Showing posts from March, 2012

St. Andrews for St. Patrick's

Although I did not spend my St. Patrick's Day weekend in Ireland, it was still full of new experiences and places!

Friday night Gabby and I went with two girls from River Falls, Courtney and Whitney, to Hard Rock Cafe and a ballet in Edinburgh. Gabby and I used the stressful homework-filled week as an excuse to have our first alcoholic drink at Hard Rock. Before you get excited, the legal drinking age is 18 in most of Europe (including the UK).

After Hard Rock, the four of us ran to catch a city bus to the Festival Theatre for my first ballet! We saw the Northern Ballet perform Beauty and the Beast. It was a cultural experience; there is no dialogue in ballets - the entire story is told through the music and dance/body language. The storyline in this version of Beauty and the Beast was a bit different from the Disney version I have grown up with so at times it was confusing (luckily I bought a program that had the story written out in it!) Even when confused, I still marveled at t…

Storming the Castle

The weekend of March 9-11 was a mix of exploring new places and homework. I'll save you from reading about more homework marathons and relate the exciting parts of my weekend. 
Friday started with a train ride to Stirling, where we walked up...and up....and up to the Castle.

We walked through an exhibit of the Kings and Queens of Scotland's past and through the "Queen Anne Garden" where the royalty would have played yard games. We then joined a tour and visited the Great Hall (the largest Medieval Great Hall in Europe) where we got to sit in the King's and Queen's chairs. We learned that theses thrones also served as "thrones" for the royalty. Sessions of Parliament could last hours on end and no one could leave until the King or Queen left (otherwise you might be plotting against them). So while the sovereign could 'relieve' themselves and never leave their seat, the nobles were very uncomfortable  by the end of the day!

After the Great Hal…

Holyrood and homework

This weekend I had two goals: visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse and get some homework done. I just didn't realize how much time I'd be spending on the second one....

After breakfast on Friday morning, Gabby and I set off for Edinburgh. We had several items are our 'to do' list, the first being to interview someone in the field of CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) for our Stress Management class. On our bus ride into town, we saw a "Health & Diet Store" and decided it would do just fine. CAM is basically all the other methods of being healthy/getting better besides our normal Western Medicine. We asked the owner our questions, and set off again for Edinburgh.

Our next item was to buy train tickets to Stirling for our house trip next weekend. We ended up not checking off this item, however, because we could only find where to buy same-day tickets. So, we proceeded to our next activity: lunch! We ate lunch in the cute, busy, and crowded Elephant H…

It's a Palace, not a Castle

One of the first days of orientation we learned the difference between a castle and a palace. A castle was built for protection; a palace was built to show off your wealth. My current home away from home, Dalkeith House, was built as a palace.

It was built on the remains of Dalkeith Castle in 1701 by Duchess Anne of Monmouth and Buccleuch (pronounced: "buck lew"). Anne's is a very interesting story. She married the Duke of Monmouth, but he got greedy and tried to steal the English throne. He was put to death, and Anne could have been too, but she proved that she had nothing to do with the revolt and her life was spared. She went on to build Dalkeith Palace and be quite successful - quite a feat for a woman of her time! Her personal crest can be seen throughout the interior and exterior of the palace. The palace has been host to visitors such as Queen Victoria and Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

The palace is currently owned by the present Duke of Buccleuch, Richard. What exact…