Friday, August 26, 2011


Those of you who know me know that I like to run.  If you know me well, you know that I also like to talk about running.  A lot.  My brother tells me it’s annoying.

If my habit of talking about running irks you too I apologize, because I’m about to babble about my fantastic run this morning.  So far, it’s the highlight of my time in Edinburgh.

I woke up at the crack of 7am this morning feeling chilly (in August!), and forced myself to change into shorts and hit the road.  I had to do this fast and mindlessly, because I could have easily been tempted into making a cup of hot chocolate and getting back under the duvet.

I left my flat and decided to run the short distance from my flat to Napier University’s Craighouse campus, to check out my new school.  The weather was cool and breezy; the sun peeked through the clouds just enough to keep me warm.  THIS WAS perfect running weather and I made it to the University’s stone gates fast.

By the time I ran up the drive to the first building, however, I was huffing and puffing as if I’d just finished a race, not a 10-minute warm-up.  Scotland is very hilly!

Slowing to catch my breath, I took my first look at Edinburgh Napier University.   Craighouse campus is all old castle-like buildings set on green hillsides and connected by heavy stone fences.  The place looks more like a fancy golf club than a school to me, but I’m certainly not complaining!

I jogged around the buildings and found a path leading into the woods behind campus.  While unmarked, it looked well-trodden and safe, so I took off into the trees, thinking it was probably a short loop.  Instead, I found myself in a huge network of connecting trails!  Some are marked, some unmarked, some wide, others only fit for single-track mountain bikers.  Each and every one is scenic and hilly, though!

I spent an hour exploring as many trails as I could before descending a final hill up and out of the woods.  By this time, I was a bit lost, and starting to think about the warm coffee waiting for me at the flat.  Luckily, the steep hill I had chosen led to a green peak overlooking the city.  What a view.

From this height I was able to easily pick a route leading me back toward campus.  I only paused for a minute at one of Napiers buildings to snap one more photo of the Edinburgh skyline.

As I ran down the hill to get that well-deserved hot chocolate I felt, with certainty, that I’m in the right place.


  1. let's see if blog-commenting (blommenting?) works..
    Hey Marie, nice adventure and nice writing actually, from a literary point of view. So Leslie and I have visited Scotland, way back when. I found an MRI research conference in Glascow, so we visited the country for a week, then Leslie flew back home while I stayed for another week in a hostel in Glascow ($74 for the week. My adviser liked that) while attending the conference. I agree also that running is the best way to get to know a new town/city and is also great for beating jet-lag. I don't think you are missing out on anything by not having haggis :P
    but the fish and chips we had were pretty good, and fresh. Keep up the good blog

  2. Thanks for the compliments, Walt, I'm glad you enjoy my writing! :) You're so right about running helping with the jet lag- it seems to jolt me awake.

    I haven't spent a lot of time in Glasgow, but I hear its a must-see for the shopping alone. As soon as I make it there I'll get some photos up here, though!

  3. Your campus looks like something out of a romantic 19th century novel! Sort of Harry-Potter-meets-Jane-Austen. I am jealous :)