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Long Study Tour in Edinburgh, Scotland (Part 1)

Monday

Basically…a travel day. Half of Monday was spent actually getting to Edinburgh, which included two short flights and a tram ride to and from the airport. However, based off of first impression only, Edinburgh is by far my favorite city that I’ve been to so far. The gothic architecture is breathtaking, the people are so lively and friendly, and there are a diverse array of shops and restaurants. I think the pictures speak for themselves…

Besides traveling, my class and I went for some afternoon tea at the Preston Field House. If you’re in the area, definitely go here! The staff was so so so attentive, and the decorations were absolutely darling. The food was amazing, which was surprising considering we ate off of the vegetarian menu. My favorite menu items included: vegetarian haggis, apple tart, and the raisin scones. Even though I am a coffee person, the tea was *chef’s kiss*.

Since we had the rest of the day off, I decided to go to the gym. I purchased a day pass at Pure Gym for £8.99, which is honestly a bit expensive but I’d rather run inside than at night in the rain. Even though this is a more pricey option, I find it to be well worth it. The gym is a 12-minute walk or 8-minute bus ride from our hotel (ibis hotel), very high tech, and has a plethora of gym equipment. Be warned, though. There are a lot of members. A LOT!!!

Tuesday

Walking. lots of walking, but it was so well worth it. We started the morning off with a delicious breakfast buffet down in the hotel restaurant, followed by a very difficult (but very fun) hike up Arthur’s Summit. Even though it was raining and cold, the elevation made my legs burn, and the way back down the rocks was very slippery, the view was breathtaking. I enjoy hikes a lot, and I had such a great time just listening to music while I trudged along. It was also nice to have a big group going through the tough climb all together. In the end, our efforts were rewarded with hot chocolate from a very cute coffee stand (not even sure if it’s even on a map to be honest).

While my class elected to go back to the hotel, I continued onwards to explore Edinburgh on my own. The street the hike started on was darling, bustling with tourists. I walked through a very old cemetery and did some shopping (I may or may not have spent too much money). Then, I ran into my friend on the street and decided to walk around some more with her. We went through a very pretty cathedral and walked to the castle, which also had a stunning view of the city.

Later on, my class and I took a food walking tour. We went to four restaurants, tasting regional foods, trying custom drinks, and exploring new and old Edinburgh. The foods we got to try included: bangers and mash, black pudding, haggis, assorted meats and cheeses, and sticky toffee pudding (my favorite). We also got to sample some raspberry-infused gin, whiskey (not a big fan), and Chilean white wine.

Wednesday

Very academically heavy. Wednesday consisted of a daytrip to Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. Our first visit was to Kibble, an organization that helps troubled youth. In particular, we went inside the maximum security ward, where we weren’t allowed to bring in any “contraband” (phones, spiral notebooks, jewelry, etc.). I thought that it was very noble in how attentive the staff is to the children’s wellbeing and safety to themselves and others.

Lunch was with the whole class at BROWNS, and we actually got to pick what we ordered this time instead of having items pre-ordered for us. I got the chicken schnitzel with a side salad and a soft-boiled egg on top. Dessert was a rich brownie with an amazing honeycomb ice cream. My main dish was just okay, but dessert definitely made up for it.

Our second, and last, academic visit of the day was at SISCO, where they provide a bridge between prisoners and the community as these individuals get released. I had the privilege of speaking to two volunteers in a small group, one of which used the service during her addiction recovery. We ended the visit with a grounding exercise, and it was the perfect send-off.

After a long bus ride back to Edinburgh and a good gym session, I went out with one of my friends to a really cool bar called The Alchemist. These cocktails were nothing like I’ve ever seen. The presentations of each were special in their own way, and they were all super affordable at an average price of about £10. I got the Breaking & Eggs (which came with bacon-flavored candy in the shape of an egg), Dead End Zombie, T&T, and Carmelised Jungle Bird. The latter two were lit on fire by the bar tender!

That concludes Part 1 of my Long Study Tour. The next post will include Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Now for the song for this post, I present to you my perfect workout song.

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