Advice From Cookies I've Eaten

~Forgiveness does not change the past, but it will enlarge the future~

~Take no risks with your reputation!~

~Respect for others is peace. Respect for yourself is happiness.~

~You cannot be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.~

~When things go wrong don't go with them.~

~Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will!~

~To ignore the facts doesn't change the facts.~

~Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.~

~Live every day up to your expectations not others.~


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Highlands: Doune Castle (That's Right The Monty Python Castle!)

This is the last post in my Highland series (I know sad day =( The very first place we stopped at on our tour was at Doune Castle. It is the castle that a great part of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed at (I'm a big fan so I was very excited).

This was our coach. Notice where the door is on it. Because we use the buses around here so much you would think that we would have been used to going to the right side to get in but when there is no curb to give you some direction then you just go with instincts which means that we all went to the left to get on. After a while we got the hang of it.
It is very medieval.

That is Ben (L) and Steven (R) pretending to be snotty French Frogs. "Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries. Now go away before I taunt you a second time." =)

The tunnel that John Clese ran through to get to the person trapped away in the castle by their father.

This is where the wedding festivities were being held.

The stairs are all very narrow and wee and it is all leaky so there is water all over the place.

The great hall.

The fireplace is huge.

Looking down into the great hall.

And wee narrow halls.

The glass is really cool when it looks like this. The reason it looks warped is because glass is still in a weird sense a liquid and is settling.

Smoking Kills [and makes you ugly]!!!!!

The UK government wants you to know that smoking is bbbbaaaaadddd! =] I bet they don't have any sissy lawsuits here from people that "didn't know" smoking was bad for you. All of the cigarette packages have this on them. And people still smoke while looking at them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Highlands: The Hostel

We stayed our first night in Glen Nevis which is at the base of Ben Nevis (ben=mountain) the largest mountain in Scotland. It was so beautiful there and so clean. It did get rather cold at night. It is the first time I have ever been in a hostel. It was OK but not at all what I thought it would be like. For those who don't know what a hostel is think... huge house... 100 people... cold showers... many beds... and in my case a room full of coffee drinking, hyper, bouncing off the walls (literally) kids (7-12 years old) in the room next to me that got me pounding on their door at 6:30 AM asking them to stop it! stop it! stop it! [I'm not a morning person.]

Looking off the porch of the hostel at some of the other students and accross at Ben Nevis.

Part of Ben Nevis.

More of Ben Nevis.

This is Patty Waters the director of my program here. She is amazing!

Hostels will offer breakfast and have a room to eat in.

There is places for you to put your food in.

The self-service kitchen. It comes with pots, pans, and dishes. There are stoves and etc. When done you just have to clean up after yourself.

My room. Yes there were 8 of us in there. And no I was not on the top!

Us waiting for the bus.

Highlands: Truck Stop

We stopped in Glen Nevis at a store to buy some supplies. Next to the store they had a truck stop. It was really cool to see my first Scottish truck stop.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Highlands: Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan is notable for many reasons. It is where Bonnie Prince Charley raised his standard at and was in the middle of the Jacobite territory. Of course since most of you are not historians and don't give a flying donut about that then I will tell you that it is also where the Harry Potter bridge is at.
Here's the link:

Ok (oooooo.....ahhhhh I know!) here is the Harry Potter Bridge. I'm not a HP fan so I can't tell you what part of the movie it is in, but if you like the movie then you already know and therefore don't need my help anyway.
More of the bridge.
More... got to keep the fans happy =)!

Now for the gooooood stuff. This is the other side of the valley looking down at the Glenfinnan Monument. It is sitting on the shore of Loch Shiel. At the top of the monument is Charles Stuart (Bonnie (it means pretty/handsome) Prince Charley).

All around the monument are trees planted for the different clans that supported him.

The memorial to him.

One of the trees.

To climb up the monument you have to basically scale up this verrrrrry narrow staircase with only a rope to hold on to. Plus as an added bit of fun it was a wee bit slick from leaking water.

The hole at the top of the stairs is barely big enough to fit through.

What it is like without anyone there. Crazy huh!

But when you get to the top ol' Charley meets you as he looks majestically off on his troops (cue cheezy movie music and sigh =).

The view out on Loch Shiel from the top.

So beautiful.
As an added note, I did not go to the top of the monument so these magnificent pictures are all thanks to my wonderful friend Leah who hauled my camera up to the tip top and snapped some shots in the very few minutes she had up there. I decided not to go when I saw other pictures of how small it was at the top and thought it was best not to have a panic-attack at the top like I did on top of the St. Louis Arch. =]

Highlands: Neptune's Staircase

As we were oot-n-boot (out and about) we stopped by Neptune's Staircase. It is a staircase lock made up of 8 locks on the Caledonian Canal, which stretches from the east coast of Scotland by Inverness all the way to the west coast by Fort William. It is the longest staircase lock in the UK.
Here's the link.

This shows how the locks work.

Scotland for a long time was called Caledonia (hence the Caledonian Canal).

Walking up to the canal.

This was one of the locks.

It is quite a bit of a drop.

That is the highway going over the canal.

One of the smaller boats in the canal.

Life on a boat can be pretty hectic....
and you might be wondering how they take care of their basic needs....

but wait no longer......
it is a do-it-yourself kit. Mystery over!!! =)