Spring Break, Visitors and the West Highland Way.

And two weeks of Spring Break already passed and except studying there was also some time for fun. My parents came over these weeks and we did some more sightseeing together and before that we walked four days a part of the West Highland Way with a group of International students. Marie-Louise (the other IRUN-ambassador) also went with us and wrote about it.

West Highland Way
I already talked about some hiking, but if you really want a challenge and want to see some more of the beautiful nature in Scotland the West Highland Way is a way to do it. The whole route will take you seven days, but we decided to just do the half of it and walked for four days. The weather was quite good the first two days and we even had some sun. The first night we slept in a wooden wigwam but I would recommend a Youth Hostel because that slept way better. But if you really want to go for the outdoor feeling a wooden wigwam is of course better and cheaper. The second day I thought we had our first mountain but actually it was the first real hill we had to walk. Only a mistake a Dutch guy can make I would say. The view on Loch Lomond was stunning as the picture below shows.

After the Cornical Hill we heard from our self appointed guide that it would be flat after the hill and that we were already over the half for that day. It sounded easy but apparently he meant that it was relatively flat, and for Dutch people up and down little hills isn’t flat. Also we had to take a detour because the road was blocked because of falling trees what took us another extra 5 miles. When we finally, just before dark, arrived at the Youth Hostel we were all very grateful to sit and lie down. The third day we wanted to walk up a real mountain but the weather changed and the rain and fog made it impossible to go up and enjoy the view. That is why we decided to stay this day just in a pub and we played some games and enjoyed a day of rest with some nice pubfood. The fourth day myself and two other students went for a swim in the lake while there was fog, it was raining and the water was really cold. I was crazy enough to do this because I promised Daan (he is a lifeguard in a swimming pool) to help him with his bet to make a picture in a Lock of saving someone. How did I regret that promise that morning. Luckily a hot shower helped and now I can proudly say I swam in a Scottish Loch.

The rest of the day was really beautiful, especially the pad we had to walk. Okay, it wasn’t really a pad more some rocks we had to walk and climb up, but that was why I really loved it. Even despite it was raining the morning, but we had a dry afternoon. When we arrived at the ferry it took us to the other side of the river and we had some dinner. In the evening we took the train back to Glasgow, it took only 1 hour and 15 minutes about something we walked for three days long. Only then you really appreciate modern transport and the time it saves.

The nice thing of studying abroad, but not that far away, is that it is easier to get some visitors from back home. I already had some friends over and also these couple of weeks my parents came over and I was fully trained to show them Glasgow in only one day. We saw the cathedral, the city centre, the university and Kelvingrove and also went for a dinner together. With my two friends Martijn and Bram I also went a day hiking at Milngavie (this is doable without proper walking shoes) but with my parents I just went with the train to Balloch near Loch Lomond. From there they could see the beginning of the Highlands and we took the boat on the Loch so they could see some more of the nature. After that we walked around and also went for a drink with a view on the lake. This also because my parents aren’t real fans of hiking.

The remaining time I was mainly busy in the library or, because the weather was quite nice the last couple of days, outside in the park on the grass. Reading or my Bachelorthesis and learning from the exams. And of course we also had some other social events like dinners, games evenings, lunches and some nights out to keep focused during the day.

Next time I will tell something more about the exams I had and two of my friends are comming over so that also should be fun. 😉

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