My trip to Scotland was the first time I ever traveled outside of the country. The first part of our group arrived early in the morning, exhausted, but ready to get started with the trip. We wasted little time in leaving the airport to begin our journey.
This first day was mainly used to acquaint ourselves with the city we would be spending several days in. On day two, our lectures began as Dr. Mies and Dr. Holmes gave a lesson on the geology of Edinburgh. However, our trip and lectures were not just contained to the city of Edinburgh; we traveled across almost the entire country of Scotland. We made stops in Glasgow, the Isla of Arran, Fort William, the Isle of Skye, and Inchnadamph.
During the trip, we also had scheduled meetings with geologists at different locations to learn from people who have lived and studied this land for a large portion of their lives. It was very interesting to gain another teacher’s perspective on the geology of Scotland.
The Isle of Arran turned out to be one of my favorite spots in Scotland. It has the most beautiful landscape and rocky beaches. We made a stop at one of Hutton’s unconformities where we learned about the age difference between different rock horizons. Our hostel in Arran also had amazing views of the island, including its sheep and an old ruin.
We took a number of hikes on the trip including ones to see the Old Man of Stoer. This spot was surprisingly full of tourists even though it was a steep climb to the top. We were rewarded though with a strong, refreshing breeze and another beautiful view of the country.
The city of Edinburgh was a great place to begin and end our trip as it contained a lot of both human and geologic history. Arthur’s Seat was an easy hike and also gave us a great overall view of Edinburgh where we were able to enjoy the city’s overall architecture from a distance. Edinburgh is also home to a large Royal Botanic Garden which contained a variety of plants from the area and from around the world.
Overall, this trip was amazing and I feel that I gained a great deal of knowledge from learning in such a hands on way.
Sophia Calles is majoring in Environmental Science (Earth, Atmosphere, and Geological Resources) with a minor in Business. She participated in a faculty-led trip to Scotland through the Geology Department in July, 2018. Sophia had the following to say about her study abroad experience, “Scotland is a beautiful country with a rich geologic and human history. I learned so much on this trip and really enjoyed getting to know my peers and professors. I would go on this trip again in a heartbeat.”
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