After a whole week of waiting (and catching up with my flist on my dial-up because studying would have been the sensible thing to do and I didn't feel like being sensible) I've now got a working w-lan modem, a cable internet connection and - best of all - no limit on time or transfer volume.
The fact that this calms my nerves and stops my hands from shaking should not be seen as an indication that I'm addicted. No, not at all.
So what did I do during my last week in Scotland?
After a weekend with very like minded students ("Another emergency? Fuck off and die.", "Can't we just kill it and have it over with?", "Let's juts lock the gate so no trailers can come in") and no trip to Roslin - because my bike decided to loose all air in its front tyre - my time at the Vet School was over.
No matter how much I liked it, after 8 weeks I was out there as fast as humanly possible. And after giving the other two students a lift, I found myself in Edinburgh without any definite plans as of what to do.
After checking in at the youth hostel - and being amused to find it right next to the German embassy - I decided not to visit the Scotish Seabird Centre because I really couldn't face the drive to North Berwick and the weather didn't look very stable either.
So instead I went and did the usual touristy thing. Visit the castle.
The few hours left of the day I filled with a visit to the dungeon (shut up, I had fun even though the London one was better), Starbucks and a ghost walk. Fun and I'm still alive even though I stepped in the horrible cursed stone circle *g*.
Since I was free to sleep as long as I wanted, I left the hostel shortly before 7 the next day. Being a morning person isn't easy, you know?
The next place I'd booked a bed was on the Isle of Skye. Accordingly I spent the next six hours driving through exciting landscape.
Since the hostels are closed from 10 to 5, I put on my walking boots, took a bottle with water with me and decided to go walking (it's not as if there is much else you can to in Glenbrittle). A suggestion for an easy three hour walk was pinned to the board at the hostel and I had a cursory look before starting. Because I intended to more or less follow it follow it for a start and make my own way as soon as the direction it was taking did no longer suit me.
A few facts about me:
I've never been hiking in my life. I've climbed one or two times, for about five hours when the local youth centre offered a beginners course or when there was an artificial wall at some fest or other. I've been relatively good at it, but the last time I did it was the day of Lady Diana's death. (Nevertheless, if I see a hill or a cliff, my first impulse is to see how far up or down I can climb)
I'm completely aware of basic rules like telling someone when you go out climbing, so if you go missing it will be noticed. Or actually planning mountain tours. Or eating properly before you go out.
Ignoring all those things (except my impulse to climb up hills) and not even knowing what a Munro *is*, I ended up climbing two or three Munroes in the five hours until I came back to the hostel. I was tempted to do the rest of the range (which I found out to be the Black Cuillin afterwards), but the fact that I couldn't see a likely way down, had used up my water and was hungry because my only food that day had been a pack of digestive biscuits stopped me from being even more stupid.
The way up - looking back down, it doesn't look too bad.
I didn't climb up there - even though I wanted to. But even my brain accepts that this needs a bit more planning. As in: "bring some rope, ok?"
Why does the way down look much steeper in these pictures than the way up? It was the other way round out there, I swear.
After a shower and enough pasta with cheese and fish to feed three people I read for the rest of the day and went to sleep at 10.
The next day I left the hostel before seven again and admired landscape for the next five hours while driving again. And I picked up my first two hitchhikers. Somehow I didn't think two girls of about 12 and 14 would be any danger to me.
More landscape. Obviously.
After arriving at the absolute arse end of the world (a.k.a. Durness) I had fun inspecting a cave and going to Cape Wrath.
Smoo (?) Cave
Cliffs at Cape Wrath. Another place where I couldn't stop myself from climbing around.
And the Cape from a distance.
Of the fifteen people in the minibus that took us there, a maximum of five people (including the driver) were British. The rest were from Italy, Germany and Switzerland. The same at the hostel afterwards, only with more Spaniards thrown in. Which only proves that only tourists are mad enough to visit any place so remote.
I left the next day shortly after seven and spent the next 16 hours driving down to Harwich.
(With short breaks for important things - like taking pictures of my hair which desperately needs to be cut - of course)
And while the landscape during the morning was again very nice, I could have done without the rain - and especially the aquaplaning later.
The next morning I was much to early at the ferry. And spent the rest of the day waiting. And amazingly studying. And in the evening watching Batman Begins.
Since then I drove back to Leipzig and spent the week not even *doing* work a trained monkey can do, but *watching and being told* about this work. And determinedly not studying - which will have to change about now.