Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Road trip..? Yes please.

Hey hey everyone! So it gets dark so EARLY here. And its only November! Boo. I googled "lack of vitamin D" and with a nice scroll down the page and not clicking on the articles I have learned a thing or two:
  1. Lack of vitamin D "leads to chubbier kids".
  2. Osteoporosis is commonly caused by lack of vitamin D
  3. Apparently its "linked to pain"?
  4. Lack of vitamin D could spell heart trouble (gasp!)
  5. Studies have show that by the end of the winter 50% of Britons are deficient in vitiman D
Haha. Man. I love google. Its just so comforting. Anywayyyy moving on to bigger and better things here....

So this weekend me and my dear flatmates embarked on a road trip! We took a nice excursion up into the famous Scottish Highlands. It was so fun! I love road trips to begin with, but this one was just a little different than the usual St. George or Cali trip.

With Sylvia as our driver we rented a car and left rainy Glasgow at 8 in the morning on Saturday. Syliva was a pro! She picked up the left side driving and shifting in no time.

And with only a small detour (aka getting lost..) we finally got out of Glasgow and on the beautiful banks of Loch Lomond. Is the biggest loch in Scotland I think. It was the first loch Ive seen since being here to and they are just stunning! With the vibrant fall colors and low clouds everywhere it was perfect.

Our directions for the trip
A wee bridge over loch lomond

Loch Lomond

 After crusin next to loch lomond for quite some time we got to the real highlands!!

Everything we saw was simply breathtaking! And it was the perfect day to, everywhere we went it WASNT raining! Unheard of in the highlands haha I did not open my trustee umbrella once! After traveling for a couple hours we took a stop for lunch in Fort Williams, home of the largest mountain in Great Britain, Ben Nevis. However.... I dont think I saw it. None of the "mountains" looked that big, so maybe its farther out than where we were.

From here we went east towards Inverness and the oh so famous Loch Ness. And on the way we took a dandy little stop at a castle on the shore of loch ness!

However only Paula went into the castle.. The rest of us just took pictures from afar :) Then we had a nice little driving lesson while Paula was exploring! Good and patient Sylvia was such a good instructor, she put up with all of us wanting to try. Haha after a half hour of jerky driving and endless stalling we continued driving farther up loch ness. By the way... it was FREEZING. If i cant complain about rain, i will complain about the temperature haha. We got to the touristy part of the loch and of course we had to do a little Nessie shopping! I was kinda suprised there wasnt more tourist sites along the loch to be honest. But it was really nice to see the nature untouched beauty!

After this little stop we drove on to Inverness, the "capital" of the highlands. We drove down this little scenic route which was gorgeous! All the fall colors were amazing, its just not something you can capture with a camera. This little road we took was great though, it ended up turning into a little single track road!

After this nice drive we finally got to a place where we could go down to the Loch! So we got out and explored the rocky shore and played around for a while. And I think we saw a glimpse of dear Nessie :)

Yes thats right! Ive submersed my hand in loch ness! The water was frigid! Paula was the only smart one who had her rain boots on so she could actually stand in the water haha. Despite my not-so-great photography skills, this place was so picturesque! I cant even compare it to anything I've ever seen, it was just amazing. After this we went back into Inverness to walk around for a bit before the sun when down. Inverness was really neat, quite small, but it had some pretty sweet buildings.

Since the sun sets so early there wasn't much to see after it got dark so we decided to just head straight back to Glasgow. Poor Sylvia... by this time she has been driving for about 8 hours and we had a good 2 and a half hour journey back. Haha but we only got lost once or twice... or three times.. We were very thankful for the round abouts. It is so nice to be able to circle around those as long as you want when your trying to figure where your going! I think we went around one four times haha. Good times. Luckily we had two iphones with maps to help us. However by the time we got back one was dead and mine had about 7 percent left. Close call. No worries though! We finally got back to wonderful Europcar with a full tank of gas and all of us intact emotionally and physically.

And 13 hours later, here is proof that we all survived the road trip! What a great crew if i do say so myself! All in all it was a flawless trip and seeing the highlands was simply amazing! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh the joy Novemeber 1st brings me!

Sue me, but I really hate blogging. It is sooo not my thing.

Well its been over 6 weeks, I think its about time I introduce you all to my wonderful flatmates! Haha i really like living with all international students. Its amazing how different and similar things are other countries and cultures. Living with different nationalities has definitely opened up my eyes to how big the world really is. I feel so privileged to experience these things firsthand and I couldn't ask for a better mix of people to live with.

So first we have Tereza! A proud citizen of the Czech Republic!

And here we have Paula! My north american sister from Burlington Canada!

Next up is Samaa from.. well... Holland and Germany and Iran I think..

And heres the beautiful Italian Sylvia

And last but not least is Lyn from Malaysia - (in the white shirt)

So yes! These are my wonderful flatmates! Like I said I couldn't ask for better roomies, they are so great! We have good times together that is for sure :)

Now just a little update with whats going on here -
  • Ive officially done my laundry ONCE since Ive been here. Hehehe. Now some of you might be a little repulsed by this. However.. can I just say that I feel very accomplished! A lot of you mocked me for the amount of clothing I hauled over here, but obviously it was a good idea. Considering doing my laundry costs about 10 pounds, I feel like I am being very economically efficient!
  • The great Bedbug Scare of October is finally over. We had a couple sketchy weeks of the possibility of having bedbugs, but finally last week our flat passed the investigation and we are bedbug free :) -seriously though, this freaked me out. I felt so violated every time I crawled into bed, wondering if I was sharing my bed with unwanted creatures.. Ewww. 
  • Finally I am no longer sick! I am pleased to announce I am back to good health :)
  • I ran for one hour the other day, I am so pleased with myself! I hate running and never thought I would do that for my choice of exercise in a million years. Despite the degree of hatred I have towards running, I feel so accomplished when I get done! 
  • I'm starting to unconsciously incorporate British slang into my vocabulary! Ross will be so proud. The other day on a day trip to Lanark (absolutely beautiful if i do say so) we had just finished lunch and I stood up and said "I wonder where a bin is". Ya. YA. It happened. And I was completely taken by surprise.. Who knows what else I'll be saying by the time I leave?? 
  • Ive taken up Ultimate Frisbee! I had my first training session last week. INTENSE. I was so bad, the person I was guarding on the other team was telling me what to do and where to run to... Hopefully I pick it up sooner or later. 
  • I bought T-Swifts new album this week and I cant stop listening to it. I love it so much! 
Halloween has came and gone once again, and I can officially listen Christmas music now!!!! Woohoo :) November 1st is always a good day for me. I know this just about disgusts some people, but I love Christmas time and the music that goes with it. Its funny though, since it is still so green here I feel weird listening to Christmas music during the day. So I wait til it is dark outside then I listen. It gets dark so early here, usually around 4:45 and it is dark. Its rather depressing! But at the same time its kinda cool haha. Interesting little tid bit - Glasgow the same distance from the north pole as Anchorage Alaska! Haha its a little bit warmer here though thankfully :)

Well that's all for now my friends! Don't judge me for my blogging frequency :)