Saturday, 6 February 2010

Planes, Pubs, and Dalkeith Palace

Well, it's taken me over a week to say this, but i'm FINALLY settled in. Tonight I did my first laundry of the trip and it really drove home the message that I'm not just here on vacation, I live here!

I'll start out with a recap of the adventure so far. The flight over was really nice. My grandma said KLM, the airline I flew out with, were really good, and she was right. We had an in-flight movie, and dinner was marvelous (I had salmon and some rice stuff, and a coke, it was super good!). Sadly I had been fighting a cold since the Sunday before I left, so my nose was stuffy and I just didn't feel good. I took a night-time decongestant and ended up coughing and being gross and sniffly the whole flight. My sincerest apologies to the Dutch guy sitting behind me. The GOOD thing though was our flight wasn't full, so they let us get up and move to different seats and I ended up getting a whole row to myself to sleep in. So we landed at Amsterdam at like 7 in the morning, but it was still dark, which was weird, however, as we landed the lights of the city were on, and fortunately I was sitting next to Nick (Nicholas James Quinn, an ace guy in my opinion) and he pointed it out to me or I would have missed it. (Because I was all stuffed up, my ears weren't popping, so my head hurt SO bad as we descended). We had an hour layover in Amsterdam, which turned out to be basically enough time to get to our gate, fill out the UK border agency information card, and get onto the shuttle that took us to our plane. That's right, a shuttle. The plane from Amsterdam was a little city-hopper, and it had a staircase that folded up into the plane and everything. I felt like Bianca from "The Rescuers". Also, by some sheer luck of the draw, I got the seat next to Nick, and the second descent (worst than the first) was made better by him being such a friend and giving me some gum and holding my hand.

Let me tell you now, I will never complain again about ear pain if I can see Edinburgh from the sky again. It was green, and the hills were so beautiful, some event topped with snow. The firth was glistening. It literally brings tears to my eyes to think about it. It was a dream come true. That's what I love about Scotland, it's all of the stereotypes that the movies and books make of it, but it's also even better. We waited for the bus to Dalkeith from the airport in Edinburgh for like 4 hours. It was enough to drive me crazy, especially because one of my ears hadn't popped. (It ended up not popping until the next day. Which was the best morning because of it.) At the airport I did get to meet a bunch of girls and guys who I now call my housemates AND my friends! There were two girls, Brit and Emily, who are my best friends here. And Cassie and Libby who are so funny... everyone is so nice here though. I can say totally honestly that there isn't a person here who I don't like. There are times when I want to light some of them on fire (Yes, I'm talking about you Spencer), but I love everyone. The house was impossible. I didn't know where to look first. And THAT is when the told us we had to lug our 50+ pounds of luggage up THREE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS. I will be coming home so skinny and in shape! Since I was sick I pretty much just unpacked, ate dinner, and went to bed. Some people went out, but I needed to be in a bed and get my ear to pop. The next day was SO BORING. Orientation is not exactly going to ever win an Oscar for best drama, so I guess I shouldn't complain. It was... informative. But the HOUSE! I live on the third floor (They call it second here, it goes ground, 1st, 2nd, ect. which takes some getting used to) in a nice room with two girls both named Megan. I call them the Megans. These girls are the sweetest two girls I've ever met. We are so in sync schedule wise too that it was a match made in roomate heaven. I did have to re-arrange my bed and wardrobe because they were in the STUPIDEST placed possible. I feel like I've made a marvelous improvement the way I have them now and might change my major to interior decorating. The stairs still get me winded, but I can tell that I'm getting stronger. I can walk up them without needing a lung transplant now, but running up them is a different story. And sometimes I run up the stairs. Not because I'm late but because it takes so much time! To make a sandwich I have to go to my room where my bread is, down to the basement where the student fridge is, to the servery to make it, and then to the dining room to eat it. That's almost every floor of the house dedicated to making a sandwich. As I said, I will be in shape at the end of this.
Well, I'm going to have to break my first week into two parts. Maybe three. But Lord of the Rings made more money that way so perhaps this is my way of building suspense and getting you all to read more! Tomorrow I'm off to Stirling and Linlithgow Castles, and I hope soon I have time (and internet speed) to post some pictures! As they say here in bonny Scotland, Cheers!

Fun Fact: Edinburgh is at the same latitude as Moscow!


  1. I am the first to comment! Yay! Miss you. Keep 'em coming.

  2. Hi Maurissa... Wow... What a fantastic blog. You are a great writer. Your blog not only tells us what you have been doing but it paints a picture. I love it. I am so excited for you. I hope that you are feeling all better. I love you.. Mamma

  3. Oh, wow! I can't tell you how happy I am to read of your grand adventures. It's been like honey to my bisquits or something like that. :) LOVE YOU, MISSY!!!

  4. That sounds absolutely amazing. I can't wait to hear more. I forgot amazing of a writer you are... you just made an airplane flight and stairs interesting to read about. I'm so insanely jealous, but I hope you're having a blast. :) And you get to see Hogwarts up close (pictures would be much appreciated)!

  5. How great that you are blogging about your adventures in Scotland! The campus posted a link to your blog on facebook, so you should get lots of readers. BTW, this is Lisa Martin, not Dan, my husband's name on our personal email account.