Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in Scotland

This year, I spent my first Christmas away from home and family.  Flights back to CA were just too expensive.  So, not wanting to be depressing and stay in student housing, my friend Rohit and I decided to take a trip up north and spend Christmas in Scotland.

Scotland is by far one of the most beautiful places I've had the pleasure of visiting.  Edinburgh beats Glasgow in my opinion (basically because it's old and fabulous, and has lots of photo opportunities), and the Highlands are pretty enough to make you weep.  We landed in Edinburgh and stayed at a pretty awesome youth hostel (who pays for hotels when you can get by cheaply at a hostel?) called Castle Rock.  It's literally right by Edinburgh Castle.  Our flight was at 7 am from Stanstead, which means we had to leave London at 3:30 am to catch a coach from Victoria to the airport.  All in all it means we pulled an all-nighter, and I was so tired the next day.  But, we couldn't check in to our rooms until 2 pm, so we had to drop off our luggage and go exploring.

Isn't the lighting here amazing?  No photoshop needed.

My favorite part of our trip was touring the Highlands!  We booked one of the mini bus tours through Rabbie's, and I'd definitely recommend their company.  Our tour guide, Kevin, was totally awesome and knew so much about the history of the places we visited, which included:
  • Callander
  • Fort William
  • For Augustus and Loch Ness
  • Rannoch Moor
  • Glencoe
The Highlands were covered in snow, but we got lucky because the sky was so clear on the day we went.  The sun made the snow look like diamonds!  It also gave things a bit of a tungsten hue, but oh well, it was beautiful anyway!

One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting new people, and I love meeting kindred spirits, even if our paths only cross briefly. It just makes the journey that much more fun!  Our hostel had a big Christmas lunch for the travelers who stayed through the holiday, and on Christmas Eve, Rohit and I stopped in to St. Giles' Cathedral for early mass.  I'm not a religious person, but it was actually really nice, and I even knew some of the songs!  Then, we even managed to find an internet cafe across town that was open late on Christmas Eve so that i could skype with my parents.

 For what it was, I had a great Christmas! Thanks, people of the world!

Now I'm back in London writing papers.  How depressing!  Just kidding, I'm actually having a bit of fun with my essay about Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.  Yeow, yeow!


  1. I'm glad to hear that you had such a wonderful Christmas, even if away from your family.

    I just adore Scotland. It will always be my second (or third?) home.

  2. I'm so glad that you had an amazing Christmas even if you couldn't be back in California! Scotland looks beautiful, and your pictures are just stunning!

  3. we missed you, but I am so glad you found great things to do for Christmas! <3

  4. I'm dying to go to Scotland! my motherland. these pictures made me even more excited. if you didn't get to go home - I think you did the next best thing - travel!

  5. Dear Kendra, Scotland looks wonderful, what a great place to spend Christmas.

    Thank your for all your great comments and support this year.

    Have a wonderful and very happy 2011. Love Christina xx

  6. ahh those pictures just make me smile lol they're BEAUTIFUL! you have a great eye! I have wanted to go to Scotland for a while now and now I want to go even more!

  7. I found our sign with "Nessie?" on it from 2005 in my packing the other day. I'm glad Scotland is still magical...happy 2011!


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