St. Andrews Island

Trip Start Sep 09, 2008
Trip End Dec 20, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Monday, September 29, 2008

Well it has been awhile, but I have been rather busy with classes, rugby, and a wee bit of traveling.  Mostly classes and reading though.  Exciting events that happened since my last entry...Our flat waterheater broke!  It was constantly going on and off every thirty seconds or so, which was great fun for me because my room is right next to the room with the water heater in it.  We had to turn the heater off when we didn't use water, then turn it on any time we wanted hot water.  Luckily, it has since been fixed.  I think that I am going to keep the classes I have scheduled, but the deadline to drop is Friday, so I have a little bit more time to make a final decision on that.  My practical for NH is Thurs. 10-11, if you are interested in knowing my final schedule.  I spent a good amount of free time reading a book for my GEP class called Life on a Young Planet which was an interesting account of how life on Earth developed.  In that class, the last lecture was about the formation of the Earth itself, so they tie in nicely.  In NH, the lecturer read slides about drought and floods to us, and in NSG, the definition of nature was questioned.  Interesting stuff, except for NH, which was boring because I was being read to.  Friday night was rugby practice, then more reading because someone recalled the book, meaning I had only about 1 week to finish instead of 1 month. 

Saturday, which is strangely not a rugby day, I took a coach trip with a bunch of fellow Arcadia program students on the bridge over the Firth of Forth into Fife and beyond to St. Andrews, Scotland.  It is much smaller than Edinburgh, has streets in their original medieval design, and a calm milieu.  The castle, built in the 12th century, is very much in ruins, but it was a neat sight, right on the water.  There is also a series of tunnels underground called mines and countermines that were created during a siege on the castle to crouch through.  After the castle, we made our way over to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.  We walked through the cemetary and climbed St. Rule's Tower, which gives a good birds-eye view of the city.  We tried to get to some of the college buildings there, but there was a wedding taking place, so we were unfortunately not able to get in.  Instead, we headed to the greens of St. Andrews links golf courses, where people have been playing since the 1400s, giving St. Andrews its title as the home of golf.  Then, it was back to the coach to go home.

Sunday is apparently a rugby day here, so EULRFC played their first game vs. Dundee.  I could not play because my transfer of approval from the US to Scotland has not come through yet, but it was good to watch to get a feel for the differences in the way the game is played here as opposed to at home.  In the end, Edinburgh won 24-5, so a good start to the season.  We went to the Dundee union bar for a little bit of pizza and chat, then headed home.  We hung out at the team's sponsoring bar for a while after the game for chatting, then slowly filtered out to go home.  When I made it home, my flatmates and a few other people had been preparing a haggis, mashed potatoe, and veggie dinner, with some apple crumble for dessert.  I tried both the original and the veggie haggis, and I think the veggie haggis was much better because it was not so heavy.  Both were very salty though.  I don't see it becoming one of my staple meals.  Overall, a fun weekend, and hopefully there will be many more like it in the future.
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eucharist53 on

Up to Date...
Sounds like you're having a great time! You're a great writer --- brings your trip alive, along with the photos (good photog. too). Loved hearing about your day with your Mom before leaving the US? I suppose she cried? Miss having you close in Saginaw -- even if it isn't the most beautiful city in the world.....Are ya squeezin' in a lil' time for Church there lassie?! What are the churches like there? Suppose they're ancient buildings; and am I correct that most of the residents are Protestants? or are there some Roman Catholic Churches around there? The Geog. class sounds very interesting; I enjoyed that class when I was in undergrad although I didn't go out of the US to's wonderful that you are able to do that! Enjoy it now --- soon you will have all the fun responsibilities of a 'job'; although you'll make more in one day than I make in a month! Keep posting --- enjoy the exciting posts --- hows the stock market doing over there? 'tanking' as in the US?

ameliap on

It sounds like you are having an overall great time so far! I'm super jealous...

Your pictures are awesome!! Gorgeous scenery.

Misssssss you

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