Crossing Scotland

The four of us sat in the car at the trailhead in Glencoe, questioning what to do. We watched dozens of tourists exit their tour buses, snap a few photos, and return to the bus completely soaked. Climbing was ruled out after some deliberation, so we drove to Glencoe Village for lunch, turned the car around, and decided to return to Edinburgh with our tails between our legs. Scotland's weather was simply too mean, but I'm sure that if you can get to West Scotland on a clear day, it is probably one of the most beautiful views in the world.

First Munro – Mayar

Some might know of the bigger feats, such as reaching the summits of the 14 peaks that rise above 8,000 meters or summiting the "Big Three" in the Alaska Range (Denali, Sultana, and Begguya, also known as McKinley, Foraker, and Hunter). But one mountaineering list I was completely unaware of, until I was standing on a summit in Scotland, is the Munros.

The Unpronounceable City: Edinburgh

The highlighted cultural activity in Edinburgh was the Scottish Museum of Modern Art. Some of the art was questionable, but some was absolutely fantastic, especially the neon words at the entrance (perfect after reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Keruac), and all the work by Victoria Morton, especially Dirty Burning.

Images from Cumbria

After the marathon, Davinia's dad took us on a small road trip all around the Lake District, with stops in Barrow-in-Furness, Kirkstone Pass, Glenridding, and, as a perfect post-marathon walk, Easedale Tarn by way of Grasmere. The rocky green hills and lakes were awesome to see, and definitely got me excited for my indefinite time here in England.

A Marathon in More Ways than One

What I did not anticipate was that I would lose feeling in my toes during the mountaineering mission in Kyrgyzstan, so I ended up running this marathon without feeling in most of my toes, except pain when I ran downhill, especially on asphalt.

Fish Bread

The Hagia Sophia The one place Davinia and I really wanted to see was the Hagia Sophia. It was originally built as a Cathedral in 537 AD, and about 1000 years later converted into a mosque. Now it is a museum, and easily one of the oldest buildings I have ever been in. It is the type of place you can feel when you're inside of it, it is a place where so many people have been looking for spiritual guidance that you can't help but wonder about the millions of stories held within the walls.