Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Deutschland Bound

Just a quick update: I'm leaving for Germany tomorrow, so the next time you year from me, I should be settling in to my new room and routine (and language!).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Scotland and Ireland and England, oh my!

I'm long overdue for a post, but seeing as I've talked to most of the people who read my blog in person in the last few days, I don't feel too bad about it. I've been in Philly for a week and a half and I've got another week and a half before I head off to Deutschland.

I left Nottingham on the 24th of last month and took a train up to Edinburgh to meet Dad. My leave-taking was like so many others - sad, but also incredibly hectic. Why is it that even if I start packing two weeks ahead of time, I always end up scrambling to get everything together at the last minute?

Trent building.
Susanne took a train to Birmingham the same day, so we were able to ride together for part of the way. The rest of the trip took about four hours, and luckily I left early enough to get sunlight throughout. I went through lots of beautiful towns, quaint farmland, and down along the rocky coast in southern Scotland, which made for a nice tour. My two giant suitcases were surprisingly manageable, at least until I got to the hotel and had to haul them up four flights of stairs! I absolutely loved Edinburgh; the weather even cooperated during our time there.

The Royal Mile.

Next came Ireland. We spent a little more time there, and got to see a lot more. Again, the weather was unbelievable -- almost 60 degrees some days! We went to Dublin, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, and many other places. Dad really enjoyed the tiny roads... But we ate lots of potatoes and oysters and drank plenty of Guinness, so we had a good time.

Trinity College, Dublin.

Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway.

Temple Bar, Dublin.

So after a little more than a week, Dad and split up; he went back to Philly and I continued to London to meet Kathleen. We had a fantastic time (but seeing as it was me + Kathleen + London, was there any doubt?). We did a lot of touristy things like the Tower, Buckingham Palace, and museums, mostly just to get out of the cold. I was looking forward to my flight back to the States -- I'd made sure to book well in advance, and I got a flight that wasn't at the crack of dawn so I'd be able to take my time in the morning. I figured that since it was January, it wouldn't be crowded, so I could get through security quickly and maybe even get a row of my own on the plane. But the morning before our flights, we woke up to this:

Ultimately I had two flights cancelled and spent an extra day and a half in London. And I woke up on the day I actually left with another cold. But at least I got to enjoy one of England's favorite past times in my last hours there -- queueing.