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I visited Rosslyn Chapel, the small Scottish church made famous by the Da Vinci Code. It wasn’t quite as awe inspiring as the book made it seem, but every inch of the walls and ceilings were covered with symbolic Masonic sculptures – like the 7 deadly sins, green men, and serpants.

Finally made it on a Heart of Scotland Tour of Loch Ness and Legends. The tour was a bit of a disaster, despite the best effort put forth by our extremely knowledgeable tour guide. We hit a massive snow storm after leaving Edinburgh which obstructed the view of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. Then when we got to the Trossachs the famous highland cow, Hammish, had been moved for the holidays. But I did get some amazing views of the Highlands, saw the castle from Monty Pythons where the French taunt Arthur, and I stuck my hand into Loch Ness. I also learned a ton of interesting tidbits from our tour guide about the legends of William Wallace and Rob Roy, the Glen Coe Massacre, and the Scottish Royal family.

For Hogmanay, we started off at a flat party with Steven’s friends, before moving down to the Standing Order, a pub downtown in an old bank building. Then just before 11, we moved into Princes Street where the big street party was held. We fought the crush of 100,000 people and drank and chatted with the tourists around us while the music from KT Tunstall, Texas, and El Presidente floated up from the live stages. At midnight fireworks went off above the castle and people said Cheers and started kissing everyone else.

On New Year’s Day, I ate real haggis. I thought the vegetarian version (although a contradiction) was better. They had similar tastes, but I thought the flavours were stronger and the texture was better with the vegetarian version.

Sometime during the week, we managed to see King Kong and the Chronicles of Narnia. It was amazing to see a film and only pay £3.50 for a ticket. I really liked both films. I think King Kong was better, but it was really long! It took them over an hour just to get to the island. Then there was the ridiculously long battle between Kong and the T-Rexs. Oh well. It was still pretty cool.

My journey back to Canada remake of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I spent 90 minutes on a coach from Edinburgh to Glasgow, then 9 hours on an overnight coach from Glasgow to London. Then 90 minutes on the Underground and 30 minutes on busses picking up my luggage and getting to Heathrow. Then 8 hours on the plane. Then another 90 minutes in a van to Waterloo. Needless to say I only had a few hours of broken sleep here and there.

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