Our trip to Edinburgh 2015

 

Hello folks,

from October 4th to 9th 2015 I participated in the 12th class school trip to Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Yeah, the country of castles, kilts, whiskey and bagpipes, that’s not the worst one can expect in general, is it?

In this blog I’ll give you a summary of all events and locations our group visited. I’ll tell you about the experience I’ve made, my feelings in different situations and I’ll outline my opinion about each single day and stop.

At first I want to talk about the journey. It was decided, that we won’t take the plane, but go by coach to Amsterdam, from there by ferry to Newcastle and further to Edinburgh. All together we were on the road for 33 hours(!), each to and for. We gathered on Sunday at 3:45 a.m. in front of our school, waiting for getting picked up by the coach. That was so early, that some hadn`t even slept this night, but had decided to stay awake. At least we could do so for the next 10 hours in the bus… But I’ve to state, that I wasn’t in the best mood, after such a long time of changing between trying to sleep and waiting for the next stop. So I think it’s questionable, whether it was the better decision to save about 100€ and not flying instead of having a shorter and more comfortable journey. There are always advantages and disadvantages. In case of any traffic jams we left Fuerstenwalde a bit earlier than necessary and thus arrived earlier than expected in Amsterdam as well as in Newcastle which brought us some free time we used on the ship or spent in town for shopping. The ferry itself didn’t look very special from outside (not ugly, but also not very pretty), everything was expensive and our cabins were very small and narrow (at least they had an integrated bathroom with toilet and shower). But there was also a nice bar (unfortunately no entrance for under 18s after 11 p.m.) with a nice ambience in it, small corridors for sitting and a wonderful view from the railing while the dusk was falling. We arrived in the morning and went on by coach, to our youth hostel (or back home).

Have a look on the ferry

Have a look on the ferry

Our boarding cards

Our boarding cards

wonderful sunset!

wonderful sunset!

Accommodation

We stayed in a centrally located youth hostel. It was equipped with a dining-room and a kitchen for cooking meals on our own. On Tuesday evening we prepared spaghetti in there (as an alternative for the usual meals at Mc Donald’s & Co.) – very good idea! We got four-persons- and six-persons-rooms. That may sound as if there were too many of us in one room, but the rooms were big enough, so we could handle it and there were no problems. Another positive fact was that you could connect your Smartphone with the Wi-Fi of the hostel. Thus you were able to chat with your parents, friends, etc.. All in all the hostel looked modern and I really enjoyed our stay there.

 

Monday, 5th October

In the morning on the ship we were woken up by an announcement: ‚Good morning dear guests, it`s 7:00 a.m. (we are now in the British time zone). We`ll arrive soon…‘, this meant the end of sleeping. After taking a short shower we met on the entrance floor. Finally at 9:00 a.m. we could say ‚Welcome to Great Britain‘, Newcastle. When we arrived in Edinburgh, the first we saw were plenty of houses in typical Scottish style. This looked so great. At this point I was really glad for having decided to travel to Edinburgh. This town is one of the most beautiful in the world.

When you will have to decide where to go in class 12 just think about it.

Because of the long journey we had free time for the rest of the day, for almost four hours. We used this time for visiting the shopping streets, doing sightseeing, looking for gifts or even swimming, as I did.

So at the end of the first day I came to the conclusion that Scotland will be a full success.

They also exist in Scotland

They also exist in Scotland

Do you reconize him?

Do you reconize him?

Tuesday, 6th October

We started this day with a guided sightseeing tour by bus. After having picked up our guide an interesting journey started. He spoke very clearly and had a comprehensible pronunciation. For difficult parts he gave synonyms, spelled words or repeated them twice. Luckily he was born in Austria, so he also switched sometimes to German. Thus we understood everything he said. During this two-hour-tour we saw countless churches, famous pubs or cafes like ‚The Conan Doyle‘ or ‚The Elephant House‘, ‚Edinburgh Castle‘, ‚The Princess Street‘, the apartments or birthplaces of famous Scottish authors and so on. In front of the parliament we listened to a presentation about the Scottish law system. Next we visited ‚Edinburgh Castle‘ for nearly one and a half hour. During that time it started to rain, so we stayed a little bit longer. Now we got free time for the rest of the day. We spent most of the time in a cafe, a music store and a supermarket.

"The elephant house" - birthplace of "Harry Potter"

„The elephant house“ – birthplace of „Harry Potter“

Edinburgh Castle in the center of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle in the center of Edinburgh

 

Wednesday, 7th October

Today`s first destination was ‚Stirling Castle‘. There we heard a presentation about the history of Stirling. Afterwards we got time to scout out the castle on our own. We admired the royal living rooms, walked along the battlements and enjoyed a nice view over the valley and later went into town.

Philipp presenting the history of Stirling Castle

Philipp presenting the history of Stirling Castle

such a nice view

such a nice view

Next station was ‚The Famous Grouse‘. Definitely the event I was looking forward to most. This was an incredible experience for me. We were guided through the distillery by a very intelligent, humorous man, whom we immediately recognized as a specialist. If you listened a little concentrated, you could follow his descriptions easily. He explained everything concerning the creation of whiskey, from basic ingredients (including processes of ripeness) to the finished product. He, for example, explained the role of many components (like the difference between the barrels made of cherry wood or bourbon) for the process of ripeness and its effect on the flavour of the final drink, etc… . I think you already realize what great impression this demonstration made on me. We were also asked to smell on old casks or corks. At the end, in the bar area he demonstrated how to professionally analyse two sorts of whiskey. Those, who were already 18 years old, were allowed to taste them.

Felix next to the biggest bottle of scotch worldwide

Felix next to the biggest bottle of scotch worldwide

If you were 18 you could taste it

If you were 18 you could taste it

The third part of the day was St. Andrews, a small student’s village, famous for the worldwide biggest golf course. By the way, it was also the place where Kate and William first met. This time we had no luck. During our stay there we had to live with continuous rain (for one and a half hours!).

This day we arrived at the hostel very late, but there was still enough time for having dinner in a restaurant or looking for the next pub.

In the end I just want to say, that Edinburgh, the distillery and all the other places we visited made such a great impression on me that I want to travel there again in future. I think this statement clearly shows my final opinion about the journey.

Written by Philipp Kühl

 

 

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