Monday, October 26, 2009

Whisky Trip!

This weekend was one of the best of my life! With the Water of Life Society (the whisky society) we travelled through the highlands and to the Isle of Skye. The weather was not the best...cold and dreary and rainy. But the weather just felt more Scottish and the whisky kept me warm! :)

First stop: Oban!! Oban is a charming seaport town with a fabulous distillery: The Oban Distillery. After a tour of the distillery, we each were given our own snifters and got to sample some whisky. All of them were good!

Then we continued on the road to Fort William, where we stayed the first night. We went to the Ben Nevis Distillery, for another tour and lots of whisky. We even watched a funny movie about Hector MacDram!! Then, we cooked dinner for 30 people and bantered in the common room before another whisky tasting hosted by the president of the society, Tobi. Yes, we all consumed a lot of whisky!!

The next morning we continued on the road towards Skye. We stopped in a little village called Glenfinnan to take pictures. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! Just breathe-taking! The bridge was used in the Harry Potter films as well!!! Enjoy the Pictures!

After, we continued on to a port-town, and took a ferry over to Skye. Being prone to motion sickness, I hated the ferry... but it wasn’t too long and then we were on SKYE!!! We drove through such gorgeous land, and had lunch at a charming hotel (sandwiches and Scotch broth—my new favourite soup!) The hotel also had another little tasting for us of Gaelic whiskies. The whisky was called Poit Dhubh (pronounced something like: Poch Gu... Gaelic’s crazy!)

Then we ventured to the other side of the Isle to the Talisker Distillery!! Yummy whisky! Here we got another tour and of course more whisky!! I bought a bottle of the Talisker 10... empty now, but it was delicious!! After we drove to our hostel, cooked dinner, drank more whisky, and slept!

The next morning (a wee bit hungover) we left Skye (by bridge this time :)!) and drove to the famous castle used in the Highlander movie! It was exactly how you would picture a Scottish Castle!

Then we drove alongside Loch Ness, spotted Nessie a few times! And then stopped at Urquhart Castle!! We proceeded to take more pictures before hitting the road to Inverness!

Then we drove home to Edinburgh tired, hungry, but full of great whiskies!!

Slainte Mhath!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Class Trip with Medieval Scottish History

What a beautiful day! Crystal blue sky, no wind, bearable temperatures = Splendid! We so lucked out! The class trip consisted of traveling to the border lands to visit the Melrose Abbey, Smailholm Tower, and the Abbey of St. Bathans.

Melrose Abbey was exquisite! And the scenery was stunning! I can see why all those monks would want to live there :). Plus, on the grounds in the allegedly grave for Robert the Bruce's Heart! Who doesn't love that! All in all, it was great there and I already want to go back!

Next stop, Smailholm Tower. It was as if I stepped into Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings! I was just waiting for Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas to coming riding out :)! So picture that but just add cows and swans and that was Smailholm Tower! From the top there is a spectacular panoramic view where you can see all of the land for miles! I just love the land here so much!

Last stop, well, we kinda got lost, so we made our last stop the Abbey of St. Bathans. It was a charming area with a small church, a pretty river, and my dream house with horses!


Pics of B-Day with Friends

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birthday Weekend!

Well, I had a wonderful birthday weekend! A little crazy -- but I won't go into that! On my actually birthday for dinner, the girls and I went up to Sheep Heid (the oldest pub in Scotland) and I had haggis for dinner...and guess what? I thought it was great! If you can believe that! I probably enjoyed it so much because it was spicy and usual the food here lacks spice entirely (I deprived! :) )

But sorry I haven't updated in a while (my family's been nagging me!) but I have been super busy as you can imagine.

I went back to the National Gallery with Sam and Suzanne and we conquered another floor: The Scottish Exhibit! So that 2 floors down, 5 to go! And as usual, I was in absolute awe! I even dragged Sam back up to the impressionism exhibit to see Monet's Haystacks with Snow again!!

Megan came down to Edinburgh this weekend, even though poor thing was so sick. But Sam and I still dragged her around Edinburgh to all our favourite pubs -- or at least the top four! ;) A particular favourite of mine is Sandy Bells which plays folk music almost every night!! Megan enjoyed it a lot as well!

Megan and I tried to go back up to Edinburgh Castle but the queue was way too long! So we walked along Royal Mile and Market Street which as usual was like a street fair!

Also, last week was another whisky tasting! Specialising in finishes from the Glemorangie distillery!! Squeal!!!!!! We had sherry cask, port cask, the original... the I stopped remembering the details... but altogether I had seven whiskies, two sherries and a port! I love Scotland!

Soon, I’ll post some more pictures for all of you! Miss You!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Royal Mile and Street Performer

Today had the most bizarre weather! It was rainy, sunny and extremely windy all at the same time!! Now how do you dress for that?

But still Sam and I braved the sporadic weather and ventured down Royal Mile and Victoria Street! The day started a little slow for both of us... we had had a very long night yesterday, so we read and drank tea (lots and lots of tea) at a quaint, little cafe on Victoria Street. Then we continued walking down under the castle and circled around to Royal Mile. As usual the streets are busy with people, venders, bagpipers and street performers.

One street performer in particular (which I have a photo of above) was hysterical! He was so outrageous and flamboyant, not to mention extremely gifted in juggling, and definitely something I would expect in Edinburgh, being such a vibrant city. We watched him in the cold wind for an hour!

So as could can see, Edinburgh is such an alive city! There is always something new everyday. You can walk around the streets all day long and never be bored!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Sunny Edinburgh!

Well, today is another beautiful day in sunny Scotland! I am currently wrapping up my courses for the week so I can enjoy the weekend. All of my classes are going swell. I especially enjoy my Medieval Scottish History class and am going on a field trip to explore some of the ancient cites and forts in two weeks!!!

Last weekend, Sam and I went to the National Gallery of Scotland. It was marvellous! It is a huge and -- given that this is Scotland -- a beautiful building with many exhibits. Sam and I explored the impressionism exhibit which filled me with absolute awe! I got to see works by Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Renoir and Rembrandt to name a few!!! I could have fainted! And on top of all that, the gallery is completely free!!! I love this country.

I have also joined two new societies on top of the Whisky Society (which I did get my deposit in and am going to the Isle of Skye in three weeks on a whisky trail trip!!!!) The clubs and societies here have the brilliant idea of blending informative meetings with socials at pubs, so they are tons of fun! Thus, I have also joined the International Development society and iCUE which is an innovative consulting club for business students. Both have great projects that I have volunteered for. When I get started on them, I fill you all in on the details!

And as usual, I am having a blast! Miss you all!! (I'll load some more pictures soon)