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We spent nine whole, beautiful, glorious days on the Isle of Arran.  Each day filled with the exploration of new and exciting things.  One stop we made was to Brodick Castle.  Luckily for us, it wouldn’t be our last trip to a castle.

Brodick Castle is located in a stunning place on the isle.  It overlooks Brodick Bay while the slopes of Goatfell landscape the background. 

Walking up to the castle, we came upon a garden.  It was “a west coast garden on the east coast of Arran”.  According to the storyboard, this garden is the work of the Duchess of Montrose in the 1920s.  The Duchess brought many ornamental plants to Brodick, such as the towering rhododendrons and magnolias. 

Once inside the castle, we were required to put up our recording devices because there are no cameras allowed, a disappointing rule that halted us several times on our trip.

If you are expecting, say for instance, dragons and skulls, you are probably over fantasizing the castle-ness.  It was actually occupied by Mary, The Duchess of Montrose until her death in 1957.  It has since been owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

The décor of the castle was very Victorian.  There were crystal chandeliers, 18th century Scottish leather, a silver collection, brass beds (which I learned were used because they had less bugs than wooden beds) and the Hamilton coats of arms on the ceilings. There were so many brass and silver antiques, it would make a haven for collectors and theives. It was a very grand atmosphere.  A person may feel like royalty simply by being there.  

In the sitting room, there was a portrait of King George VI.  He was the king portrayed in the film, The King’s Speech.

There was a butler’s pantry, servant’s hall, cellar, wine cellar, a scullery, which is a room for washing dishes and laundering clothes, and a milkhouse and coalhouse. 

It was pretty amazing.    - Dameena Cox   


 
 
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Photo courtesy of YankeeJim (All Rights Reserved)
London police shoot and kill 29-year-old man. Rioters fear his death was racially motivated. Webster University study abroad student in Scotland is affected by the news.

By Bridjes O'Neil


 
 
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Now that it has been a few days after getting home from the long flight. I find myself reminiscing about the past two weeks, laughing, and sharing my memorable stories of Scotland to others. It was quite adventure for me being my first time out of the country and flying in an airplane.

This trip was a great trip that allowed me to experience a variety of Scotland. Since we stayed in Arran for nine days we got to enjoy a variety of activities that we typically wouldn’t get to do in St. Louis. Such as hiking to a huge waterfall, stopping for sheep in the road, being able to see wildlife in their natural habitat up close, seeing the gorgeous beaches, and enjoying the beautiful starry night sky.

The two cities also gave me quite an experience too.  In Glasgow we attended the Pipe band championship where we got to see traditional dress, dance, music, and games of Scotland.  Edinburgh we had the opportunity to explore the Fringe Festival and tour the castle of Edinburgh.

During the start of the class I verily knew three people in the class, but now I feel I just gained 6 great friends that have memorable memories of our adventure to Scotland. It was an amazing trip and I couldn’t ask for a better group to go with.

I would love to go back visit Scotland again in the future.

~Jody

 
 
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The  winner is...the New York Metro Pipe Band.


 
 
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Heidi and I after her show.

               Music is my biggest passion in life and going to live shows is my favorite thing to do; so tonight when we went to a show in Glasgow I was excited just on the fact that it was a live show. Little did I know that it would be a super awesome show with some new music that I had never really gotten into. When we arrived at The Arches where we would be seeing Heidi Talbot I was thrilled to see that it was a cool venue. As we walked into a warehouse like room with a bar on our left you could immediately feel the excitement radiating off people. The bar had big round overhead white lights that hung down low, and the bar was lit up with different colored lights all around. Surrounding the bar were nice leather couches for you to enjoy your beverage before the show.

            The actual show was performed in a different room past the bar about a 100 or so people could sit and the musicians were about 20 feet from the first row where we sat. As the band started I immediately fell in love with the music. They played what Linda calls, “Irish Folk” personally I think they were a little more hip than that; I’d call them “Indie Irish Folk”.  One of the songs played was a really cool one called, “Sally Brown”, Heidi said she found this song off of a compilation put together by Johnny Depp. It was such a fun song where Heidi had the audience sing the chorus; you could just feel the energy that the audience was giving and as well as the bands; it was so unreal. Heidi’s voice was incredible she would sing so soft at times but then really loud all while maintaining her notes. She never over power the mics or the instruments. If there is one thing I’d have to say is this band used so many different instruments like flutes, mandolins, guitars, and maracas; each giving they’re own spin on a song.           

               Glasgow is an amazing place with a huge music scene. When you walk the city streets late at night you can hear all kinds of live music coming from all around you. One bar is punk, another metal, or you’ll pass a coffee house with a soft acoustic session. I love this music scene and can’t wait to got to Edinburgh. The Fringe is a month long festival that will be going on when we get to Edinburgh. Apparently a bunch of shows, music, theatre, and art will be going on and I can’t wait. -Chelsea

 
 
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Standing on top of rolling green hills spotted with an array of colorful wild flowers, the sounds of mother sheep calling their lambs for feeding can be heard. Fresh, cool breezes dance off the bright, blue ocean and whisk through your hair.  There are breath-taking views of a country side checkered with farmlands and of a robust mountain range. Natural beauty like this is meant to be shared with someone close and who else would be better to take it all in with than man’s best friend? 

