Sunday, 5 August 2012

The UK in a nutshell.

Greetings from Amsterdam! We have just completed the United Kingdom, having stayed in Glasgow for 3 days, Edinburgh for 2, and London for 6. Everything went smoothly for the most part with just a few setbacks.

London was just plain awesome, and one of the greatest cities in the world. We packed our schedule with museums and iconic landmarks. Being there during the Olympics added electricity to the already charged atmosphere on the streets. Edinburgh was easily one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. My one regret is not going on The Hairy Coo free highlands tour which works on tips only. But at least I did an amazing local hike called Arthur's Seat with amazing views of Edinburgh. I ran from the hostel, through highlands type trails, to the summit in only 40 minutes. Glasgow was a bit underwhelming and overly urbanized compared to the old world charm of the previous city. Despite this, Glasgow has an interesting history lying beneath the urban form.

View from the top of Arthur's Seat towards Edinburgh old towne
Here are some fun tidbits I have picked up from my time in the UK. Some of these are obvious, but hopefully some are not and those that are are fun to recount.

To Let = For Rent
pitta = pita
knackered = tired
no bother = no problem
I'm easy = I'm cool; or whatever goes
Oh, and Irish people do NOT actually say "top o' the mornin' to ya"
Amy and I are now fans of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties! Translated to North American English, this is sheep stomach, mashed carrots and turnips, and mashed potatoes
Ikea brand cider (~4.5% alcohol) is also pretty good
Their electrical plugs have on/off switches
Everyone drinks water straight from the tap
Everything is smaller!
You can drink anywhere in public!
Finally, some stuff can be found really cheap in the UK and especially Scotland, such as food, alcohol and accommodations. Grocery stores have amazing deals. For example, 4 pints or 2.27 L of milk is 1 quid (or pound) or $1.60 CAD. Alcohol is also cheap and is sold in grocery stores, usually one aisle down from the veggies!

I knew this beforehand, but coming back here has reinforced my love for Europeans! They are the most easy-going and happy peoples on Earth. Most importantly, they have learned to share their space with others and to live with less and, thus, value a minimal lifestyle with a focus on experiences.

One day in Amsterdam has been great so far! Blog on that coming soon...

1 comment:

  1. Trip seems incredible so far, and to think it's just started for you. is where Jamie and I will be daily blogging our time in France.