September 26, 2013

week two.

{On Castle Terrace posing with the back of Edinburgh Castle}

Our second week was again awash in exploration! We walked and walked and walked and discovered what a joy it is to be constantly surprised by that little street we didn't know existed or that second-hand bookshop or the wee coffee shop around the corner where the chairs are actually comfortable and WHOA the cars come from the opposite direction in this land. 

As a side note, I can totally understand why pedestrian tourists get hit by cars when they visit the UK/Australia. We were obsessively careful while crossing streets but even though I'd look both ways on an average of 17 times I would still get these mysterious feelings of dread that a car was going to come shooting up from the opposite direction -- the correct North American direction -- and I never quite shook that feeling, which was good, I guess. Kept me on my toes.

{View of Edinburgh, Salisbury Crags, and Arthur's Seat from Blackford Hill}

On our first Sunday we bussed ourselves down to Niddrie Community Church, home of a small church community in one of Edinburgh's schemes. Wayne had read about the church through Together for the Gospel and thought we'd check things out -- we're so thankful we did! The Niddrie community became a foundational part of our Edinburgh experience, and they were a major blessing to us. That second week a lovely couple offered to take us on a driving tour of the city which we gladly agreed to -- the photo above is taken from that tour and gives a good sense of how quickly the urban centre of Edinburgh turns into rolling green plains.

We couldn't, of course, spend three months wandering around outside in the city streets -- we had come to Edinburgh to get some serious work done. This is what a typical evening looked like in our flat -- Wayne set up at the table doing his reading, and I'd make a huge artsy mess at the desk. Oh, the comforts of a messy desk! 

And yes, that's our flat. Small? Absolutely. It made our student apartment back in Grand Rapids feel like a mansion... but the view was worth it.

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