Sorry I didn’t get the chance to post yesterday. I tried my best to enjoy my last day/night in Edinburgh, so I ended up cramming in a couple touristy things and spending an evening out for at least a little while.
I managed to finally find my way up to Edinburgh Castle and tour the grounds. I had been wanting to do this all week, but due to time constraints and the tightly managed schedule, it didn’t quite happen until the last day.
The castle is really something neat. It is primarily a military castle, displaying canons, the scottish flag and the Scottish National War Memorial. This was perhaps my favorite part of the castle. Even though I’m not a full-blooded Scot, I can honestly say the memorial was portion of the castle that was incredibly moving.
Another area of the castle that was a favorite of mine was the room housing the Scottish crown jewels. Although I couldn’t take pictures in the actual room where the priceless items are held, I will say that seeing them was something hard to forget.
I spent about an hour and a half in the castle and then made my way back towards the room to freshen up for dinner. Which, I had a grilled “Scottish salmon,” which may have only been scottish for its sides of mash and peas. Nonetheless, I’d have to say that was probably one of the better salmons I’ve had in my life; I tend to not like salmon, but that was definitely a respectably made dish. Also at dinner, I finally discovered an IPA that I actually like: Deuchars IPA. I’ve never liked an IPA until then. And it’s brewed in Edinburgh! So that was a good beer to have before I left for Fife.
Today, I had quite the day…I finally arrived to the the university!
We took a bus ride (a little over an hour) on the Forth Road Bridge over the North Sea and into Fife. The bus ride itself was gorgeous and full of green grass and sheep farms. I’ve never seen anything like it. Arriving in Fife was really something as well.
Although I haven’t gotten the opportunity to go about and get some pictures quite yet, I’ll do my best to explain my new home.
First, I noticed the water (obviously), which was a misty but whimsical blue, spanning itself as a backdrop the the castle and town that lies before it. The town is the campus, the campus is town. I’ve been told just to look for the blue doors, because those signify an academic building. This will come in handy when I roam the cobblestone streets of all very similar-looking fortresses.
North Street, Market Street and South Street make up the town of St. Andrews, providing food and shopping alongside the Scores, the street running parallel to the beach and perpendicular to the golf courses. New students are everywhere, alongside neighboring town dwellers that have lived here for years. It’s a charming and yes, magical place it seems for school.
I won’t bore you with the million errands I had to run today, but I will gladly tell you a bit about my flatmates.
I think we’ll all be able to bond over the fact that we will be residing in the furthest housing from town (about a 15 minute walk), and the fact that we’ll be living on the fourth floor (the top floor). Although, I’ll admit that I don’t mind the walk as long as I know where I’m going! But back to the point, I have another flatmate from Texas! Small world, yeah? The rest of my flat is mixed, with people coming from all over the globe. I think that helps make me feel as though we’re all on the same level.
I suppose I never realized just how international the University of St. Andrews is, but I am pleasantly surprised to find how friendly and open everyone is here. I know that seems like a clichéd phrase, but I will tell you now that that is a genuine description of the people here. Staff, students and the culture in and of itself is by far the most welcoming place I have ever found myself in. Which is funny being that I am 6 hours ahead and nearly 4,500 miles away from home.
Case and point, I know that things won’t always be easy, and I will have my times where I am not so in love with where I’m at, but I’m enjoying this time while I can. Before classes begin and challenge me, and before my heart has its pulses of homesickness, I have loved and am loving every moment here.
I do miss you folks from home, though, so know that much.
Going to bed now since this post is getting lengthy and I’m looking forward to rest without an alarm. So goodnight! I’ll write again tomorrow!