Absolutely no reading got done during reading week.
Shealagh and I took a week long trip around the UK. We flew from Belfast to Glasgow, Scotland. We bused from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Bused from Edinburgh to London, England (10 hours). Bused from London to Cardiff, Wales. Finally, flew from Cardiff back to Belfast.
We learned a lot about traveling, gained some confidence in ourselves and got to experience four different hostels. The hostels were a new experience for both of us. They aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be. They are a little awkward and sometimes you question the cleanliness of the sheets or the bathrooms but, you also have the opportunity to meet people your age from all around the world.
Glasgow was a nice city but there wasn’t a lot of site seeing to do. We visited the Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest house in Glasgow and walked down Buchanan Street, which had a bunch of shops. We also went to a building called the lighthouse and walked up a bunch of stairs so we could over look the city.
Edinburgh was our next stop and quite possibly our favorite! Just the city itself was beautiful. The roads were cobblestone and the architecture was old and gorgeous. We got there on Halloween and they had the Samhuinn Fire Festival. It was an ancient Gaelic festival celebrating the end of summer and beginning of winter. It was really cool but actually a little frightening with the very real costumes and actors. We visited the castle and walked around Calton Hill. Calton Hill had a lot of neat monuments and structures. Then for dinner that night we tried Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. This is a traditional Scottish dish. We did not google what it was until after we ate it just in case we didn’t like the description. It was actually really tasty and was good comfort food.
Next stop was London! We definitely did not have enough time in London but we tried to make the most of it by doing a bus tour. The bus stopped at all of the main attractions so you could hop on and off at any time you wanted! We got to see the Royal Courts of Justice, Tower of London, the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace and the Marble Arch. Often we would stop, take pictures, enjoy the view and hop back on the bus. Thursday night we were about to call it a night after dinner but we decided to stop at a theater and see how much a ticket would cost to Matilda the musical. We got 5 pound tickets and the musical was great! It was probably our best bargain of the trip.
Last stop, Cardiff, Wales. We happened to plan our trip to Cardiff on a really good weekend. We got there Friday night and the Wales vs. Australia rugby match was on Saturday. The city was very busy with a lot of red and green littering the crowd. We checked the ticket office to see how much the tickets were about 30 minutes before the game and they were still 60 pounds. We didn’t want to pay that much so we talked to a scalper and got two tickets for 30 pounds a piece. We had great seats and it was a great learning experience since it was our first rugby match.
Overall it was a great trip! We found that whenever we told anyone where we were from they would ask, “Trump or Hillary?”