balmoral Castle (also in Scotland) where she spends each summer. We didn’t have time to visit the palace since we had to still eat dinner and check in our hostel. The palace is huge though and lies right next to the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.

We trudged back up to the museum to collect our stuff from the storage lockers and then walked through this big open air park to get to our hostel, Argyle Backpackers, which turned out to be in a mostly residential area of Edinburgh. After some downtime, we headed back to Edinburgh and got a quick dinner at Greyfriar’s Bobby pub.

And then it was time for our ghost tour. Ugh, I know. This was Megan’s idea and she had bought the tickets. Since we had gotten student discounts, I knew we would have to follow through with the tour. I didn’t want to waste the money, even though Megan nicely suggested we didn’t have to do it if I were that scared. I was freaking out big time right before the tour because the sign that advertised our tour said “not for under 18 and NOT for anxious people.” Great, just great! So we waited in trepidation (or well I did at least) and finally some other people came to the meeting point so I was reassured it wouldn’t just be Megan and me.

Finally this girl dressed in sort of witchy clothing (she had a cloak on) came to us and made us walk around some streets of Edinburgh, all the while explaining old legends and what they did to women suspected of witchcraft back in the day. (Burn them to the stake alive, like they did with Joan of Arc) Then she finally took us to the creepy part of the tour, this place called “Nedry Wind”, this supposedly haunted vault under the South Bridge. In order to get into the vault, we had to climb some stairs and then go back down… yeah Megan and I held onto each other the whole time! We were taken into a room with a bunch of torture devices used to torture people suspected of witchcraft. How pleasant.

Then came the creepy part which meant we had to enter the tunnel like vaults. Eeek. In fact, these vaults are so famous among paranormal investigators that the show Most Haunted (from the Travel Channel) aired their special 24 live episode one year.

For more info on the vaults themselves:

So yeah the vaults were used for a variety of things, including storing wines, industrial activities, including housing for slums. Because the vaults are underground, the living conditions were appalling and the vaults were always flooding. As our guide explained to us about the different spirits supposedly haunting the specific corridor and the vaults branching off of Nedry Wind, we moved into the different vaults, the only light provided by our guide’s flashlight.

There were a few vaults we did not enter because a few of them contained “level 3” spirits/entities that had been known to get violent during tours. After someone was literally thrown so violently to the floor and required medical attention, the guides stopped taking visitors in these vaults. It seems that these spirits don’t leave the confinements of their vault so we were safe peeking our heads in from the corridor.

So the big question… did I experience anything/see anything? The answer is… no. And to be honest, I’m glad because I don’t think I would have been able to sleep that night! There was a point where we were out in the corridor where our guide was explaining about “the watcher”, some “level 1” shadow that walks up and down the corridor. A few times as she spoke, we heard some strange dragging sounds so we hurriedly stepped into another vault. But besides that, I didn’t see anything beyond the ordinary.

One of the vaults had a bunch of rocks laid out in a circle and our guide explained to us that that vault had previously been a place of worship for a group of wiccans. However, whenever the wiccans returned to the vault for worship, they’d find the vault in a state of disarray with stuff all over the place. They reported being scratched and pushed and it got to the point where they refused to enter the vault. They drew a protection circle in the middle of the vault and marked the circle with a bunch of rocks. Our guide warned us not to step in the middle of the circle. People who have in the past have reported mysterious scratches on their bodies/been cursed with bad luck or what not. Seeing as how I was taking a plane the next day, I felt no need to see if this was true or not. The wiccans ended up choosing a vault a few vaults down and since then, they’ve been able to worship in peace without interference from mean spirits. To this day, the guides don’t know what it is that inhabits this vault or as our guide sinisterly added “whether it is human, an animal, or something else.”

Afterwards, some guy ended up jumping out and going BOO and all scared us but that was the only real scare we got during the tour. And then we ended up in a pub where the tour finished up.

So I survived my first ghost tour! While I didn’t experience anything , Nedry Wind is not a place I’d want to be hanging out in by myself or care to return to.

And then we walked back to our hostel and went to sleep!

The next morning I had to get up early at 5:15 AM to go to the airport. I quietly moved all my stuff out of my room (nobody in the hostel was up yet, it was so dead quiet). I whispered goodbye to Megan and hugged her and thanked her for being such a great host. It was going to be hard leaving her and possibly not seeing her again until the fall. I then went out to my waiting taxi which dropped me off at the Airlink bus stop. And then I took the bus back to the airport and eventually got back to Toulouse later that night, after an agonizing and extended stop over at Gatwick again. From Toulouse, I took the shuttle back to the city center and them from there, I walked the last 10-15 minutes back to my apartment.

And so concluded my European spring break! It was exhausting and stressful and fun all at the same time. I absolutely fell in love with Scotland and the most fun with Megan because it was just so nice to catch up after so long. I hope to go back one day and visit more because this country is so captivating and the people are so friendly.

I just really hate their currency, the British pound is sooooo confusing!!!!!!!!

And since then I’ve been inundated with work and I’m leaving France in less than a month. That is so depressing to think about but at the same time, it’ll be nice to be home. For about a week and then I’ll want to be abroad again jaja.

WELL anyways tonight I’m going out to celebrate one of the girls’ birthdays here and then tomorrow I’ll be working all day long on a paper about China and the Internet. Fascinating, right?

Oh and Sandrine if you are coming to Espana, you might want to figure out your travel plans soon so I can tell Paqui how many people to expect! Just don’t bring 10 of your closest friends jaja.

Okay my dears, I need to end this hideously long blog post.

Love from Wine&Cheese Land!

Amelie (and NO it’s not like the movie! I was born before the movie!)