Friday, August 05, 2005

Final Post

Well, I’m back in the States at long last. Actually, I’ve been back for quite some time, but have been prevented from putting up this final post by a cold I got on my trip home (not surprising, since my journey included an overnight megabus trip from Dundee to London followed by nineteen hours in airports and airplanes), and then by a weekend babysitting my little sister, and then a week trying to catch up with family and friends, and now a week in Traverse City, Michigan, with the extended family on my dad’s side, which has been an absolute blast and is now drawing to a close. (Three baby cousins make life lots of fun.)

My final few days in Europe, in case you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seat for the past month waiting to find out, were fantastic. I stayed at Sara’s house in Forfar with Hannah and Miriam, who came to meet me at the train station in some fantastic get-ups that looked like several circus clowns had held them at rubber chicken-point and switched wardrobes with them. We spent the afternoon at Glamis Castle, where we had the most fun taking silly photos out in the gardens. (Although the tourguide inside the castle did tell a story which I hypothesize J. K. Rowling might have used as inspiration in her books—about a woman who was killed by the castle’s owner and whose ghost is known as the Grey Lady.) The next day we went up into the glens for a hike along a waterfall, which was like something out of a fairytale. All in all, a wonderful weekend.

Another bit of drama I never did mention (preferring to let my parents hear it first from my mouth rather than my website) were my two excursions into the land of hitchhiking, which I would never have risked except in small villages in Scotland, and with great deals of caution. The first and more stereotypical instance occurred when we were trying to catch our bus to Crianlarich to catch the train to Mallaig to get a ferry to Armadale to get a bus via Portree to our hostel in Uig, on what you can see was a day of rather tight travel, and all busses out of Stirling had been Cncelled by the G8 riots. After Kate and I stood at various bus stops in Callander and had a number of passers by warn us that no busses were coming and suggest we consider hitching, we decided to try it, so I ran across the street for a black marker and Kate drew up a sign reading CRIANLARICH. After some clever comments from more passers by (“I’m just walking” and “You’ve got it spelled wrong!”) we were given a lift by a bicycler on his way to catch the very same train we were aiming for.Fortunately, we just made the train.

The second time was on our way back from viewing Loch Ness from the recommended vantage point of Urquhart castle, when I misread the timetable, had us waiting for a late bus back to Inverness which actually only ran on Sundays, and we ended up stranded in the parking lot with no more busses and no other way home. Luckily, there were a few cars parked in the lot, so we approached one of the couples taking a moment to take in the loch and asked if they were heading to Inverness. After some initial dubious hesitation, they turned out to be really sweet people from Minnesota who seemed quite thrilled to help us out, and who were, in fact, on their way to Inverness. So luckily, both instances turned out for the best.

And now, I’m back for another few weeks to see friends, spend time with family, spend ten days at Running Camp, and read loads of plays in preparation for Senior Theatre Festival next year. I’m also hoping to put together a Harry Potter book 6 discussion group sometime this summer—I attended a midnight release party with my little sister, which was great fun, and finished the book by the following midnight. (If you’ve also read it and are interested in discussing the book via e-mail or, if you’re in the area, attending the discussion group, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.)

And as a concluding post for my European Adventure, I include my list of British words and phrases for your perusal, which can be located either below or at Britishisms. Enjoy, and thanks for joining me on my journey!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Ben said...

Hey I finally tracked you down, the details you left on the fridge where snatched away from me. I finally got a job :) yay for me. So if you could email me your contact details then that be good. Oh by the way its Ben the guy that made milkshakes, and managed to corrupt most meals into something strange. Well could you thank Kate for a wonderful post card it was ace :). If you both got msn you should really add me to the list or yahoo messenger or something be nice to catch up with you. Just thought I let you know that your always welcome to my country and your still thought of fondly. Well at least by me, that goes for the both of you, so pass on the message to Kate. Sorry if this post is a bit crazy its early and I am tired from work.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

my email is Tres_icecube@hotmail.com, heh probably help you email me if you had my email addy. Well just goes to show how tired i am. Excellent web journal keep up the good work.

1:03 AM  
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