With the arrival of the Beast from the East earlier this week, an onslaught of snow pictures on various forms of social media was pretty much inevitable and I thought I’d jump right on that wintery bandwagon! I’ve lived on the west of Scotland for pretty much my entire life and I have never seen as much snow as we had on Wednesday and Thursday. There was a red weather warning out for snow in the Central Belt which is basically unheard of, and because the uni was shut both days (and today too!), lots of snowy walks were bound to happen as essay writing procrastination. I went a walk around the UofG campus and Kelvingrove Park on Wednesday, and on Thursday some friends and I headed over to the South Side for a loooooong walk (who needs leg day at the gym when you can walk 8/9 miles in knee deep snow?!?) around Bellahouston Park and Pollok Country Park, which was absolutely lovely! Special snowy shout outs to the girl I saw skiing down Uni Avenue and the guy I saw walking with great purpose towards the Kelvingrove Park carrying a surfboard! People Make Glasgow.
Earlier this week I finished with my culture courses for the year at university (language classes continue for another 4/5 weeks) and I also had my final Spanish translation exam, so as a wee celebration my friend (who’d also just finished her final written medic exams) and I decided to take the afternoon off studying/essaying writing and venture out into the countryside to get some long-ish trail miles under our belts. We knew we wanted to do a bit of the West Highland Way, but were torn between setting off from Milngavie and Drymen; half-way there, we decided to go that wee bit further out the road to Drymen as that meant we could take in Conic Hill as well as some trails.
As I said in my last Amsterdam post, I had planned to be up early on Sunday (my last day in the city) because I’d booked in to the Anne Frank House at 10.30am. Thankfully, the Sunday was less freezing than the previous day which made for a much more comfortable walk to the museum. It was run like clockwork and very slickly done inside, but that didn’t distract from the emotional impact of the place. I found myself on the verge of tears several times during my visit, especially when actually inside the Secret Annex where the dim lighting and number of other visitors created a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere. I’m really glad I managed to get a reservation because it was definitely worth the money!
After a bit of a touch and go start (lots of flights to Amsterdam were cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday due to high winds and it was very snowy in Glasgow on Friday – I genuinely didn’t know whether I’d make it or not!), I safely made it to Amsterdam around 8pm on Friday. I was tired after a long morning at university and then a mad dash to the airport to catch my flight, so after getting the train from Schipol airport to Amsterdam Centraal I headed straight to my hostel (Flying Pig Downtown – would definitely recommend it!), stopping en route to get some Dutch fries, and basically collapsed in a heap and fell straight asleep.
I got up around half 8 on the Saturday morning to make the most of the free hostel breakfast and the first of my full days in the city, before heading along to the National Monument to join a free walking tour of the city (always one of my favourite things to do wherever I go – such a good way to get to know the city and hear a bit of the history of the place). Our guide, Rocco, was great and the tour ended up last about 3 hours! Lots of interesting info, even if it did mean a lot of standing around in the cold (seriously, it was freezing the whole time I was there – glad I packed the thermals!).
Last weekend, I had my first proper holiday from work since I went to Northern Ireland over the summer (time off for exams/essay deadlines doesn’t count), so I decided to book myself a wee trip away to Amsterdam because I’ve always wanted to go and I managed to find flights that fit around my university classes on Friday and Monday. Thankfully, it wasn’t even that expensive given I booked it about a fortnight in advance!
I really enjoyed my time there and you can expect the travel diaries from my two full days there to be up soon, but I thought I’d give you a little taster and post some of my favourite photos from the trip.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Last year I set myself five main goals for the year, so I thought I’d see how well I got on and post some of my goals for 2018.
Last year’s goals:
1 – read 50 books – I actually managed this for the first time since 2014!!! So happy!!! However, my reading was mostly in English and written by men, so didn’t quite read 20 books by women (only managed 14) or 10 in something that isn’t English (a somewhat embarrassing 4….enough said).
2 – visit 5 countries – yeah, didn’t do so well with this one. A solid 2 (UK and Spain). Even counting Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland as separate countries I still only visited 4…
Happy holidays, everyone! It’s that time of year again: Christmas!!
Rebecca from Rebecca Goes Rendezvous tagged me to do the Christmas Tag! She’s currently working as a lectrice d’anglais in the Lyon region of France. She blogs about her job and her travels, not just in France, but all over the world! I always look forward to reading her posts.
Since Christmas is very nearly here, what better way to get into the festive spirit than by doing this tag?!
For the first time in two whole decades, my immediate family and I will be celebrating Christmas back home this year rather than travelling to spend the holidays with my grandparents, so that’s going to be a bit different to what I’m used to. So, without further ado, here are the questions:
- What’s your favourite Christmas film?
100% The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Honourable mention goes to Love Actually, which is finally on Netflix!)
Having submitted all my coursework and sat one of my two exams for the semester, I decided to give myself a day off from revision last Friday and headed through to Edinburgh for the day to visit the Christmas markets. Now, I’m normally a Glasgow girl through and through, but I have to hand it to the capital: their Christmas markets are much better (sorry Glasgow, I still love you!!).
I’m baaaaaaaaaaaack. Please excuse my dropping off the face of the earth for the past month or so while I’ve been getting back into the way of balancing university, part-time work, and running four times a week, all while trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. Perhaps taking a year out the game and then coming back to what everyone calls the most difficult year of uni and taking on a bunch of extracurricular stuff on top of trying to maintain this blog wasn’t the smartest plan, but hey at least I’m ambitious, right?! And, being totally honest here, the only reason I’ve found/made the time to write this is because the niggle in my hip that’s been bothering me slightly for a month finally became a proper injury last week during my first intervals session of the year, and now I’m blessed(?) with a lovely groin strain injury and at least three weeks of no running. (Remember to replace your shoes every 500 miles, kids.) On the up-side, given I’ve been running for three or four years and this is the first injury I’ve picked up, I don’t think it’s all that bad. Just need to remember to be sensible with it and not try and run through it à la the past month.
Earlier this week I went down to London for the day for something very exciting (more info on that one coming soon). I had just under four hours to kill in the morning before the very exciting thing started, so I did what any sensible person would do having just travelled down on the overnight train and not slept at all: ran around central London like a mad woman trying to cram in as much touristy stuff as possible! Not counting multiple trips through various airports over the years, I’ve only actually been to London twice – and the last time was more than four years ago! Needless to say, I was absolutely buzzing to have a few free hours in the city.