Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday June 14th

Hey everyone!  I had the best weekend ever!  We left last Thursday and headed up to the Scottish Highlands and then to the Isle of Skye!  We saw the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen in my life.  I was just in complete awe and wonder at God's amazing creation the whole weekend.  Ever time I thought that it coudn't get any prettier, it did.  Not only that, but all of our prayers for good weather paid off.  We had blue skies and sun the whole weekend and not a drop of rain.  Apparently this is very very rare for this time of year in the region we were in.  I am just so thankful that we were able to experience such a beautiful place in this world with such beautiful weather. 
We started our journey on a steam train, then got onto a ferry, and then we rode in a bus the rest of the weekend!  Every time that I tried to take a picture in the Highlands, I just got mad.  I coudn't capture the beauty and power of the landscape.  I did get pictures, but they just dont even compare to what I really got to see.  There are no trees really in the Highlands or on the Isle.  There is something in the air that prevents them from growing really.  Only a few types can really grow, and there aren't many of them.  This is what our tour guide told us at least! This makes the Highlands look like giant rolling hills.  But that isn't even a good description.  They are massive, they are rolling, but they are the most powerful looking mountain/hills imaginable.  They are just as tall as mountains and just towering over you on all sides.  I can't give a good enough description so I'll just quit trying.  It is frustrating me! Haha

These two pictures were of St. Conans Kirk.  Kirk is another word for Church of Scotland.  There is really nothing important that I know of that went on here.  It is just a beautiful church that is still in use today!  So we stopped and took a look around!  We also sat in the pews and had a little devo and singing session.  It sounded absolutely beautiful!
This was just one of the many many waterfalls that we saw in the Highlands!  We literally didn't go a mile without seeing waterfalls like this coming out of the mountains!  As much as we complain about all the rain we've gotten, it made for some beautiful waterfalls.  Last year's group said that there was just barely a trickle of water from most of the falls. 
We got to ride a steam engine train as soon as we got to the Highlands!  It was a beautiful ride!  We also got to ride it across the bridge where all the Harry Potter movies are filmed.  It is the bridge that they cross on their way to school every year!  I know you are all probably getting sick of Harry Potter, but I'm a Harry Potter nut and I am in Scotland, the birthplace of Harry Potter!! Everything here makes me want to reread the whole series agian!  I see inspiration for the books everywhere I go! It is so cool. 

This was the ferry that we rode on to get the Isle of Skye!
This is a picture of the Highlands from the Island of Skye!
Our group attempted to get a picture of us all holding hands and jumping off this wall (onto a road with traffic mind you) haha  But we failed every time! haha Still a cute picture though. :)
Another of the many waterfalls! I climbed the hill to the top of this one and got a close up picture of this one though!
This was the coolest waterfall we saw the whole time.  It is actually spilling off into the sea where the Atlantic and North Sea meet!
These little daisy looking flowers are like the dandelions of Scotland.  They are everywhere so I wanted to get a picture of them on a pretty day with blue skies! 
This was one of the funnest things I did!  These are Highland Coos.  They are called coos, not cows.  They are all over in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye!  We saw them when we were driving down the road and stopped to get pictures!  Of course they were all laying down and we couldn't see them very well.  So leave it to me. I jumped the fence and walked up to them and got them to stand up and pose for some great pictures!! The little baby in front was just the cutest thing ever!  Haha Those horns were just a little bit scarey up close though. 
This is the first castle that we got to go in!! I was set up like a museum on the inside though and half of the rooms you couldn't go in or even look into.  I was still very cool though!
I have a new "best picture"!  We just noticed while driving by that there was NO wind and that the lake was perfectly still!! It was unreal to see.  There is always wind in Scotland, especially here right on the coast!  It was the most peaceful and beautiful sight to see. 
This, my friends, is LOCH NESS!!!! Yes we went hunting for Nessie!!! Unfortunately we did not find her.  We took a boat out onto the loch (lake) and had a tour guide tell us all about the legends of the loch ness monster.  It was a lot of fun!
This is a picture of a castle we saw while on the Loch Ness

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday June 8th

Ok I left off at the P.S. I Love You pictures. 

This was the best picture I feel like I took all day long and I actually took it out the window of a moving van! Haha..  This is Loch Tay.  They call their lakes lochs.   The loch is actually owned by the Guinness Beer people.  There is a huge house near the lake, but we were so high up and so far away that I couldn't get a good picture of it.  They actually imported sand and made themselves a private beach, but the beach is not natural.  Here are a few more pictures from different angles. 

The house is in this picture but it is hidden behind trees so my camera could not pick it up. 

The next set of pictures is of a place called Glendelough, an 11th century monastic community that was founded by Saint Kevin.  Most of the buildings are gone, but the stone buildings are still standing!  Some of them are in pieces, but standing. 

The next set of pictures is purely for my mother.  The sheep woman!  Haha  Believe it or not, I have seen WAY more sheep here in Scotland than I saw in Ireland.  Also, every time I saw sheep in Ireland, we were in a moving van and I coudn't really get a good picture.  I did not see any huge flocks though!  I just saw a few here and there.  The most that I saw together at once wasn't more than a dozen.  But here you go mother :)  I will be going to the Scottish Highlands this weekend and I bet I'll get way more sheep pictures for you there! :) 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday June 5th

     Hey everyone,  I know its been a few days since my last post, but I  spent the whole weekend in Ireland with my group!  This was a free weekend that we had and all 13 of us flew to Ireland on Friday morning at 7 am!  To start the trip, the fire alarm went off in the house we are staying at about 3 am.  We all had to get up at 4ish to be ready for our flight and needless to say, we started the trip off by being  sleep deprived.  Haha  I stayed in my first hostel on this trip also!  All thirteen of us were in the same room in bunk beds for 14 Euro per person.  It was quite an experience to say the least.  

