I just got back from a lovely week in the UK. I met up with a couple of friends from high school, as well as meeting some great new people! I arrived in Glasgow, Scotland the morning after Thanksgiving, and after a train ride and a bit of getting lost, I met my friend Becca and her friend Shannon to take the day together.
We bought train tickets to go to Sterling to see the castle there, but we had some time before the next train was due to leave. So we walked around a bit.
We went into a beautiful city building (I can't remember what exactly it was…) to take some pictures. The stone work in there was amazing--it was a shame we could only walk around the ground floor! There seemed to be some set-up in progress for a Christmas market, so we walked around that square a bit. Christmas markets are a big thing in the UK--a bunch of little stalls set up selling everything from ornaments to fudge, to glass art to meat and fried food. Every now and then they'd have a couple of rides and/or picture spots for the kids to enjoy. They were always fun to walk through :)
Next thing you know, we're in Sterling, hiking to the top of the big hill of the city to get to Sterling Castle--a huge and iconic fully-intact castle of Scotland. And of course walking through the city (pictures above) was nice. Yet... It's been a while since I've seen a furnished castle, so I was looking forward to seeing the inside.
I'll just warn you all now… I took almost 500 pictures on this trip. So you'll be seeing plenty of them. :)
This castle was grand. Literally. There was so much to it, almost as if it was still a functioning place to live. The King and Queens quarters were amazing, and of course, the Queen's room was much nicer and better decorated ;D We even got to watch weavers recreating one of the tapestries that used to hang in the castle, which was extraordinary. The views from up there were quite breathtaking as well. We could see the whole town and beyond!
We decided to spend the evening in Edinburgh, since Shannon had to retrieve her phone from the Gallery they were at the previous day. It was a beautiful city, but I wouldn't call it a grand city. It was large, with a small-town feel, similar to Dublin. We walked around for a while trying to find a burger restaurant, but after almost an hour of searching, we were starving, so we settled for pizza. Though it was still delicious, for sure!
For the rest of the night, we wandered around the city, meandering through Christmas markets, up and down streets, in and out of shops. We headed back to Glasgow and bed after all the shops closed and the city was starting to shut down.
The next morning, we met up for a relaxing breakfast at a coffee shop down the road from our hostels. We all only had until about noon to hang out in Glasgow, so we walked down Buchanan Street, the main shopping pedestrian street in Glasgow. About halfway down, we ran into some street performers, so we stopped to watch. There were several drummers and a bagpiper, and they were absolutely incredible. I was having so much fun with their performance and their non-traditional bagpipe music, I treated myself to one of their CDs :) It was really a fun time!
At this point, it was time to say goodbye, each of us to go our own ways. I was on my way to Lincoln, England, them on their way to see another friend. I'm glad I got to see my friend, but it was time to go see another! More to come!