Monday, October 18, 2010

L'Ecosse (partie 1)

Scotland was awesome.

So I went with my friend Emily, who I worked with last year.  We were going to visit our friend Calum, a scottish exchange student we met at Toastmasters last year.  He goes to the University of Glasgow, so a about two months ago, Emily asked me if I wanted to go visit him.  I said why not, and we booked our flight!

We took off from Paris-Beauvais (an airport about an hour by bus out side of the city) and landed at Glasgow-Prestwick (very important that you remember it was Prestwick) at 11:40PM on Thursday night.  From Prestwick, we took a bus to the city center.  It dropped us off at Buchannan Street Station and from there we cabbed it to Calum's flat.  We ended up going to bed around 2AM.  When we got there, Calum was standing out front in his UCSB sweats there to greet us.  We talked for a little, then crashed becuase Emily and I were exhauseted.

The next morning, Calum had to go to class and do some work at the library so it was Emily on our own, exploring Glasgow.  We ended up getting out the door around 10:30AM.  We walked over just up the street and had breakfast at this cool little café.  I had the traditional breakfast, which consisted of bacon (more like canadian bacon), a fried egg, a sausage, a patato scote and a slice of black pudding.  Black pudding is disgusting, just fyi.  But I did try it.

After our breakfast we walked around.  The waiter told us about an art museum in Kelvingrove park, the huge park on the West End of Glasgow, where Calum lives.  We walked around the park for probably thirty or forty minutes before finding the museum.  The park was gorgeous though.  After being in the concrete jungle of Paris, it was nice seeing wide open green spaces.

We got to the art museum and it turned out to be more of a natural history museum.  It had a lot of stuff on the scottish history, plus some paintings and exhibits for kids.  I really enjoyed it!

From there, we hopped onto one of the double decker tour buses that are designed for foreigners.  It took us all around the city.  We went from the West End to the city centre, to the River Clyde down to the Glasgow Green.  When we got to the Green, we hopped off and went into the People's Palace.  It had even more Scottish history, mainly talking about the rise of Glasgow as a major city in Scotland.

After that, Emily and I took the bus back to the city center.  It was about 5PM by then, so we walked around and got some food down there.  We didn't want to bother Calum, to let him have as much time as he needed to get his studying done, but around 6, we called him asking him what he was up to.  We headed back to his place around then.

Once we got back to his place, we sat around and talked, met his roommates and then some of his friends.  They all were incredibly nice.  Really good guys.  They sat around for a few hours, knocked back some beers and then we all headed out to the student union.  Now, when I say student union, I don't mean something like the UCen.  It was a legitimate union.  The bottom floor was a huge dance floor and the second floor was a karaoke bar.  It was exactly what I expected college to be like.  I guess it is just easier to do that when the drinking age is 18 instead of 21.  We ended up going back to Calum's house (after getting some fries, of course) around 3AM.

Then we were off to Edinburgh the next day...

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