Today’s post is from a new student blogger – Jacob Mathews. Jacob is from Reno, Nevada and is studying on both Winter and Spring School programmes. These are his thoughts on the recent travel weekend.
Though the first month at Bible school has been a very exciting and strange new experience for many of us students, it has also had its stressful moments and boy has it been busy. Between lectures, meal times, activities and assignments it is understandable that we all could use a small break for a weekend. So what is the best way for busy students to get away from a busy lifestyle? Make themselves busier on a three day travel weekend of course! Though I can only speak for myself and my journey to Edinburgh, many other students enjoyed traveling to places such as Dublin, London and some even found some quiet serenity staying home at the castle, getting a break from the crowds.
As for myself, I traveled to the fantastic capital of Scotland; Edinburgh. During this journey I learned many things about the history of Scotland and of the city itself, but mostly I just learned that when on my own, I tend to spend a lot of money. The most difficult task of leaving the protection of Capernwray Hall was having to pay for my own shelter, my own food and my own entertainment. Back at the school; meals were provided, schedules were packed and shelter was abundant. However due to my small budget, I had to find cheap ways to make the most of my travel weekend. I stayed at a cheap hostel amongst many other Capernwrayers (Caperwrayites?) I found myself eating nothing but fish n chips, crepes and the ultimate Scottish dining experience; McDonalds. I was unable (or maybe unwilling) to try the traditional Scottish dish, known as Haggis, or as I like to call it; garnished sheep stomach. However, I had heard that it was quite tasty from a few; possibly untrustworthy, sources.
Aside from meals, I also need money for a few of the activities that my traveling companies and myself were interested in. For the low price of 16 pounds, I was able to gain access to Castle Edinburgh. On this particularly rainy day, we made our way up the Royal Mile and into the courtyards of the stronghold on the hill. While exploring the castles many halls and walls and prison stalls, I learned much of the history of the very historic place. Most of this history I then proceeded to forget the next day…The view from atop the castle walls was unmatched by any other place in Edinburgh, of course other than Arthurs Seat, but more on that later. The second activity that I decided was worthy of my money was a ghost tour of the vaults and a graveyard within the city. The tour was rightfully named “City of the Dead Tours.” Our guide took us down into the vaults below one of the city’s bridges and told us stories of the deaths that took place there, then we made our way to a graveyard where he told us of the deaths that took place there, it was all very interesting; not too scary though. The next day, I decided to refrain from spending money on attractions and rather go to the ever so generous free attractions of the city. I was able to briefly visit bother the National Gallery and National Museum of Scotland. I say briefly because during my visiting of these attractions I was in pursuit of my group that I was planning on spending the day with. It is really a long story as to how I ended up searching the city for them, but Ill sum it up to the fact that I overslept by about two hours…Later that evening, after finding my companions, we made our way up a large hill overlooking the entire city, this hill sat directly in front of a larger hill called Arthur’s Seat. It was already dark out by the time we got to the top of the hill, but the city skyline was spectacular. I in fact loved the skyline so much that about an hour after returning to my hostel, I ended up going back with one other person and hiking up Arthur’s Seat to see an even better sight.
Despite all the fun and games that I was able to partake in over the course of my travel weekend, as it came to a close I felt regret. Throughout the weekend I would constantly see other students from the school taking coffee to complete strangers sitting on the streets, or simply talking to strangers about the world or their lives or even more so Jesus Christ. I however was too distracted during what I saw as my weekend to even notice strangers. This was very convicting for me but also encouraging. I was able to see the true colours of many people that I had traveled with, which reflected most beautifully on the character of the school as a whole. Even though there were students here and there that would lean more towards my example, I still saw more and more truly reflect a character of Christ and not take advantage of their own time, but recognise it as time they share with Jesus Christ. Hearing the stories of generosity told on the bus ride back both convicted and encouraged me. This is truly an amazing opportunity we have been given, and is not something to be taken advantage of.