Gen and Emily Visit Scotland

Hello! Instead of studying for exams (French grammar may actually kill me), I am going to write a long overdue entry in my blog. It can't be too long because I do have to get in some studying before the next episode of the BBC's Bleak House is on at 9.

As you may remember, I visited Oxford back in October, where Genevieve Shattow is studying abroad. Genevieve is a cool girl from what is known to people in Columbia's King's Crown Shakespeare Troupe as the Hamlet Light Ensemble. That is such a long story. The point is that we were in a play together, and now we visit each other in Great Britain.

Genevieve brought her friend Emily with her, and after some confusion regarding late trains and me standing in line at auditions forever (I got the part though!!! more on that...) I tried to take them to see the Edinburgh Christmas pantomime. A "Panto" is a British Christmas tradition, but I can't explain it to you because it sold out before we could get tickets. That made us sad. So we went home, opened a bottle of yummy wine and watched the X Factor. Now, the X Factor is an INCREDIBLE British invention. We stole it and called it American Idol. American Idol is not as cool. Because American Idol doesn't have Sharon Osbourne as a judge! X Factor does have Sharon. And she rocks. I won't even try to explain how amazing this show is, but my flat tries to watch it every Saturday. Then, Genevieve, Emily and I went to the Bedlam Christmas party (Bedlam is the name of the theater at Edinburgh Uni). It was a good time.

Sunday, we got up in time to climb Arthur's Seat. Well, Genevieve and Emily climbed Arthur's Seat. I didn't make it, not being quite well enough to climb mountains. I made it almost to the top though! Here are pictures:

What is Arthur's Seat, you ask? King Arthur is supposed to have lived, if he lived at all, up around Edinburgh. He spoke Welsh. I studied poems about it this semester. Anyway, you don't want to know the details, but many place names and old poetry suggest that in early Welsh tradition, Arthur was a giant. Hence, the enormous size of his "seat" overlooking everything. As you can almost see from my photographs that do it no justice, the view is incredible. I always forget that I live near the sea, and then I get up on one of our Scottish hills and see how close it is... beautiful. It was a pretty good day for it, too, no rain!

We went home to warm up before heading to the Princes Street Gardens for the winter carnival. We walked around, looked at the German market, watched some ice skaters and rode the ferris wheel, which gave us another incredible view of Edinburgh. Next, we went to a place called Negociants to warm up again with some tea... mmmm.

I woke up feeling under the weather again on Monday (I swear, I haven't been healthy at all since the day I arrived in this dark, damp country) so Gen and Emily were on their own for awhile. BUT! I did find out that my audition on Saturday went well, and I was offered the part of Ophelia in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead!!!! I have wanted to play Ophelia since someone told me I looked like an Ophelia when I was about 14, so it's a very big deal (I'm sure it was meant as a complement...). We met up for a snack, and then they went off to meat Emily's friend to go ceilidh dancing. They said they had a great time! I was curled up with some tea and did some writing.

The girls left Tuesday morning, quite early, on their way to Paris via London. I was so glad they visited, we had a proper girly sleepover complete with boy talk and chocolate cake. It's always so nice to see someone from home, too, and I've been lucky to have visitors just about every time I get homesick.

I'm studying for my exams now, still not quite healthy. You'd think weeks in bed would have cured me! But I have a cold again. Grrrrrr. I will be better soon, and then I will stay healthy!

Next Thursday, the day after my last exam, I'm getting on a train to London and then a plane to Salzburg, Austria. After a day or two in Salzburg, I'm going to head to Vienna to visit my friend Christine Langmayr. I met her almost 10 years ago at SRF Youth Program! Yay for summer camp friends. I haven't seen her in years; I can't wait! After Austria, I'm spending a few days in London, then Christmas in Kent with Nina's parents, then an author's tour of England. I have a four-day rail pass and intend to see Keats's house in London, the Jane Austen Museum in Bath, the Bronte parsonage in Yorkshire and the Wordsworth museum in the Lake District. I will take lots of pictures in the country of my ancestors (the Salzls... Austrians need to appreciate the vowel) and lots of pictures of my literary heroes and report back when I come back to Edinburgh, just in time for New Year's! Wow... I'm getting excited now that I see my trip written out like that!!!


Blogger Bradford said...

not even a mention?

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to go on an author's tour too! Sounds fabulous.

3:31 PM  
Blogger shug said...

Have you visited Fergusson and de Quincy's Grave? Then have a pint or two at Milne's Bar among the poets.

10:05 AM  

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