The best brother in the ENTIRE WORLD came to visit me last week and I miss him already :( We had a great week and got to see Edinburgh, which is an amazing city and I highly recommend it to anyone who's planning on going to Europe.
Day 1 of Jerome's visit (which was technically day 2, but he got in so late on Saturday that I'm not counting it as a day).
We went to go see The Tower of London, which is one of my favorite places in London. It's got such a huge, colorful history, and the tour guides are always really passionate about the subject, and really funny. Our guide had such a dry, British sense of humor. It was seriously amazing. We also got to see the crown jewels, which are stunningly beautiful (sorry for the lack of photos, but cameras aren't allowed into the building). I do have a picture, though, of Jerome and I front of the Tower!
That night, we went for pizza at my favorite pizza place in London, which is conveniently located a few blocks from my dorm :) It's really awesome, so Mom and Grandma, if you're reading this, just letting you know that at some point, we need to eat at Italiano Coffee Company, or ICCOs, for short.
On Monday, I had class in the morning, so Jerome got to sleep in a bit. We then packed and headed out to Gatwick Airport to fly to Edinburgh. It was a short flight, and, as promised, it was really easy to find our way out to the hostel. I have been fortunate enough to have yet to stay in a bad hostel. The one in Copenhagen was very cute and quaint, the one in Prague was large and, as I was the only person in a 6-person room and the architecture was very ornate, it felt pretty glamorous. This hostel was really artsy and colorful. It was definitely designed for young backpackers. Here's a photo of my favorite mural and one of the stairwells.
That night, we got drinks in the bar in the hostel. Yes, our hostel had a bar. It also had a small cinema, kitchen, board games, and an oversized chess set.
The morning of Day 3, we went to Edinburgh castle. We got there a little early, so we spent some time looking around a kilt store which had an exhibit on how kilts are made. After that, we made our way to the castle and looked all over it. It was a rainy day, so it wasn't as gorgeous as it could have been, but it was still really neat to see. There was a definite military focus, and we looked around a prisoner of war exhibit, but they also had the crown jewels of Scotland on exhibit, which of course I was all over. A few photos, of course :)
We spent a couple of hours there, and then made our way down to Grassmarket, where we got lunch at a pub. Jerome ordered haggis which he loved. I tried it too, although I couldn't order it myself since I gave up meat for lent, and it was actually pretty good! We also visited an illusion museum, which was really fun and crazy. Every floor blew my mind. Seriously, if you are going to Edinburgh, make sure to go to the Camera Obscura! That night, we went on a ghost tour. I've been on a lot of ghost tours, and I can honestly say this was among the best. They took us down into the vaults, which was pretty terrifying, but in a really good way. Mercat Tours come highly recommended (from me, anyway) :)
Sadly, this was our last day in Edinburgh. We started it with a free tour around the city. I love doing these tours. I took the one in Prague, now I've done the one in Edinburgh, and I will definitely be going on the tour in Berlin. Our guide walked us around, told us some stories and pointed out some really neat things, like the heart of Midlothian that has been put into the sidewalk in Old Town.
We then got lunch and headed back out to London. We got in pretty late, and went straight to bed so that I could get up early the next day and get to classes.
I had classes all day, so Jerome was on his own for the majority of the day. I drew him a map in the guide book and sent him to Westminster. I can't really speak for him, but he seemed to have a great time, and said he found somewhere pretty good for lunch. We met up at 4, once my classes were all over. Jerome got a chance to rest after his hours and hours of walking, and then we went to Chinatown for dinner. We spent the rest of the night just hanging out in my room, and packing Jerome up a bit so we had less to do the next morning.
The next morning, Jerome left London :( I didn't really do much that day, besides mailing in my application to the 4+1 Masters program in the Tulane English Department. Sunday, though, was my spa day. I got a massage and facial. I also got access to the steam room and sauna, which was wonderful. I really needed the heat. It made me a little bit less homesick. I also got a deal in the restaurant, and had one of the most delicious meals I've had in a long time. The first course was a salad with a red pepper dressing, candied walnuts, and cubes of deep-fried brie. The second course was fettucine and homemade pesto sauce. Soooooo good!
Alright, I'm rambling now, so I'm just going to end this now. I'll update again soon with how I've been spending my time off, as I'm now basically done with classes and don't have finals until May.