This post may be titled Day 25, but I’m actually going to talk about days 18 through 21, when I escaped from the Bubble of St. Andrew's and traveled across Scotland to visit my wonderfully crazy friend Hannah, who’s from Canada but has been working in the south of Scotland since February.
I shouldn’t really complain about the trip, since it only took five hours to cross from the north(ish) east side of Scotland to the south west side, but still… five hours is a long time to be sitting on busses. I also had to transfer twice, in Glasgow and Dumfries, meaning that the whole trip actually took closer to seven hours (from 7am to 2pm). I did manage to buy a lovely pair of slippers in Glasgow, though, so I didn’t mind that stopover.
One lovely thing about bus travel is that I got the opportunity to see more of the country. It’s not like a plane, where I just see the tops of clouds, or driving, where I spend most of my time staring at the road. On a bus I can sit back and do whatever I jolly well please, which usually involves taking pictures of the countryside. Thankfully, my camera takes pictures really quickly, so I actually got some decent shots while barrelling down the motorway.
Another thing I like about travelling solo is how it gives me the opportunity to meet new people. When I first arrived in Scotland, somewhat overwhelmed and with nearly a hundred pounds of luggage to carry, I had so many people willing to lend a helping hand. This past weekend luggage wasn’t an issue, but since Hannah lives in the middle of nowhere I was literally dropped by the side of the road in the middle of a field. A wonderful older lady I met on the bus made sure I got off at the right stop and a girl around my age actually walked with me all the way up to the camp where Hannah works. Without those people I would have been so lost, and I’m so thankful they took time out of their days to help me out.
Anyways, my weekend with Hannah was lovely. While I haven’t been homesick yet, it still was really nice to see an old friend, someone I have a bit of history with. It was weird to realize that since I arrived in St. Andrew’s I’ve been hanging out almost exclusively with people I’ve met in the past three weeks. So, I really enjoyed seeing Hannah again, going for walks, watching films, and meeting her co-workers. I definitely plan to go visit her again, and have more crazy shenanigans.
It was also a lot of fun to visit somewhere that’s really the middle of nowhere. St. Andrew’s might be small, but it’s still quite a bustling town. Down where Hannah lives, the nearest town has maybe fifty houses. It’s much more stereotypically Scotland, with the rugged hills and winding roads and sheep in pasture. Also, this was the first time I had ever properly visited the Scottish countryside, since when I’m here I tend to stay in the actual town of St. Andrew’s. Hannah and I went for a couple semi-successful rambles, once in the mist/rain and once right after sunset, and I really enjoyed being out in the open air again.
To sign off, here are a number of photos from my trip.
CAUTION: May contain excessive amounts of Scottish grass. Also sheep.
|Sunrise over the fields (as viewed from the bus)|
|Slightly farther along on the trip-- not quite sure what town that is, but it's close to St. Andrew's|
|Glasgow is known for its architecture. This art display is right inside the Enoch mall|
|This is what a Glasgow street looks like|
|Gallery of Modern Art. Apparently it's free, so I'm definitely planning a trip here at some point.|
|I feel like this photo accurately captures the spirit of Glasgow|
|Imposing facade of the art museum|
|Random art on a building near the bus station|
|Rolling hills between Glasgow and Dumfries|
|SHEEP. EVERYWHERE. SHEEP.|
|A river. Cattle. Hills. Trees. SCOTLAND.|
|There're actually quite a few windmills around the countryside. And clouds. There are quite a few of those.|
|They say a man's home is his castle... Or, in this case, his B&B.|
(BTW, for all you nerds, this 'castle' was in a lovely little town known as Moffat...)
|This is what a Scottish bus stop looks like...|
|I admit this pic is more heavily edited than usual, but THE CLOUDS.|
|Bridge in Dumfries|
|The whole bridge. There are several bridges, and the river is quite peaceful.|
|Had to walk along this narrow road to get to the camp where Hannah works|
|And over the adorable little bridge...|
|Along the narrow laneway...|
|Until we find Hannah! <3|
|The view from Hannah's work at sunset|
|Evil Scottish cows|
|Going for a ramble|
|A stream (that runs under the little bridge previously shown)|
|Sheep at sunset. (which are way cooler than sheep at any other time of day, because they're now pink)|
|Cows on the road. NBD.|
|So, we were trying to reach that monument thing, but Hannah forgot where the path was....|
|Hills at dusk|