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A Tribute to the Castle Rock

...my home away from home

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To be honest, I never wanted to come to Scotland. There was nothing here that really sparked my interest or intrigued my curiosity, but when I started spending wayyy too much money in mainland Europe, I decided to settle down in a place where they spoke English. And because England's prices were so bloody high and I had already been to Ireland, I came here and found my niche in the Castle Rock youth hostel in bonny Edinburgh.

When you first arrive in a place, you are overwhelmed by the unfamiliar and slightly intimidated by your new surroundings. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and I felt so out of the loop. However, it didn't take long until I was pub crawling with the Swedish girls, having fake hen parties and celebrating random birthdays (Shannon, Todd and Rachel). I've never partied harder in any place before. Here in Edinburgh, I have visited over two dozen pubs/nightclubs and drank eleven types of beer I had never even HEARD of before. I've met so many interesting people, such as a professional poker player, a "wizard", a computer genius and a dominatrix. I've learned how to walk on cobblestone in high heels. I've learned how to speak a bit of gaelic. I've eaten haggis (sheep's lungs/heart) and deep fried Mars bars, and I've indulged in Castle Arms one too many times.

I've made a list of my most memorable experiences that have happened since I've been here:

~ getting a job at Greyfriar Bobby's Bar and then quitting two weeks later!
~ the pub crawl every thursday night with my beloved Swedish sisters (Michaela, Malin and Cecilia)
~ breaking into the movie room with Shannon and Sam and hiding out all day watching cheesy Jim Carrey movies just to cure our horrible hangovers
~ having family dinner (Kerry, Simon, Shannon, Rachel and Jean)
~ preparing and eating the best Thanksgiving dinner of my life
~ inheriting my own kitchen "ODJETE" box from the Swedish girls
~ walking out of the hostel doors and hearing bagpipers every morning
~ eating haggis, neeps and tatties, and learning what bangers and mashed is
~ drinking tea, knitting, playing card games, playing ping pong and playing pool in the common lounge, all the while being serenaded by the spanish guitar
~ watching the Rugby World Cup finals in the globe (yahh south africa!)
~ sitting on the hostel steps, chatting deep into the night with various people
~ learning Australian drinking games
~ dressing up as a Christmas present for Halloween, and annoying half the hostel with my jingle bell anklets
~ getting the living daylights scared out of me by Damian while doing laundry
~ jumping into heaping piles of sheets with Fernando
~ throwing a hen party, for the main purpose of wearing pink sparkly cowboy hats and getting free drinks
~ having my daily dose of advice from Marlo and Meghan.. GOD what would I do without you girls?
~ waking up every morning to the sweet smell of malt whisky (ughh!)

The Castle Rock Hostel feels like my home. I've spent the past 44 days here, and it's really difficult to leave, especially knowing that I'll probably never be back again, and I'll probably never see half these people again.

It's such a bittersweet feeling to be leaving... I'm so soo excited to be heading off to Poland and Eastern Europe, but at the same time, I'm sad to say goodbye to the people here. So a big hug goes out to everyone at the Castle Rock... keep on rocking, keep in touch, and safe travels!! xox

Posted by ChIqUiTtA 12:03 Archived in Scotland

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