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 the incredible skill of the dancers - unbelievable! We were actually some of the first people to ever see the Beauty and the Beast ballet. It debuted in December of 2011!

Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, Gabby and I bought train tickets and headed to St. Andrews. The historic Scottish city is the home to golf, St. Andrews University, and was the religious capital of Scotland, especially during the Protestant Reformation. We took the train to Leuchars, then a bus into St. Andrews. After taking a wrong turn from the bus station, getting whistled at and honked/yelled at (we don't know why either) we found the "Old Course" - the very first golf course!

We walked along the coast of the North Sea and saw the ruins of St. Andrews Castle...

...and strolled through the cemetery and ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.

After walking back along the coast, we came to the expansive North Sea beach. We found seashells and ventured out into the waves. We were glad we wore rain boots (even though it was beautifully sunny all day) because the water was cold even with them on!! With my feet sore, we headed back to the bus station. We had lovely train ride back over the Firth of Forth at sunset.

Sunday was Mother's Day in the UK, so I treated my host mom to lunch (Chelsea was in Amsterdam for the weekend). After some yummy food and conversation, I headed back to Dalkeith House and called my "home mom" to wish her a Happy UK Mother's Day.


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