Welcome to Stirling!

I arrived in Scotland on Saturday after the longest, most stressful, and frustrating day I've ever had. My flight ended up getting cancelled at the last minute, I got put on an entirely different airline, I came so close to missing my new flight because the agent told me the wrong gate, and the cherry on top is that my luggage got lost. It's funny how every single thing I was scared about happening ended up coming true. BUT the Lord is good and blessed me with an extremely sweet, thoughtful, and caring family that was on the same flight to Edinburgh. I ended up tagging along with them through the airports and felt like their adopted daughter for the day. I probably wouldn't have arrived in Scotland if it wasn't for them!

On my first night here I was completely jet lagged and felt like a zombie. We had a little welcome ceremony in the Airthrey Castle on campus (no big deal, there's just a small castle on campus) complete with wine and small talk. It was awful. For those of you who know me well, you know that I despise small talk and large groups of strangers. But I ended up meeting Anna, a sweet soul from China, and the only international student who is not from America! I have had the best time getting to know her this week and her constant smile always puts me in a good mood.

On Sunday we toured campus and I am amazed at how beautiful it is! It's fairly small compared to my college back at home but it is so GREEN here and there are hills everywhere -- completely not what I'm used to. There is an enormous loch with a trail around it that takes 45 minutes to walk. I would love to be able to hammock by it by unfortunately it is way too cold to do so. I wasn't prepared for the weather here one bit. My friend warned me that it was cold, but since she was here during the winter time I suppose I thought June would be much different. Wrong! Fortunately my luggage arrived on Monday night so I was able to get out my warmer clothes/shoes and layer up. Another awesome thing about this place is that the sun doesn't set until 10 pm! It completely throws me off because it makes the days feel so much longer and I never know what time it is.

Monday, my friend Elinor and I took the bus from campus into town by ourselves. We surprisingly managed to not screw up and even found the food store, Aldi's, without any problem. (Yet I still cannot figure out the bus system at my home college...). It's funny because at stores whenever we go to pay, we have no idea what amount any of the coins are. The Scottish cashiers are always very friendly and helpful (everyone here is!) and take the correct coins out of our hands. I can only hope we aren't getting ripped off. We bought "milkshakes" which tasted like a really thick, chocolate version of Pepto-Bismol. So far the food I've had here has just been 'eh.' A lot of my friends agree. I'm just used to how sweet everything in America is and forgot that most other countries don't use nearly as much sugar as we do. We also peeked into a pound store, which is like the Dollar Tree in America.

Tuesday was an amazing day! I thankfully don't have any classes on Tuesdays so I have deemed them as my free days to explore (uh and study -- hey Mom!). A group of us aimlessly walked the streets in town at the Stirling city centre. We saw this really tall building that looked like it had an observatory/telescope on the roof so we decided to check it out. It ended up being an upscale hotel and after asking about the roof, the woman asked her manager if we were allowed up. Apparently this isn't normal because some random cute employee from London took us up. He said he had never even been up to the roof before! Wow, the view left me in awe and I never wanted to go back down.

We then kept wandering until we came across this old cathedral called The Church of the Holy Rude, built in the 1400s. It was mesmerizing looking at the beautiful stained glass windows and walking around in such an ancient building. It was so cool to think about how back in 1567 King James VI was crowned king in the very room I was in. We then explored the enormous cemetery behind the church for another hour. We returned to campus in the evening to eat dinner then set out to town again with about 50 other international summer school students for 'pub quiz.' It was at the Kilted Kangaroo, a fun little Australian-themed pub. It ended up being like a trivia night, in which we had to answer questions about Scotland/America in groups. Since my group had a local Scottish student from the university in it, we of course ended up cheating winning. Some girls and I split a pitcher of a sweet, fruity drink that I ended up really liking. Probably because I couldn't even taste the alcohol in it... I was going to head back to campus after the pub quiz ended but nobody else wanted to head back, so I ended up staying since I'm not confident enough to navigate the buses alone yet. We all did a pub crawl and I watched a bunch of tipsy obnoxious Americans take part in drinking games until I was ready to go. I managed to thankfully catch the last bus back to campus with some friends and called it a night. 


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One Response to Welcome to Stirling!

  1. The place looks beautiful! I haven't traveled outside the country since Feb and this makes me want to travel again. I'm so jealous!!

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane


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