Travel

“Ooo it’s the Crown Jewels!” vs. “Ooo it’s the Ripley’s lady!”: Very Different tastes, but Equal Excitement

Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland
Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

Happy Easter everyone! Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. It was nice and sunny where I was which was a great treat since it was cloudy and rainy both the day or two before Easter and today. We had a lovely little family get together at my grandmother’s. My parents came up for the weekend (also to take some of my college stuff home) and my cousins and aunt came over.

wishing my brother in Europe a Happy Easter!
wishing my brother in Europe a Happy Easter!

I was hoping that I’d be able to share with you guys a video that I’ve been editing from my friend, Julia, and I’s trip to Canada but the video apparently didn’t completely transfer onto my flash drive so I have to figure out what went wrong with it. But the show must go on! My mother asked me why I keep talking about trips I took when I was abroad since that was a while ago now and I didn’t really have an answer other than I’m doing it because I want to and that I started it and wanted to finish. I’ve only got 4 more posts I believe until I’m finished with them so I figure at this point, why stop now? Hopefully, you guys enjoy going down memory lane with me as well.

Having said that, this is the fourth to last trip I took during my time abroad. Bridget and I decided to spend a weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our flight was quite early, around 6am (neither of us are morning people), which meant that we needed to get a taxi to the airport around 3am. So, being the intelligent college women that we were, decided that the best course of action was to just not sleep at all that night. Actually, I’m pretty sure that we went out for a bit with our friends earlier that night and then packed while we waited for the taxi.

The flight there was fine and we managed to catch the correct bus okay which was good. The accent took some getting used since it sounded harsher and thicker to my ear than the Irish accent which we’d become accustomed to. We’d booked two beds at a hostel on the Royal Mile but it was too early to check in so we left our bags and went exploring. We were closer to the Holyrood Palace than Edinburgh Castle so Bridget and I thought we’d see the Palace before finding food and then hopefully checking in and taking a nap. You know it’s early when you arrive at a tourist attraction before it opens. So we were one of the first people in once it did open. It wasn’t bad though because that just meant that the place wasn’t really crowded while we were there. Bridget loved it because she’s a bit obsessed with Kate Middleton and the Royal family so going through the audio tour and then the gift shop with her was great because she was so excited about everything. The Queen still stays at Holyrood Palace whenever she visits Scotland.

2013_04_05 Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland 16
Holyrood Palace

 

chapel ruins at Holyrood Palace
chapel ruins at Holyrood Palace

And that’s about all we did on the first day there as we slept most of the afternoon. I will say though that the people working at the hostel were super cool and from all over the world. I also found the beds really amusing because each bunk bed in our room had a different name plate. I slept in the “Naughty” bunk bed and I think Bridget’s bed was named “Nice” or “Cheeky” or something like that. Our second day was much more eventful despite our late start. We walked up the Royal Mile towards Edinburgh Castle but stopped to see St Giles Cathedral, the Thistle Chapel, and a street market along the way. While St Giles Cathedral is beautiful on its own, the fact that it is also where the Thistle Chapel is makes it really cool. Around since the Middle Ages, the Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry and to become a member is considered one of the country’s highest honors. Historically, members have either been Scottish or are of Scottish ancestry. There are 16 seats for knights plus one for the Sovereign and two for other royal members.

my bunk at the hostel
my bunk at the hostel
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral
Thistle Chapel inside St Giles Cathedral
Thistle Chapel inside St Giles Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also saw the Ripley’s lady! I remember seeing her when I visited with my family but we saw her again and this time, I was the one to get really excited. I don’t know her real name but the reason I call her the Ripley’s lady is because I’d seen a picture of her in a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! book from probably 2007 or 2008. I’m not 100% confident on the year. You see, my brother and I used to love getting the Ripley’s book every year and would go in halfsies every year and buy it from the school book fair. We did that probably a good four or five years. But anyway, I digress. This woman was in one of the books that we’d bought because she had over 1,000 facial piercings. It looks insane but kind of cool. I can’t imagine doing it though.

the most pierced woman in the world
the Ripley’s lady a.k.a. the most pierced woman in the world
Bridget et I in front of Edinburgh Castle
Bridget et I in front of Edinburgh Castle
view of Edinburgh from the Castle
view of Edinburgh from the Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Castle was fun and we just wandered and explored with no real plan. We did make sure that we got to see the Crown Jewels however, which Bridget was really happy about. They did look pretty cool. After we were done at the castle we decided to try and find The Elephant House Cafe where JK Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter series. We were both excited about this one because hello, it’s Harry Potter!! We had a bite to eat there and it’s a nice little, quaint place. It was a bit crowded when we were there but I suppose that’s to be expected. There’s a plaque and a sign on the window talking about Rowling and the Harry Potter books.

The Elephant House Cafe
The Elephant House Cafe
2013_04_06 The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland 2
sign in the window of the cafe

 

2013_04_06 The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland 3
plaque on the wall outside the cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our trip to Scotland was great up until we left. Though we did have to wake up early to catch the bus back to the airport for our flight, having to be up at 5am wasn’t the issue. I somehow managed to break my watch going through security, lost this nice amber ring that at time the I had just gotten in Poland, and a coke exploded on me while we were waiting for our plane to board. Then I got home and realized when I was unpacking that I either forgot to pack my adapters and ipod cord or it got taken out of my bag when we went through security. So that put a bit of a sour damper on a good weekend but other than the series of unfortunate events on the trip back to Ireland, things were fun.

That’s all for now folks!

❤ Rachel

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