With other girls deciding to go out of town, I decided to have a nice quiet weekend to myself and go exploring in the town. The week its self was nice. Just had the usual classes I went to and relaxed in my room most of the time. On Tuesday, the 27th, the girls in my flat and I decided to go to the Union (bar on campus) where we listened to karaoke and two of my flat mates sang American Idiot (trying not to be those Americans… Ha but it was fun. A guy from my British Politics class decided to join us and wouldn’t leave our side, no matter where we walked and apparently would follow and stare at my from behind my friends said, so one of my flat mates who isn’t scared to be that person somehow got rid of him. Fun little stories.
But I was excited for this weekend by myself. I was going to be able to go where I wanted and get lost myself without another person asking to do something else or go somewhere else. It was my own little adventure. I started the day off by getting coffee in the atrium of the campus center. I then decided to walk all the way up to the Wallace Monument again. I thought I saw online that if I took a path then I would find a waterfall called Abbey Craig, but what I would soon find out after lots of walking all over the hill where the monument was, the hill itself is Abbey Craig and the waterfall I saw was two hours away and called Falls of Falloch. I just laughed and took in the beautiful forest in was in with the bright sun shining down. I decided to then walk to Cambuskenneth Abbey which took about 45 minutes to walk to. On the walk I past a sign for pedestrians walking on the path to read. On the sign, it talked about house a certain group called the Glasgow Boys would paint in that location many times. Now this was a big deal to me because the fall semester the year before I wrote a paper in my art history class on that very group! It was amazing to be in the place where they painted some of their beautiful paintings! I then walked through a wonderfully quaint little town where the abbey was located. Now the day was the first of October. There was a sign on the gate to enter the cemetery to the abbey that it was open from spring till September. Ha, I came the day it closed! I just laughed again but was still able to view the amazing ruin of the Abbey.
I then walked 45 more minutes into the town center of Stirling, which I knew very well by this time. I decided to get lunch in one of my favorite restaurants here, No. 2 Baker Street. I had a nice wrap with a Strongbow cider. I then decided to kill time before confessions at the church I will be visiting for the first time that I would soon make my home parish while here, by going to the mall. At the mall, I bought some new and cheap earrings and bought some gifts for people back home. I was able to buy two cashmere scarves for 25% of the original price on one because of a mishap with a sign for a sale that ended a week before. After walking around the town and becoming more familiar with it, I decided to go to St. Mary Catholic Church. It is a very large church at the top of a large hill. It is beautiful! For some reason though, any pictures I took of the church weren’t able to save on my phone. I stayed for about 30 minutes in the Church being the only person there, deciding maybe confessions weren’t happening that Saturday. So, I made my way back to campus and hung the Scottish flag I bought that day and enjoyed the rest of my evening.
The next day I went back to the church for Sunday mass and was nice to see the church filled with people after first seeing it while it was raining and I was the only one in it. This was a nice sunny morning and was very nice to finally be in mass after a month of not being able to make it. After mass I decided to walk to the local Tesco and buy ingredients to make tacos! I then spent the rest of the day in my flat enjoying the day and in the evening made tacos for me and some flat mates who were making their own hectic journey back from London.
That week I decided to join the Squash club on campus. It was awesome! Squash is an underrated sport that I hope to be able to play back home. It is basically the same thing as whiffle ball. After my first time trying it out, I was not able to lift my arm up without soar pain. Which made me more determined to play more! I was very nervous to learn to play in the middle of students who have played it for years’ practice, but they all were very encouraging and kept saying everyone starts somewhere. By my second practice I really started to have the hang of it and was told that I had a nice powerful strike. It was great experiencing a team again and being coached through something again. It was something I really missed and was very excited to be a part of again. Now, this college has a “give it a go” policy that allows you to join a team or club for free for one week. Even though I absolutely loved squash and wanted to keep playing with the nicest people I have ever met, it was too expensive to join a team for only one half of a semester. But I am so glad I was able to try it out, meet amazing people, and find a sport I hope to play lots when I come back home. The rest of the week I had high anticipation for the Heartland Travel tour of the highlands!