As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the Frankfurt Airport waiting for my flight back to Helsinki. My time in Scotland was truly amazing. The country was beautiful, and each of the three cities I visited each had their own feel and charm. (And since I’m posting this after I landed back in Helsinki, I can say that the feels of Finland and Scotland are completely different. Finland feels so new, sleek, and exceedingly modern. You can imagine how Scotland felt, with much of the country around and literally in ruins.)
On Sunday morning, Elizabeth and I boarded a train to Glasgow to meet my friend Alex) to watch Celtic FC, arguably Scotland’s most famous and successful soccer team, take on Kilmarnock in a Scottish Premier League match. The game was a blast and Celtic came out with a 2-0, but to put it lightly, Glasgow’s weather was miserable. The rain was unrelenting, and the wind didn’t make things any better. I’d say I’m glad it didn’t snow, but I think on the whole, the snow in Helsinki was more tolerable! But it was a great day in Glasgow, so I have no complaints.
After the match, Elizbeth, Alex, and I visited the People’s Palace museum and got dinner. After dinner, Alex and I said goodbye to Elizabeth and head to St. Andrews, the home of golf! Basically all of Monday was spent touring the city. Luckily, the rain was light while it lasted, and the wind was nowhere near as strong as in Glasgow. The day was grey for the most part, and darkness fell on the city pretty early. I can only imagine how early the sun will start setting in Helsinki when winter comes.
A big thank you to Alex for letting me stay with you during the second half of my trip to Scotland!
Click on the pictures for a bigger view:
Celtic Park was absolutely huge. This is the front entrance. To my right was the Celtic FC Superstore where I stocked up on Celtic gear.
The Emirates Arena. This was home to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.
“A club like no other”
We were so close! We were only 3 rows up from the ground. You know you’re close when you can hear the players yelling at each other.
Goal! Celtic won 2-0 against Kilmarnock, who struggled after going a man down.
Alex, Elizabeth, and I after the game. We were all drenched from the pouring rain during the game.
The outside of Celtic Park
The People’s Palace. We went here after the Celtic game to get dry and stay warm.
The Doulton Fountain…
…the largest terracotta fountain in the world!
Apparently it’s the best example of a terracotta fountain in the world
The dedication tile for the fountain’s new home
The Glasgow Greens
My first Guinness. I had to cover up the Celtic jersey soon after though (it’s a long story).
More pub grub. This pub’s food served mostly Asian fusion.
St. Andrews is the home of golf. So you can thank St. Andrews for all of your big business deals and how you’ll likely spend your time in retirement.
A view of St. Andrews from the links.
A map of the different courses in St. Andrews
West Sands, one of a few beaches in St. Andrews.
The West Sands tide pools.
Chariots of Fire was filmed on West Sands. Cue the slow motion running!
It was really windy near the tide pools of West Sands!
The outside of the St. Andrews Clubhouse
Authentic British fish and chips!
A specialty ale for the St. Andrews links. It went great with lunch.
The St. Andrews Aquariam, home to meerkats, seals, and a bunch of other marine life! Apparently St. Andrews is quite renowned for some of its marine science programs
An example of one of the department buildings at St. Andrews. You don’t see buildings in this style in Finland!
More buildings on the walk to the St. Andrews museum and the St. Andrews Castle
One of the newer buildings on the St. Andrews campus
The house of the director of the University of St. Andrews. Apparently she’s building another house too.
One of the department buildings we passed on the way to the St. Andrews museum
The Economics building for St. Andrews University
The St. Andrews Museum. It held many historical artifacts of both the school and the city.
The front of the St. Andrews Castle
A view of the outside of the ruins
A look inside of the ruins
Alex and I at the ruins of St. Andrews Castle
The mines and countermines of the St. Andrews Castle. Dug in desperation to escape siegers, the tunnel was quite narrow and low. But I’m sure they weren’t really thinking about that when they dug it.
The ruins of the St. Andrews Castle. Inside was a prisoner holding cell called “the Bottleneck dungeon.” Sounds fun.
The St. Andrews Cathedral (or what’s left of it). Surprisingly, many of the graves were relatively new (mainly 19th century from what we saw).
One of the remaining towers at St. Andrews Cathedral
St. Rule’s Tower in the ruins of the St. Andrews Cathedral
It was windy on the pier!
Another one of the quads in St. Andrews. This might be the St. Mary’s quad.
St. Salvador Hall. Prince William stayed here when he attended St. Andrews.
The cafe where Kate and William met