Planes, trains and automobiles (June 21)
After spending the weekend in England, it was time for me to head on back to Scotland. My flight out of Birmingham to Edinburgh was scheduled for 2:15, so Mike’s wife, Pat, drove me to the airport at noon. Security took no time at all, so I sat in the terminal playing more games of Fruit Ninja than I care to admit. The flight from Birmingham to Edinburgh was the same way: lots and lots of Fruit Ninja.
Once arriving in Edinburgh, I hopped on the tram that was to take me to the nearest train station, since there isn’t a train station within moderate walking distance of the airport. Only, I couldn’t get off at my designated stop because there were six or seven elementary school-aged kids running up and down the aisle, preventing me to get off.
The next stop was fortunately not too terribly far away, so I just got off then and walked back to the stop I was supposed to be at. Once there, I waited 20 minutes or so before boarding the replacement rail bus (the railway is under renovations in one area, resulting in the closure of that part of the line) that was to take me to the part of the line that was functioning. That bus ride was about an hour or so (meaning more Fruit Ninja). The driver dropped us off right outside of where to board the train to Stirling, and the train I needed had just arrived. The timing was absolutely perfect.
That train ride to Stirling was about 20 minutes. Once I arrived in Stirling, I walked two blocks to the bus stop, boarded the bus that took me back to the University, arrived back, and promptly went to bed.
I’m basically like Rose… but on a mountain, not a boat. (June 22)
After a short day of class (only one!), the ISS program hosted a hike up the Dumyat. The Dumyat, though classified as a hill, is easily a small mountain and overlooks campus. The hike up was very gorgeous. When we were walking up, I felt that I was in the shire. I felt like a hobbit.
I was most definitely feeling it in my legs, considering I hadn’t worked out over the past month much prior to hiking. When we finally reached the summit, I couldn’t seem to catch my breath, though not because of exhaustion, but rather because of how amazing the view was.
About 60 or so of us managed to hike to the summit and were were all exhausted by the time we reached the top.
I, of course, had to take a ridiculous picture, because that’s just who I am.
We hung around at the top for about 20 minutes before we made the trek back down. After that, I played some games in one of our friend’s flats before heading off to bed.
My kryptonites are the crossbar and the left post (June 23)
After my longest day of classes during the week, I, and a handful of other ISS students got together to play a game of football (not American football. We played soccer). Not enough of us were there to fill all the positions, so I played forward and midfielder all game, while the defenders played both defense and mid.
To say I was rusty was a bit of an understatement, considering I had seven shots on goal and converted none of them. Three of them hit the left post, two of them hit the crossbar, one was saved and the other slid just to the left of the goal. Needless to say, I need much more practice.
What have I learned over the past few days?
1. I’m not in good of shape as I thought I was.
I was out of breath multiple times on my hike and was panting like a dog after a walk on a hot day during the football game. I really need to step it up a notch when it comes to working out, because even the basic stuff has been phasing me.
2. Public transportation is a million times better here.
I think this has been well established, but public transit in the midwest is not even close to being as developed as it is over in Europe. Yes, it may be slow and much more frustrating when you know you could drive it faster, but getting from point A to point B is a lot easier here and there are a lot more routes to choose from.