KyungSun in Scotland: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Isn’t it amazing when the sun comes out? Suddenly everything is brighter, more hopeful, and alive. My beloved Edinburgh has brought me the perfect weather for my spring break. These past few days I’ve finally had the chance to explore more of the city. I had a great time playing tourist, getting lost on random streets, and picnicking on a hill watching the sun set. If it all sounds like a romanticized dream, blame the weather. It has a way of transforming the mundane into something beautiful and exciting.

My friend Bec and I picnicking on Calton Hill

My friend Bec and I picnicking on Calton Hill

Sunsetting over Calton Hill

Sun setting over Calton Hill

My friend Meghan and I greeting the spring!

My friend Meghan and I greeting the spring!

What I love about my friend Meghan is that she is her own compass. She never comes with a plan, map, or on time. But she and I balance each other out. I like to have a general idea of where to go, but am open to however we get there. Detours are also highly welcome. Therefore, it did not fluster us that we got lost (several) times and ended up stumbling upon (several) amazing hidden views on our way to Haymarket, our final destination.

Onto the market we go…

We had walked less than 2 minutes when we made our first stop. We had to get ice cream. All our friends have been raving about this place called Mary’s Milk Bar. They feature everything unique from hot chocolate floats to chocolate and olive ice cream. In fact, it is so popular that they can afford to close and open at random hours during the week. As expected, the first sip of my milkshake was amazing. I have no recollection of the sips after because when I looked down there was nothing left. Okay, it wasn’t the best milkshake I’ve had. But it was the most delicious flavour I’ve ever had. Almond and apple rhubarb milkshake will forever remind me of this day.

Mary's Milk Bar

Mary’s Milk Bar

With (empty) drinks in hand….

We just followed the skyline. Whenever we saw a cool, pointy tip peaking above the square buildings, we ran toward it. The first of these ended up being St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. But for a second I thought I was in Spain again. Everything around Haymarket is pretty new, clean, and modern. I was therefore surprised to suddenly see this beautifully old, detailed, and ornate church. We peeked inside and it was just as striking as the outside. But this feeling lasted about a minute. I felt like I’d seen this before.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Edinburgh

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh

St. Giles Church in Edinburgh

St. Giles Church in Edinburgh

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Something that hit me while wandering is the creeping fear that I am not appreciating everything enough. When I was inside the church, I tried to shake off the sudden feeling that these amazing structures were beginning to become “normal” to me. But how can we appreciate each structure or view as its own unique piece? My best guess is that the key to appreciation is the story behind it. Although I’m not a huge fan of history or have access to guides, I think it’s important to understand the how and why something came to be. Otherwise, all the beautiful views just start to blur together.

For the second half of my spring break, I’ll be making my way to Scandinavia to see more breathtaking views. My first stop is Norway, where I’ll be doing a day long train tour to see the grand fjords. My second stop is to my long-awaited trip to Denmark, where I’ll be reunited with my first friend from UR outside Scotland! However, this time I’ll be sure to not only see pretty views, but also hopefully have a story to tell about each one.

 

 

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