Climbing, Canoes, and Ceilidhs… Oh My!

Jordan Mcintyre Edinburgh Internship Program, Scotland


March 3, 2016

This weekend, I went on the Edinburgh Centre’s Firbush Activity Weekend. This was an event hosted by the Arcadia Centre where students were able to participate in some outdoor activities and get to see some more of Scotland. We left by minibus on Friday evening, and arrived just in time for dinner. We learned a little bit about the Firbush activity center and the kind of stuff we would be getting up to that weekend. There was a social area with a little bar where I got to know a few of the other students on the trip. We turned in a bit early to get ready for the big day that awaited us.

We spent a majority of Saturday hiking. This was unbelievably fun, but physically EXHAUSTING. We were hiking for the better part of six hours, with a break for lunch at the top. On this hike I fell over a few times, had to stop and catch my breath more often than I’d like to admit, and seriously contemplated sawing my limbs off. However, I also saw some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. There was a frozen loch on top, beautiful rolling hills, and creeks that made the overwhelming exhaustion and pain worth it. We got back in the early evening with enough time to recuperate before dinner. We had a traditional Burns supper that evening, complete with whisky and haggis. A ceilidh followed the dinner, and for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a Scottish dance. There were bagpipes, dancing, and good times had by all. However, my exhaustion eventually consumed me and I called it an early night.

The next morning, we were offered a variety of activities including kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and walking. I decided to go canoeing. I paired up with a girl who was in Scotland on FYSAE, and we had a great time. The learning curve that came with steering the canoe took us a while to master, and we may have run in to a few trees, but it was still a great time. After lunch, I opted to go on a historical tour of the surrounding area. It was gorgeous and informative. We had an early dinner once we got back, and sadly had to head back to Edinburgh soon after. I woke up on Monday morning and could hardly move my arms or legs, but it was absolutely worth it.