Sunday, September 30, 2007

So, Hows Scotland You Ask?

So now that I've been here at Heriot-Watt University on the outskirts of Edinburgh for a little over half a week, I bet the few readers I have to this blog want to know how its going. To sum it up...

Pretty good.
Of course I don't really know anybody yet, but I've met several nice people. I've moved into my residence room and have pasted it with photos and am slowly making it my own (ie, making it messy). I took some photos around the university yesterday.
Heriot Watt First Impression  011.jpg
Its a very nice campus, lots of green space. If you click here you can see more photos from the parks around the campus. The walk from my dorm to the place I'll be taking classes is about 10 min. Theres a little convenience store on campus, but for any real food selection I'll have to head out into town for a Tesco or ASDA. Not to worry though, the bus system is pretty awesome. When there isn't too much traffic its a 15-20 min ride to the city center.

I registered for my courses the other day too, its a pretty decent schedule. 9:15 start every day. Some days busy with classes, other days only one lecture. I'll just have to keep on top of my reading, as this is expensive and I haven't been in school for almost 5 years. But its brewing/distilling, and I've had a passion for that for awhile... plus my biochemistry background should help.
Heriot Watt First Impression  007.jpg
Apparently the university was built near a graveyard too.

There are several pubs on campus, but the ones run by the university seem closed on the weekend. I liked the Lecern Bar which seems like more of an "old man" bar. Better beer selection than at the student union pubs. Its too bad that due to marketing the most popular beers (and thus the ones sold on tap) are pretty much foreign lagers... not really my thing, I'm looking for a fine english bitter or scottish ale. They exist luckily, but not much variation available.

Today I took a hike around central Edinburgh today, its a very nice city. And easier to get around than you'd think. You can't really get lost since you can almost always see the castle or other landmarks.
Blue Sky... in Edinburgh... it happens
The Castle
Oddly, I remembered my way around the city from the last time I was here in 2003. Which led me back to Bobby's Bar where I had a couple of pints of CASK ale (finally!) - first Caledonian 80 (4.?%), a Scottish style of beer thats supposed to be quite malty, but I think the cask was a bit off. Then a pint of Deuchar's IPA (I probably misspelt that), which was rather tasty and only 3.8%. I'd have another pint or three of that.
Taken whilst crossing North bridge.

I wandered around quite a bit and snapped lots of photos, the best of which can be found by clicking here. Of course I had to try for a good sunset shot, this was the best I could muster:

Sunset & Castle

Theres something about the way the light reflects in the air in Scotland that I love... in the evening when the sun is getting low there is a ... colour... its hard to describe and I can't seem to capture its essence in a photo (always overexposed or the colour just doesn't come through)... but its peaceful and feels "old".
Its a beautiful country, I must make sure I leave time to see it.


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