A Town by the Sea

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , , ,

Our second day in St Andrews.

Our B&B: the lovely Aslar Guest House on North St. Quite apart from our search to find somewhere even halfway recommended in London, Aslar holds the prestigious honour of being about the only place I’ve ever seen with 100% positive reviews on TripAdvisor – and deservedly so. The owners, Mary and Stan, were wonderful hosts, and our room had everything from a DVD player to hair straighteners (!). Indeed, my only would-be complaint was that we were right next door the dining room; only the volume wasn’t really an issue since holidays are the one time I don’t sleep through breakfast entirely. (Said breakfast was, incidentally, inclusive and amazing: buffet-style and a menu for anything that wasn’t already laid out.) After Mary gave us a guided tour on our last day, however, John has insisted that we fulfil his lifelong dream and stay in the turret on our next visit.

Oh, Butts Wynd.

On passing the North Point, we noticed some horrendous sign advertising it as the place “Where Kate Met Wills (for coffee!)”. I wanted to put a brick through their window.

Audrey Hepburn is commonly misattributed as wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Actually, they’re Manhattans by Oliver Goldsmith; who, coincidentally, re-released them this year in honour of the movie’s 50th Anniversary. Needless to say, John had ordered a pair within five minutes of reading the announcement.

Identical!

St Andrews Cathedral, St Andrews.

I defy you to find a more postcard-perfect town.

One of these days, I’ll actually pay to go up St Rule’s Tower. Maybe.

Same view as the previous day, only less enshrouded in fog.

Audrey also wore them in Two For the Road:

…as well as in real life:

…so we’re pretty sure this was actually just her own pair.

(Click here for full size)

In my honours years, the East Sands were my back garden and this was my view every day walking to classes. I lived in Dundee my entire life until I went to uni and I’ve lived in Glasgow for over a year now, but still St Andrews is the only place in Scotland that’s ever felt like home.

We took the long way round via the East Sands and Albany Park: passing, along the way, the only house where we ever burned an effigy of our flatmate. We really did have the worst luck with accommodation. John also insisted we pay a visit to the Bute Medical Building…which, it turns out, has been completely gutted and apparently now houses the biology department?

No trip would be complete without a visit to The Eating Place (which I could have sworn was called The Pancake Place?) and their beautiful savoury pancakes: every bit as good as I remembered, and only slightly sullied by the screaming child behind us who – thank god – was removed halfway through our meal.

John “I’m not arachnophobic, I’m just terrified of spiders” Millar. (Seconds after taking this, the girl behind the counter told me that I couldn’t take pictures in the sweet shop. Too late, beeyotch!) This is also where we bought the now-infamous mega soor plooms and ended up spazzing out in the middle of Market St when we unsuspectingly tried them for the first time. They were (quite literally) enamel-corrodingly sour. We had to use Sensodyne for a week after finishing the bag.

Inca, on our return trip to the Millers Tale; having decided that, yes, we did want to buy everything we’d seen the day before. (So much, in fact, that the owner gave us a massive discount!)

College St, which I will forever think of as my route to the library.

The Pends. I left John alone for ten minutes while I went off to photograph these arches, which, evidently, was still enough time for him to run off and start buying new and exciting cleaning products for the house. I’m not even kidding.

I was hunched in an awkward, I’ve-potentially-been-left-for-dead position while taking this; prompting the lady who walked past me to comment, “Oh, thank goodness – you’re taking photographs.”

St Salvator’s Quad. It occurred to me (too late to put it into action) that I can actually stand on Patrick Hamilton’s initials now without fear of cursing myself never to graduate. Next time.

And then: a night in bed, stuffing our faces and watching DVDs. It’s amazing how much vacationing in St Andrews feels like living in St Andrews.

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