The Old Man and the Skye
From April 4th-6th, IFSA-Butler held it’s annual Skye trip. Now, I was tremendously excited for this trip for two reasons.
1. I would officially be finished with my Engineering Design course by the morning of the 4th, and
2. I would have the opportunity to see my friends again from the IFSA-Butler cohorts in St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Stirling.
Needless to say, I was PUMPED!
I always thoroughly enjoy the IFSA-Butler sponsored activities because they give us a chance to mingle with everyone in the program. With the hustle and bustle of daily living abroad, finding time to fraternize with the 70+ participants in the Edinburgh cohort is tough…really tough. Thus, the sponsored events provide a fantastic venue for catching up with friends old and new.
In particular, the Skye trip was incredible! For starters, I’m one of those strange people who actually enjoys long bus rides, so my day got off on the right foot. On the Friday bus ride to our hotel in Skye, we stopped on several occasions to enjoy picturesque views and take photos of course. Some of the highlights of the bus ride include our stop at Queens View on Loch Tummel, and also our stop at the historic Culloden Battlefield. On Saturday, we enjoyed a jam-packed day of visits and general touristy fun. The first noteworthy stop was at Armadale Castle, former home of the eminent MacDonald family. Next, and this is where things got interesting, was the decision part of the day. There were two options for us students in terms of early afternoon activities. Option 1: Hike up the ‘Old Man of Storr’. Option 2: Sightseeing tour around Skye, and thus sit on a bus for many hours after having just spent the previous day on a bus for 8 hours…not that I would be complaining because as formerly stated I love bus rides :). I just chose option 1 (if you couldn’t tell from the title) and I’d like to believe that I chose the right one.
The climb up to ‘Old Man of Storr’ was a treacherous one indeed. Mother nature threw her worst at us, but through the wind, the torrential downpour, and the ubiquitous mud we made it to the top. Many pictures were taken, and we hoisted the Scottish flag proudly after our hiking feat was completed. After returning from our hike, the groups reunited and then we headed to visit the fairy river at Sligachan. Myself along with plenty of others dipped our faces into the fairy river. According to folklore, we will now be young forever…take that aging. Upon returning to our accommodations in Broadford, we ate and got ready for the pièce de résistance: John and the Box. That night we were treated to the melodious tunes of John playing his sweet sweet accordion-piano-thingamajig. Not only that, but we were taught a plethora of ceilidh dance moves in the process. That night = success. Following the impromptu concert, the majority of us students conversed and bonded into the wee hours of the morning. Little sleep was had, but a lot of friendships were made. Sunday morning we departed for home, making stops in Glencoe and a few other destinations.
I was extremely sad to see the weekend come to a close; however, I know that no matter how much time passes, and no matter if my fairy-river-youth mysteriously fades, I will always have my memory of conquering the Old Man, and most importantly, I will always have the friendships made in Skye.