For my first post I wanted to let you know what I’ve been doing lately. While I’m writing this up, I’m actually on the plane back home. It’s a bit difficult concentrating with a screaming toddler in the background, they always seem to find me. Cursed!
The past six weeks I’ve spent my days in wonderful Scotland, more precisely in and around Edinburgh. When the university gave me the opportunity to conduct labwork abroad, I didn’t hesitate for a second. In short, I’m doing my thesis on the genetic diversity of invasive grey squirrels in Northern Italy. These cute American bastards are a real threat for the native European red squirrels. In Britain they’ve driven the red squirrels to near extinction. So it’s definitely necessary to take action! I like to think that my data will help a great deal ;).
Edinburgh is a really fun city if you’re into medieval horror stories, I surely am! Everywhere you can still feel the spirit of times long gone by. When you are ever visiting it’s an absolute must to go on a haunted or historical tour down to the depths of Edinburgh. A lot of people rotted away by the plague and hardly saw the daylight back then… If you are more in a shopping mood, be sure to stop by Princes street, the main shopping street with the usual H&M, Zara, River Island but also Topshop & Primark (goodbye dear friend).
I lived with the Pugsley family, the most welcoming and friendly family I ever met. If you ever need a place to stay in Edinburgh, let me know! They’ve been housing travellers since the early 90’s so they have a lot of tips and exciting stories to share with you. I actually met a lot of people with interesting travel stories and I’m more inspired than ever to pursue my travel plans. So much to see and so little time (and money..). I was a bit worried beforehand, well worried a lot actually about the British ‘gastronomy’. Luckily my family did eat vegetables and unfried stuff, yaay! I even wanted to eat more beans. And yes, ofcourse I tried haggis and I must say : it’s not that bad! Apparently nowadays the stomach shells are out.
When I ever go back, I definitely want to go hiking in the Highlands. During my one day tour to Loch Ness, how could I resist, I saw a lot of beautiful landscapes. I’ll probably combine it with volunteering for the Scottish wildcats. Less than a hundred individuals in the wild, people! If you want to know more, ofcourse you do: http://www.scottishwildcats.co.uk/. The only downside to my adventure was the cold, cold weather. For me it was really goodbye summer and hello late autumn! Luckily I was spared from the rainstorms, there’s almost nothing I hate more than wet clothes.
And now pictures!