We handled our first overnight stay in the airport! We stayed in Dublin Airport on Sunday night to save a little money before our early morning flight to Scotland. In the airport at 4am, after receiving numerous texts from my aunt Joyce about how the open had been moved back and would finish on Monday, we used the last of our phone batteries to book tickets online.
We hopped on our plane to Edinburgh with only a couple hours of sleep and only a small clue of how the heck we'd actually get to St. Andrews.
Shoutout to our hostel in Edinburgh- Kick-Ass Hostels because they really are kickass. Great bar, rooms and cafe. Not to mention beer pong which I'm proud to say we dominated.
I'm not sure how in the world it happened but we figured out the train/bus system without a hitch and were headed to The Open in no time after dropping our luggage off. The crew for The Open or St. Andrews did an amazing job of organizing pick up from the train station and there were buses waiting for us to arrive and take us a short 15 minute ride to the course.
I know I'm not a huge golf fan and I feel a little guilty that I got experience it but I definitely could feel what a privilege it was to be there. St. Andrews was beautiful (despite the rain) and I was impressed not only with the golfing but also all the moving parts that go into making such a big event like this go off without a hitch. It was cool seeing the camera crews in action and of course I wasn't upset that we got to see Jordan Spieth up close. He's not too bad on the eyes. One of the things that both Anna and I were surprised by with the whole experience was that it was like a festival. After scanning our tickets we walked into a large area that was lined with food stands, shops, interactive experience booths, beer stands and so much more. In the middle was a large open area with picnic tables and bean bags where people were checking out the action on an impressively large screen. I'm definitely happy we chose to make the decision to go to St. Andrews. I know I may never be that lucky again in my lifetime and now I can say I've seen the birthplace of golf! Hoping it'll get me some cool points with my little cousin Ty.
Next, onto Edinburgh. We were pretty checked out after such a long day at the Open so we grabbed food late Monday night and headed straight to bed. Tuesday we wandered around the city on our own to check out a few of the sites. We found Calton Hill which is home to a few monuments and a great view of the city.
We saw some other cool things like Greyfriar's Kirkyard and the National Art Museum. I didn't realize Edinburgh was the city of inspiration for The Harry Potter series but in the cemetery were gravestones for a few famous characters including a McGonagall and a Thomas Riddell. And of course we had to visit the cafe where J.K. Rowling famously found inspiration for the series.
Some other highlights were a couple bars and clubs including a place called Sneaky Pete's which is as sketchy as it sounds. And Arthur's seat - which is a dormant volcano that offers great views of the entire city following a bit of a hike to the top. The views were great but naturally, it was a dry hike until we reached the top and it started raining. It was pretty miserable with the rain and also the wind so we hiked back down rather quickly.
Side note - the best part was hiking down when I skipped a bit on a rock and yelled, Anna turned around to look at me and wiped completely out.
And my favorite thing I learned in Scotland is where the term "shitfaced" comes from. Yes, so cultured of me, I know. Basically, back in the day waste was collected in a bucket throughout the day. It was only thrown out once a day. Before it was thrown out, someone would yell out the window to let people below know so that they could get out of the way or call back and they would wait to throw it. Well, in all these pubs on the bottom floor, after a few drinks it happened more than a few times that a drunk happened to find himself under one of these unlucky tosses and became literally "shitfaced".
Also, look. Anna took a really nice photo....
Nope, she just touched wet paint.
And she was very happy about it