Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Durham and Edinburgh (part 1)

After leaving York we took a train to Durham. The train over was packed because of all the people headed to the Fringe festival in Edinburgh. We ended up sitting on the floor and nearly being attacked by this huge angry German shepherd some lady brought on to the train. It was freaky!

It reminded me a lot of York. A lot smaller and way more chill than London. We hoofed up this huge hill with our backpacks (thank goodness I didn't bring a rolling bag!) and found ourselves looking at Durham Cathedral and the castle where we would be staying.

Currently the castle is used as student housing (aka it's someone's Arend). Initially we were just super excited about decent sized rooms that we only had to share with one person and nice showers and pretty views. Then night fell....Old castles make freaky noises at night!

We got to explore the cathedral a bit that afternoon. It's Keith's favorite and we all got why. It felt like it had just been carved out of the rock. Also, St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede are buried there and to top it off Harry Potter was filmed in the Cloisters there! That was pretty exciting. We stayed for Evensong which required that we kneel. As most of you know, since the whole knee thing...I don't kneel because of the pain. But I did and I didn't feel any pain at all. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but I feel like maybe I was healed a little bit by St. Cuthbert so I went back and prayed for my mom as well. He's known as a healer, so you never know.

The next day we took a day trip to Hadrian's Wall. It was absolutely gorgeous. As soon as I can I will upload some pictures of it. We also got to see Robin Hood's tree from the Kevin Costner version and a heckuva lot of sheep poop. Unfortunately it rained most of the hike which meant I was looking at the ground and the slick grass and rocks more than the view. I did my best though! That evening we just hung out at the castle bar for a couple hours. I tried pear cider and it was amazing!

This morning we got on a train to Edinburgh and luckily got some seats this time. Which was lucky because of the beautiful coastal views we got to see. Upon arriving it turned out that the hostel had lost our reservations. So we are all 16 girls in one room with about a jillion bunk beds. It should be interesting.

We strolled around Edinburgh this afternoon. The Fringe festival is insane. I've had so many what the heck? moments that I can't even describe. It's just masses and masses of people all trying to get you to come see their performances. Some are in crazy costumes and some are just crazy. Ashley got barked at by a lady.

There's a pretty decent internet cafe here and we'll be in Edinburgh for the next 6 days I believe. It should be pretty awesome. Also, I promise I will send the postcards soon! It just turns out that I need another sticker for international travel.

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