Fore!! Day Trip to St. Andrews

Happy Monday!

Saturday was my first trip in Scotland visiting attractions outside Edinburgh.  This is only a SLIGHT stretch… Mom and I went to Rosslyn Chapel just outside Edinburgh when we were here in 2012.  But it’s BARELY outside the city, so I’m stretching it 🙂

St. Andrews is around 45 minutes from campus.  Three giant tour buses dropped us off outside the fog-wrapped cathedral.  I had a small twinge of disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to get clear photos, but the longer I looked at the crumbled facade the more it looked like a beautiful old woman wrapped in a lace shawl.

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This would have been the sanctuary.

My flat mate Ave came on the trip too, and we spent the day walking down the pier (well, old stone walkway into the ocean) watching golfers on the old links, and wandering the city.  The trip included admission to the castle and the abbey tower on the cathedral grounds.  The castle was attacked by French galleys and destroyed, and the cathedral fell into disrepair during the Scottish Reformation and eventually crumbled.  (Click on the picture strip to see bigger versions of the photos)

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It was a fantastic day, and we both really had fun learning about the town’s history.  It’s so crazy to see buildings from 1128 and earlier, and stone walls built during the Plague.  Things that seemed like distant, imaginary entities in history class literally come alive and breath in places like this.  I can’t wait to explore more places 🙂

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Had to finish the day with honeycomb pecan gelato!

A Trip in a Time Machine

Hello there!  Life is good across the pond 🙂

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This is where my classes will be. Dude- seriously.

I’ve been here for just over a week, and I’m already in love with this city.  It truly feels like I’ve stepped back in time, like I’ve been sucked into a time warp and I’m living in the Renaissance.  Except I don’t think everyone wore stilettos, maxi skirts or had green hair back then… We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!!!

Room Evolve

Yay flats!  No not the shoes- apartments!  Despite being tiny my room is really cozy, and I’ve finally gotten things where I want them.  Campus poster sale, IKEA, and a borrowed airline blanket make for a not-so-dorm-like living space 🙂 My seven flat mates are all fantastic as well, hopefully you’ll get to see them in later posts!

There is a HUGE lovely kitchen, with lots of cabinet space, two ovens, and three refrigerators.  Even though we live in university accommodation, we have to provide most of our kitchen tools, any room enhancements, and toilet paper.  TOILET PAPER.  Seriously?!?  Of all the things to include you people give us electric kettles, but NOT TOILET PAPER?!? Apparently the UK has weird priorities…

Arthurs Seat

This being Fresher’s Week, there have been tons of events put on by the university to welcome new students to Edinburgh.  I attended a few new student seminars (Meh) Met with my program coordinator (AWESOME!!) Got a ton of great free stuff at a student free shop, joined nine student organizations, went on a coffee crawl to learn the cool local haunts, climbed Arthur’s Seat (the adjacent mountain) and went out to a pub with my flat mates.  It has been a crazy roller coaster ride of getting used to a new city/new school/foreign country, but I’m truly loving it so far.  I miss my mountains and trees though.  Daily family Skypes have made my homesickness MUCH lower than was expected 🙂

Tomorrow, Sunday, I have a job interview for a nanny position that would REALLY help me with finances.  Prayers and happy vibes would be much appreciated!  Tomorrow’s agenda also includes researching churches, finalizing my classes, and getting notebooks.

Haggis isn't as scary as it sounds!!!

Haggis isn’t as scary as it sounds!!!

I’m living each day as it comes and finding new blessings wrapped up in each one.  If the start is any indicator for the rest of the year, I’m going to have a hard time leaving this place 🙂

Love and Laughs,

-Taylor