26 October 2016


On October 13th we all boarded a train for Scotland and were to stay until Monday October 17th.  Suzanne Deranek, Director of Admissions, joined us.  It was also her first trip to Scotland.  We met a Kings Cross Station and waited to board the train.


We arrived at Waverley Station at 6:35 and walked to the Royal Mile where students were checking into the High Street Hostel and Suzanne and I checked into our hotel which was a block away. Here is the view of the Castle from the South Bridge.

At 8 pm we all went to dinner except for Suzanne who was not feeling well and decided to stay in and sleep.  

Some students ordered a wee bit of haggis just to share and try it.  They all seemed to like it.  A few of us ordered it as a main dish.

However, Courtney ordered a hamburger and Diana ordered Mac and Cheese.  Daring choice!

The main haggis this year was different.  It used to be served like the wee bit of haggis above but more of it.  This time it was like a casserole with CHEESE on it.  Still served with the whiskey cream sauce.  Was good but not the same.

At 10 pm we went on the Terror Tour run by Auld Reekie.  This is our tour guide who took us around the city and gave us great  historical background of the city.  We then went into the underground tunnels that are presumed to be haunted.  The ones we went into were featured on The Most Haunted TV show.

The Tunnels.  See any ghosts or spirits?

A wiccan group has a room that they use in the tunnel.

This is the most haunted room.  Bad things have happened to people who have walked in the circle on the floor.  It is advised not to walk through it. What is Gigi looking at?

Edinburgh Castle

St. Giles Church.  There is an angel carving playing the bagpipes inside; however, I could not find it.

The prison used to be inside the church plaza.  It was a place where many people were detained and tortured.  When it was taken down this heart on the ground was put in its place.  It is bad luck to walk on it, but good luck to spit on it.  Till this day you see people walk by and spit on it.

The unicorn is a symbol of Scotland.  Here it is on top of the column above.  Brian Pipal no wonder you like Scotland!

Not sure you can see the rainbow.

The Greyfriars Bobby statue.  The dog went to the grave of its owner everyday for 14 years and watched over it.  It is good luck to rub his nose. 

As many of you know JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in this coffee house. Kim, Suzanne's sister-in-law and I went here and had coffee and shortbread.  Where is Suzanne?  Well she got deathly ill and on Sunday we had a doctor come to the hotel, and he put her in the hospital.  She is still there so please everyone pray for her speedy recovery.  They are still trying to find out what is wrong.  They think it is viral.  Lots of scans, prods, etc.  Poor thing only saw her hotel room, back of an ambulance, and two hospitals.  We had to switch hospitals after the first week.  Hopefully, when she is released she and Kim can see a little bit of Edinburgh.  Kim came over so I could head back to London to be with the students.  So Kim wanted to see the coffee house before I left.

This sign was on the counter as you enter the coffeehouse.  Love it!

This wall and the one to the right is a tribute to JK Rowling.

Now the Ladies Room is another story.  It is loaded with graffiti.  All positive like how the books changed peoples lives.  The owners used to paint over it but decided to leave it.

Kim's contribution.  Can you find it?  Ironically, there is hardly any graffiti in the Men's Room

Meanwhile, while I was taking care of Suzanne and then bringing her to the hospital, the students went on a three day MacBackpackers Tour of the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness in the Highlands.  They met the guide and bus at Castle Rock Hostel where students stayed last year.  So on Friday they were off on their adventure.

All the following are pictures the students have posted.  I think this might be their hostel.

They name the bunk beds....


First time I have seen a black Highland cow. 

The Fairy Pools.  If you put your face in the water you are guaranteed to stay young.  As you can see below some students decided to totally submerge themselves in the pools.

Loch Ness.  Every year some students go swimming in Loch Ness which is freezing cold!!!!  Unfortunately, none of them encountered the Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.  This prepped them to go swimming in the Fairy Pools...this was the first group to do that,

A good time was had by all.  Students came back to Edinburgh on Sunday and took the train back on Monday.  I stayed with Suzanne until Kim arrived.

We are wishing Suzanne well and hope she recovers quickly. All our prayers are with you.  

The Castle at sunset from the South Bridge.