     On our first day in Dublin, we all split off into groups of 4 or so people and explored and shopped.  My group decided to walk around and see all the Cathedrals in the area.  We went into St. Patricks Cathedral and I got some pretty neat pictures! 

      We also went and saw the remains of Dublin Castle!  It was beautiful.  It was right in the middle of town which was different.  There wasn't much left of it, and what was left, they had built a church around!  The big cylinder tower is the part of the castle that is left.  Some of the wall around the castle is still there too, and I have pictures of that as well! 

     The next day of our trip was unbelievable!  We found a tour that took us out into the countryside all day long!  They picked us up in a van at 9:30 in the morning and we didn't get back until 6 that evening.  We drove at least an hour out of Dublin and got to see some amazing scenery.  We made so many stops along the way and got to get out of the van and walk around and take pictures. 

This picture was taken from the top of a huge hill.  It is a view of the city of Dublin and of the coast line of Ireland!  None of these pictures are going to do justice to what I actually got to see while there.  It was amazing. 

These pictures were just taken at one of the few lakes that we stopped at along our drive

This is the road and bridge that was in one of the scenes of "P.S. I Love You"  If you haven't seen it, it is a chick flick that of course, all of us girls had seen.  In the movie, one scene is of the girl walking down the road lost.  Her knight in shining armor comes along and gives her directions and they live happily ever after.  Haha  This is the bridge and the exact spot on the road that she walked, so of course we all took turns taking pictures of us "walking" down the road! Haha

Ok, I have been trying to upload more pictures from the rest of our day tour through the countryside, but my computer wont let me!  I am just going to leave my post at this and tell you that Our God has created such a beautiful and wonderful world.  I am so happy that I am able to see and experience it like I have so far this trip.  I promise that I will finish this post and upload more pictures when my computer allows!  Love and miss you all! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday June 1st

Since Monday, I have been going to Carron Primary School in Larbert, Scotland.  I have a P4 class.  They classify the grade levels differently over here.  They start in Nursery (3 and 4 year olds)  and then they move into P1 when they are 5.  The Primary School has up through P7 which is 11 year olds.  They then go into High School where they are classified as first years, second years, so on and so forth.  Anyway, I have P4's! They are all mainly 8 years old, some of them 9 because its the end of the year for them.  They are absolutely precious!  I can hardly understand a word they are saying when they talk to each other though because they talk so fast! Of course that is no different than American elementary students do! Haha.  There are several things that I have learned since I've been in the schools.  Most of them are words that have different meanings over here than they do back home.  The children call their erasers "rubbers" and they call their notebooks "jotters"  there are a few words that I learned not to say because that they have inapropriate meanings over here, so I wont mention them on here! Haha  Another funny thing that I noticed is that they all assumed that I personally knew a lot of movie stars and singers because I was from America.  They are all just as obsessed with Justin Bieber over here as they are in the States. Haha

My teacher does a lot of yelling in her classroom.  Which is disappointing to me.  They run all over her and the only method she uses to dicipline them is to yell.  Now I know that I am a young education major that has never had a classroom of my own.  Many would say that I am blissfully  unaware of what the teaching world is like.  Which is very true.  Maybe I am naive, but I truly believe that yelling is not the answer.  I can't wait until I get to have the class for a day and see how they react to me.  They may eat me alive, but I think I can do it! Haha 

I don't have much to say about the school yet because I have only been there for a few days!  I am going to see if my teacher minds if I take pictures, but there is a good chance that she will say no.  If that is the case then I am sorry, but if not, I will post some as soon as I can!  It is bedtime for me here, Goodnight all!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday May 30th

We went back into Edinburgh yesterday (Sunday) and we got to look around a lot of the city on our own.  One of the most amazing things that I've seen yet was Saint Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.  It was probably the most beautiful buiding that I have ever seen.  The construction on the building started in the early 1100's and was not complete untill the early 1900's.  Most of the architecture that we saw inside though was done in the 14 and 15th centuries.  I couldn't take pictures inside because I did not want to pay to do so, but my professor did so I have just a couple of the pictures that he took for everyone to see! 

While in Edinbugh, Dr. Wood (my professor) surprised us all with dinne at The Elephant House!  This may not mean anything to any of you, but this is the coffee shop/restaurant where J.K. Rowling sat in while she was writing the Harry Potter series!!! I am a huge Harry Potter nut and this was very neat to me.  The shop has a room that overlooks the Edinburgh Castle and that is what she  looked at and got her inspiration from!  There is also a cemetery behind the shop.  I was told that she used names off of the tombstones for inspiration for the character's names!! I hear that Tom Riddle's grave is there! Which may or may  not mean anything to any of you, but it is amazing to me! Haha

Saturday, May 28, 2011


 This is the Falkirk Wheel!  The second picture is a view from the top of it.  We were in a boat and rode the wheel to the top. 

 This is me and a few friends having coffee in Falkirk! :)

 This was the beautiful and historic Callendar House
You can look up more about it if you wish :) 
I know I didn't have much information for you,
but I gave you what I knew!

 Me and my friend Natalie dressed up like Roman Sodiers!

 U.S.A. rugby team playing against Samoa

This was my attempt an an artsy shot of a cool clock we saw in Edinburgh.
(Kellum, this is for you ;) )