On the Isle of Arran, it seems that everyone has a dog. Owners will take their dogs everywhere with them from the stores, to the beach, to the mountains. All the dogs are so well behaved and excellently trained. Owners are able to go for walks and hikes with their pooches without having to worry about keeping them on a leash. This really allows for the owners and their dogs to have fun and enjoy the company of each other without being tied up.

The dogs on Arran are also so friendly and well behaved that many owners let them run free. On most of our days out-and-about on the island, we would stop to have picnic lunches. Almost every time we were greeted by a happy dog. With their tail wagging and, sometimes, toy of choice in their mouth, they would come up to us and sit patiently waiting for some scrapes or someone to play fetch with them.

With all of us having precious pooches of our own back home, it was always a joy to share lunch with a happy, slobbery Arran dog.


- AMY

 
 
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The best way to see the most amazing scenes on the Isle of Arran is by hiking. Follow the foot paths to destinations that include mountain top views and rushing waterfalls. By letting your feet hit the dusty path and kick up gravel or walk thru lush grass, you are able to see things that others would not even be able to imagine. 

In Whiting Bay, the Glenashdale Falls is one such place that you can only get to by hiking. The hike is about three miles round trip and well worth it. The woods resemble something that you could only read about in your favorite fairy tale. The trees seem to stand over you like friendly giants gently swaying in the wind as if dancing. The sound of the trees swaying provides a calming atmosphere that can only be trumped by the gentle sound of a meandering stream.

This beautiful scenery is the perfect distraction for the many hills and rocky areas in the path that make the hike a bit strenuous. However, no matter how tired you get during the hike, the final destination is well worth it. The Glenashdale Falls is a mighty, two tiered fall where the white water comes rushing down the stream, weaving around the rocks and over the side. While standing on a boulder close to the edge, you see the water hit the rocks below and quickly make its way down one more fall. The view is spectacular and a feeling of excitement rushes through you knowing that you made it all the way without passing out from exhaustion.


- AMY
 
 
   What sets you up for the day? I don’t have anything to do to set me up for the day, but there is one thing that I want start doing. That is to read a book in the morning before a class begins. It is easy to say, but it is very difficult for me to do.
  During my study abroad class in Scotland, I stayed at Lochranza Youth Hostel in the Isle of Arran for nine nights and ten days. One morning, I went into a dining room for breakfast, when I found a middle aged couple seriously and eagerly reading books.

They had already finished breakfast because there were empty plates left.

I thought they were reading books to set them up for the day.

I was very much impressed by their reading books in the morning after breakfast.

     In Japan, some elementary schools have been trying to give pupils time to read books before classes begin. They can choose any books that they want to read.

They are given about thirty minutes for reading.

Reading books before class has turned out to have a good influence on pupils educationally. They have become highly motivated and active in their studies, and their grades in all subjects have improved. Reading books might set pupils up for the day.

     There is something common between a middle aged couple and some Japanese pupils in the morning reading. I asked the middle aged couple when they were doing the dishes. They told me that they had been reading books together in the morning after breakfast for many years, and that it set them up for the day.

   Almost all people admit reading is very important, but they find it difficult to read for a short period of time.

Just about thirty minutes every morning will produce good results to start good and meaningful day in studies and work also.  

     The couple showed me a good example, and told me the importance of reading in the morning. I need to imitate what they have been doing. What I witnessed from them has become meaningful to me in the short study abroad class in Scotland and I must read books before classes begin in the new fall semester.  - Akira

 
 
The study abroad class in Scotland on travel journalism is about to come to an end.

We have only two days left in Edinburgh. I have been interested in the special class abroad since I became aware of it. I like traveling very much, so this class meets with what I want to do both in study and travel. It is better to stay in one particular area to know about Scotland because I am able to know the weather. In this sense, it was nice to stay in the Isle of Arran for ten days.

     Each area in Scotland has its own features. It is difficult to know all about them at one time. As a first step to know about Scotland, the small Isle of Arran was appropriate. The Isle has both new and old aspects of Scotland in terms of history and industry. In addition, weather interests me most.

     While I was there, I was able to know the weather that features and affects people who live in the Isle. Weather has something to do with living. I could actually know how weather had been bad from the standpoint of the Japanese climate.

There was no overall blue sky. There were always clouds in the sky. The sun does not shine all day long. It was the best part of the weather in the Isle when I visited the Isle. So I can imagine how the weather is not good for the rest of the year. I realize clearly weather condition. Seeing is believing especially in weather.

If I lived in the Isle of Arran for a year, I would be able to know Scotland more in terms of climate which affects people’s living.   - Akira

 
 
In the United States not much exciting happens in August. There’s no national holidays and its known as the dog days of summer, because of the hot, sticky temperatures. It’s also the kick off of the new school year. However, August isn’t a dreadful month everywhere. In fact, Edinburgh comes alive for the entire month with the Fringe Festival. When I think of festival…I think of carnival rides, and funnel cakes, but none of this was part of the month look celebration.