Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

And the Tourist Becomes the Tour Guide

After four months abroad, I still wasn’t homesick, but I did genuinely miss my family. Fortunately, they were able to take my semester in Edinburgh as an excuse to arrange a European adventure of their own. While I was in Skye, they were in Paris, and then London. The day after I returned from Skye, I hopped on a train to meet them in the English capital. My parents met me at the train station and after hugs, we went to their hotel to change and get ready for dinner at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Covent Gardens. Dinner was followed by gelato and then it was back to the hotel to catch some sleep.

The following day began with a taxi ride to Portobello Market in Notting Hill. Because it was a weekday, the market wasn’t nearly as crowded as it could’ve been, and we were able to move in and out of the shops and stalls at leisure. After several hours of taking in the street, we had a picnic lunch at the nearby Holland Park. We then went back towards the hotel before splitting up for a few hours. My brother and I went to Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and walked along the Thames. It was kind of nice revisiting places I had been in February, but now with my brother. After meeting up with the rest of the family, we went to the Tower of London to look around and take pictures, finishing off the evening with dinner and more gelato.

Then it was time to go to Edinburgh. We took a 1PM train that got us to the city around 5PM. My flat isn’t nearly big enough for my parents, two siblings, cousin, and I, so we stayed in a hotel on Bread St. near the castle. I was really looking forward to showing my family around the city that I’ve come to love so much. The first stop was Mums for Scottish comfort food, followed by a walk through the Meadows.

After breakfast the next morning, we walked up to Edinburgh Castle and then down the Royal Mile before splitting up again. My brother and dad went to climb Arthur’s Seat, while my sister, cousin, mom, and I went to have lunch on the Mound and do some shopping. Then we all went to Mosque Kitchen for dinner – after all, Indian is pretty much the national food of the UK.

The next day, we decided to go on a bus tour into the Highlands to allow them to see as much of Scotland as possible during their visit. It was basically the same as the Hairy Coo Tour I took with Morgan and Karen, with similar or identical stops, but it was fun to revisit the sites with my family. After returning to Edinburgh, we attempted to find a pub for dinner but because my brother is underage, we ended up eating at the hotel.

Saturday was their last day in Edinburgh. The morning was spent walking around Grassmarket, having lunch at one of the nearby pubs, and then meeting Morgan and Karen for gelato at Mary’s Milk Bar. We then said our goodbyes, but with the knowledge that we’ll be reunited once again in less than a month.

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