Week Three Wanderings

Sarah Mason University of Edinburgh, Scotland


January 26, 2016

It has been yet another great week of adventuring through Edinburgh. Thanks to my compact schedule, I don’t have classes on Wednesdays or Fridays, making those my designated exploring days. Last Wednesday, I found myself at the National Gallery. An enormous, grand looking building on Princes Street, I had been eager to explore it since I arrived in Edinburgh. However, unless you’re a truly determined art fanatic, it’s hard to make it all the way through in just one trip. After perusing the Renaissance art, impressionism and some Scottish art, my friends and I decided to take a break for lunch. We crossed the street and got some delicious sushi at Yo Sushi, where a conveyer belt carried the sushi around the restaurant and we simply grabbed what we wanted as it came around.  We then attempted to get dessert at Mary’s Milk Bar, an ice cream shop renowned for its legendary hot chocolate floats. To my disappointment, it was closed for the winter, but I definitely plan on revisiting it this spring!

Friday also brought with it its fair share of adventures. On a whim, my friends and I decided that this would be a good weekend to visit Glasgow. We originally intended to go see the Kooks who were playing in Glasgow that evening, but found out that their concert was sold out. We decided to make the venture anyway, and rode the train in on Friday morning. After some shopping and a quick lunch at a local cafe, we made our way to Glasgow Cathedral, an 800 year old cathedral where the Royal Church of Scotland still gathers today. The stone-built cathedral was stunning, and accented with beautiful stained-glass windows. We learned from a friendly tour guide that during WWII, the Glasgow Cathedral sustained no damage, while an entire village down the road was obliterated. On the hill behind the cathedral was a graveyard, which offered beautiful views of the city after a short climb.

Exhausted from carrying our backpacks around all day, we finally made our way back into the city center, and caught a train to our hostel which was slightly outside of the city. We checked in, unloaded our bags, and grabbed dinner at a cheap (and rather disappointing) pub right next to our hostel before making it back to the city.  Glasgow is known for its nightlife, and we wandered through the city on a quest to find some bars. By midnight, however, we were so exhausted from the day’s travels that we hopped back on the train and returned to our hostel.

On Saturday morning, we made our way back into the city for a few more hours of exploring. We started off the day with at Bill’s, a quirky little cafe that served delicious brunch. Afterwards, we headed to GoMA, the modern art museum of Glasgow. The museum itself was beautiful, and the 4 floors were filled with a rich, colorful and interesting collection of artwork. Completely exhausted after the museum, we made our way back to Edinburgh, where all of us subsequently passed out in our flats.

While I enjoyed visiting Glasgow, I’m very happy that I chose to study abroad in Edinburgh. The cities have a completely different “feel” about them, and I definitely feel more at home in Edinburgh...not to say that we won’t make our way back to Glasgow at some point this semester. Until next week, cheers!


Scotland Semester