I just spent a week in the U.K. with my fellow french classmate and it was such an awesome experience!
We started the trip leaving at midnight Saturday and drove all the way from Chambéry, france, passing through Luxembourg, Belgium and made our way to Amsterdam, Holland where we caught the ferry to take us to Newcastle, England where we would then drive to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Once we arrived in England, we drove a few hours to get to Hadrian’s Wall. It was the wall built during the Roman Empire, located just below the border of Scotland. Unfortunately it rained and we were walking in mud the whole time but it was a really cool thing to experience! I’m not a game of thrones fan but apparently this tree is famous because of the series.
We then drove to an ancient roman town that is more than 2000 years old called Viandola. This town has archeologists and volunteers who come to dig on the site to find things from the ancient times. We also go to see the museum where they had a collection of shoes from the romans that they found in display.
Later on that night, we met up with our Scottish host families in the suburbs of Edinburgh .One of my french friends and i were hosted by a very nice woman and man who also had kids but they were not home because they were visiting family in Wales. It was really strange for me to be speaking in English with people who’s native language is English since I have been in france for 8 months! I can’t imagine how weird it’s gonna feel when I actually go back home to the US!
We woke up bright and early to rejoin with the group and head to Sterling, a city in Scotland that used to be the capital. We had a tour guided by a local Scott who wore a kilt! I learned that the unicorn is one of the national symbols of Scotland, the other is the thistle.
We got to see a monument call the National Wallace Monument. Scottish army defeats British forces in the late 1200s. It was a very tall tower with a total of 264 steps. It was actually quite scary to go up to the top because there is only 1 state case for everyone to use and it was not a very big one, since it is so old, so you had to take turns going up and down the steps because they weren’t big enough.
Fun fact: A veryyyyy long time ago, Scotland had glaciers that passed through pausing the land down, which caused all the large hills/ tiny mountains but now a days, the ground in Scotland rises just a little bit everyday while the ground in England sinks just a little bit.
Scotland also has volcanos, that’s why you can find many old, black building made from the volcanic rock.
Later on, we took a boat ride down one of Scotland’s deepest rivers!
First thing, we were greeted with a “Goodmornin” (imagine it with a Scottish accent) and ate toast with butter and blackcurrant jam with tea and milk!
We then drove to the Edinburgh castle located on a cliff like hill with an amazing view of all of Edinburgh!
We spent the rest of the day walking along the ‘Royal mile’ Edinburgh’s Main Street for shopping and restaurants. Scotland is known for its cashmere and Whiskey, but I did not buy any of that. I went for the Scottish shortbread and fudge and took pictures at the red telephone booths, of course! It’s such a cute city with its double decker busses and cobble stone streets! We really got lucky, out of the 4 days that we were in the U.K., 3 of them were sunny!
And since it was the last night with our host families, I thought I’d be cool to ask them a few questions about their country…
1. What is a specialty dish & dessert from Scotland?: black pudding- blood sausage Heggis– served wi h turnips and potatos (sheeps somach- lining) cranachan– whipped cream & raspberries & whisky & granola
3. Number of sunny days per year?: only a handful, gets up to 19 degrees Celsius in the summer
4. Favorite thing to do in Scotland?: Lockness & golf, because Scotland is the home of golf
We said a final goodbye to our host family and stopped one last time in Edinburgh to go to the Edinburg dungeons! This was a really cool experience and I’d highly recommend it to anyone visiting. I think the best way to explain it is an interactive museum/ haunted house. It was based off of legitimate Scottish history but twisted a little to make it ‘scary’ and intriguing’ lol. I was accused as a “witch” during a court case.
We then drove back down to Newcastle, England where we took the ferry to Amsterdam and then drove all the way back home to Chambéry.