We awoke on Wednesday rejuvenated thanks to a full night sleep. Fiona’s best friends are abroad at St. Andrews so on Tuesday night she slipped out after the Harry Potter tour and took a bus to stay with them for the night. We decided St. Andrews (aka the birthplace to Kate and Will’s romance) was a must see and we were right. It was a quick two hour bus ride to the town of St. Andrews and we met up with Fiona and her friends who so kindly showed us around. The campus is spectacular. It isn’t really a campus, but a town with academic buildings blending in with the shops, cafes, cupcake shops, and boutiques. I loved it and secretly wish I had considered it higher on my list of abroad options. Its charm and quaintness were only heightened with the deep traditions of the school.
The sprawling greens, classic buildings, and water views were breathtaking. We got to walk to the pier as well and climb up to the top of the stones and walk across to take in the entire view of the town.
We headed back from St. Andrews giddy to continue the rest of our day. The girls studying at St. Andrews had recommended doing the ghost tour a while back. We were unable to book the terror tour (the scariest), but we got the second scariest. I expected it to be like a haunted house, but oh my lord I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SCARED IN MY LIFE. Thank goodness we didn’t do the terror tour. I might add that these tours have sent people to the hospital. We did a tour of old Edinburgh and our awesome (and extremely cute possibly gay) tour guide gave a history of torture in the city. We then went to the vaults, still preserved today in which we went through a “torture room” with preserved tools that old age torturers used. It was disgusting. However, this little history lesson, though skeevy, didn’t scare me too much. Heart beating a bit fast…. but still under control.
Then we moved to the dungeon esque rooms. Every room had a history of who lived and died there. They were extremely dark (I mean like pitch black) and the tour guide described that certain people had seen the ghosts or heard their whispers. Reading this may make it seem crazy because I don’t believe in this stuff either, but all I can say is two people bailed from the tour and I kept saying “I won’t say I don’t believe in you… but please just don’t reveal yourself to me” …. I repeated it like fifty times. Wicka specialists still practice in these vaults and real life stories have happened on those tours (including a death). Whether the brain can play tricks on you enough I don’t know, but this tour guide believed in all the hoopla and he wasn’t pushy about making us, but instead the entire place just made me freak. I was clawing my friends and anytime he turned the light off I screamed…. I mean seriously screamed. Which was inappropriate because the guide was still speaking and no one else was verbally freaking out.
This was a vault…. except those lights don’t exist. NO LIGHTS EXIST. Both Molly and Fiona bailed out early and cried mercy. They had to be escorted outside. Fiona being the last person I ever thought would get scared, I began to hyperventilate even more.
This was more like the rooms we entered. Except black. There were spiders everywhere… I am so proud of myself for sticking through and contemplating the tour and I actually learned a lot about the history of the city and the torture techniques, which actually leads to a greater understanding of life back in the day because it depicted what was/ was not punishable back then. When I got back into the lit streets of Edinburgh I was thanking the lord that I was alive and hadn’t seen anyone die or any already dead person in ghost form.
We decided to grab drinks at a local bar and it was so fun. We sat around reflecting on how far we had come, how nervous we were when this experience started, how we have changed since the beginning of our time here, and what we hope to accomplish in the remainder of our year. The music at this place was phenomenal and we actually spent hours just sitting around and chatting.
This picture was the best I could get of the bar. Directly afterwards passersby hopped in the photo so I know have ten photos of the girls and random men. Classic.
The last part of our trip is to come!!