north berwick beachcombing & bones

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Whenever I spend idle minutes organizing the hierarchy of my “Favorite Places on Earth” list (a frequent habit), the tiny Scottish seaside town of North Berwick always maintains its permanent place in the top three.

A week ago, I returned from a wonderful trip to Edinburgh, a brief six-day venture filled with unprecedentedly perfect weather, moderately tolerable air travel shenanigans, and exceedingly lovely company.  It was such a quick getaway that I sometimes am overcome with the sad sense that it was all a dream–but perhaps sharing some photographic evidence will convince me otherwise!

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I haven’t seen the ocean since my trip to California in January, and although the Pacific will forever be my beloved, I am happy to accept Scottish waters too!

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There are lots of curious discoveries awaiting the intrepid visitor to the North Berwick shore–which, by the way, is about half an hour by train from Edinburgh through some very pleasant countryside (there were even some SHEEP! Be still, my heart!).

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In terms of beachcombing, there are plenty of treasures to satisfy any gleaner’s taste. We even found a single piece of coveted blue sea glass, though greens and clears were in abundance! The shell situation wasn’t quite my scene, but I suppose that’s just another indicator of my undying loyalty to the Pacific.

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While I had been to North Berwick several times when I studied abroad in Scotland in 2013, I’d never climbed North Berwick Law, a grassy hill with a summit that offers views of geometric patches of countryside that seem quintessentially British-Isles-y to me.

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There were odd rock formations covered in lichen–an amateur macro photographer’s dream!

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Isn’t it a nice feeling to climb a hill when you know a fiberglass replica of a whale jawbone waits for you at the top?

As the story goes, whale jawbones (real ones, alas – I hope the original was obtained from a whale who died of natural causes, but who knows) have sat atop North Berwick Law since the eighteenth century. In recent history, the state of decay of the latest jawbone led to the permanent installation of this much more whale-friendly sculpture in its stead. I much prefer it that way! Sadly, this was the closest we saw to a marine mammal of any kind during this day out.

Speaking of bones and relics, my Edinburgh adventures will continue on Friday with a trip to the National Museum of Scotland!

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