“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

March 6, 2018

Snow in Scotland

LATEST UPDATE IN SCOTLAND: Unpredicted snow which left people without essentials like bread and milk for 4 days. The roads were extremely dangerous to drive on, and the lack of winter chains/tyres and grit on roads led to accidents. How did it affect me? Well, I went outside to build a snowman and made flat bread in my oven-less kitchen. Oh yes, so on the first day of the freak snow our oven decided to practically blow up. So we were stuck without an oven then until the snow allowed the new oven to be driven over to our flat. Hard times, freak snow and no oven. Luckily, we are creative students!! 

Meet our new flatmate!! And no, the hair was NOT inspired by Trump. 
On Sunday (day four of the snowy weather) I got a text saying that church was cancelled due to the weather. So Graeme came over to my place, and after chatting with my wonderful family in Finland on Skype, it was decided that we should go for an adventure. And so we did.

Setting out toward Loch Lomond 
A lookalike for the Harry Potter Bridge, near Callendar (the actual one is curved and is at Glenfinnan)
So magical
After stopping off  to have a fish supper (which is fish and chips) at Callander, which is the town between the highlands and lowlands, we drove a bit further on to Inverarnan where we could put on our warmer socks and start the trek along the West Highland Way. 

Distance to Callander from Musselburgh, and then from Callander to Inverarnan. 

Graeme and I full of energy at the start of the hike heading towards Loch Lomond
Amazing views!!!
Stopping at a little stream to pick up an ice lolly, aka. an icicle ;) I preferred eating the fresh snow.

My amazing companion <3
Wee stream
A sturdy table where we were tempted to eat the chocolate raspberry cake that Iulia (my awesome flatmate) allowed us to take on our trip. We decided that it might be too wet to eat off unfortunately :(
By this point it started snowing, and so we were keeping an eye on the storm cloud to see whether there would be a blizzard :o Living life to the edge :D

The storm clouds in the distance
This was my highlight of the hike. Just sitting on a rock looking over a range of mountains and the endless Loch (lake) Lomond. Imagine small sprinklings of snow spraying towards and all around you, the smell of the freshest air, and the noice of wind blowing past you. Pure bliss <3

Overlooking Loch Lomond 
We made it!!

Graeme was fascinated by creating a snowball by rolling a small ball down the hill ;)
Graeme throwing snow at me. Mischievous fun ;) 
Getting closer ...
Didn't hit me, but made an awesome picture! haha
Graeme with his 'Lord of the Rings' style walking stick
Walking the narrow path to more mountains 
Graeme checking that I am alright
I borrowed Graeme's special stick due to my exhaustion on the way back. 
We arrived back at the car park!! I was so happy :D We parked our car at the Beinglas Campsite.
The Beinglas Campsite location, Inverarnan. We walked from the campsite to the start of Loch Lomond, and back again. Fair distance I would say ;)
My exhausted face
 About time we got back as you can see the sun setting in the background!
Graeme then suggested that we go to the Drovers Inn to have something to eat. I am so glad he suggested it, as I was soo exhausted and didn't realise how much I needed some sustenance!!

A Sunday Pork Roast with the most amazing potatoes!!
We then drive back in the darkness, and I was so glad that Graeme was a confident driver ;) There was one small road that was made one-way due to the snow being very poorly plowed. Just when we were saying that it would  be soo hard if another car came the other way, it happened :o Luckily we had just arrived at a part of the road where the snow had been been widely plowed. Phew...

What an amazing snow fall we had in Scotland <3 Although I am glad that the snow is melting now so that we can go to the shops to get milk. And public transport is working again :D

Till next post,

Laura xx

December 20, 2017

The week before flying home for Christmas

How can you get so tired from a holiday? Well, you jam pack it with meeting heaps of friends, going to cliffs in cold temperatures and miss a flight. I know, cause that is what happened...

I was focusing solely on finishing the website due on Monday that I completely forgot to make sure that I had enough food to eat. Subsequently, I had to be creative and use every piece of food in my possession, meaning macaroni and cheese and cheese toasties. Not super nutritious. Oh, and SQUARE BREAD!!!! Those of you who know me know that I make my own bread, and am definitely against any store bought square bread. It is horrible and tastes like cardboard.

The day of the due date and I was smoothly working away and eating at regular times. All was going well. I finished and sent my assignment off 5 minutes before the deadline. I was on an adrenaline high, and I did not realise till the next day exactly how tired I was.

The next day I woke up to the sound of wind bashing against my student accommodation window. Nothing new. I was donating blood today, which was something I had wanted to do for ever. If I could save a life using something that didn’t cost me much (other than a few blood cells which would grow back), then I would. I remember after donating heading to a cafĂ© and basically feeling so exhausted and ready to sleep. But the day wasn’t over yet … Meeting a friend and then heading to church to partner-lead a group of students in a devotional.

Again, I woke up the bashing of wind, rattle, swoosh, rattle. I spent this day playing games with Jennifer, my flatmate, who was leaving the next day. In the evening Graeme, my boyfriend, and I drove to the airport to pick Harri, my brother, up. I had booked a flight for him to come to Edinburgh from Cardiff, before we both head home to Helsinki for Christmas.

Waking up just after day break was an amazing feeling!! And Harri was in Edinburgh!! Today we were going to hike along some cliffs on the Scottish coast to see baby seals. We had created a Facebook group chat to plan the event, as you do, and Graeme had told everyone to dress up warmly. We were all super glad that he reminded us of this when we were almost blown away by the chill of the blustery winds on the tops of the cliffs!!

It took us around 1 hour to drive to the cliffs near Coldingham on the Eastern coast of Scotland, and then around another hour to find the cliffs that would allow us to see the baby seals on the beaches below. We didn’t mind though, since the scenery was breathtakingly amazing. 

Harri on the drive down

Starting the adventure!! 
The gang full of energy- missing some people
Here we were walking along an invisible path that somehow Graeme and his mum knew about
We found the right beach to see the seals!! Here Pamela is using binoculars to see them up close.  
To see the seals even better everyone, besides Pamela and Robyn, went further down a rocky decline to the beach.

The beach!
Hello seals <3
Getting up close and personal. Apparently, if you walked towards them with a camera over your face they wouldn't be afraid. 
The wee one <3
Their lovely home

On the way back we were all kinda exhausted. And Pamela was setting quite a pace as she was freezing cold. As you can see by my expression ;)
Having a wee rest
Pamela made it first to the car!! :D
Freedom :D 
We then drove to a near by town to stop to get something to eat for lunch. We were all STARVING!!!
My amazing fish supper with mushy peas (which we all gave to Pamela cause she was so happy that there was green things!!!)
After that day I then went to the Christmas markets with Harri and Morven, who came up from Dumfries, and then another day with Berenika.

Ferris wheel with Morven
The view of the Christmas Markets in Edinburgh  
Harri's artistic photo
We then went with Berenika on the Star Flyer, which spins around upwards higher than the ferris wheel. I felt like I was flying through the sky, which I was doing, but it was so surreal!!

Getting our flight to Helsinki a day late
Till next post,

Laura xx