St Andrews is the most beautiful town in the world. I was lucky enough to spend four very happy years there. It is where I met some of the best friends, and my husband. Those four years were also the longest time I’ve lived in any one town consecutively in my 28 years of life.
So I’m a little biased.
Personal feelings aside, there is something magical about those three little grey streets, bracketed by the ruins of a cathedral and crumbling castle, long stretches of beaches, and the greens of the most famous golf course in the world.
We went back last week for the wedding of some very good friends. It was bittersweet being back in town. So many storefronts and restaurants have changed, and the students seem far younger than they did six years ago. At the same time, it all felt so familiar. How much can a place really change after 600 years?
Pictures can hardly do it justice, in part because I took them on the most Scottish day of all – sleet colored skies and sharp freezing wind blowing rain into our faces until we couldn’t feel them anymore. It just added to the feeling of being back home.
Luckily, the skies cleared for our second day in town, when we got to witness two wonderful friends get married in the historic St. Salvator’s Chapel on campus. It was a beautiful ceremony, and a fantastic party afterwards in the Old Course Hotel. Being reunited with so many good friends reminded me how much good came out of our time there.
I could just blame my overactive feelings that weekend on wedding emotions, or nostalgia, or just too much wine. But if I’m honest, St Andrews has always had that affect on me. Even 9 years ago, coming back from holidays and turning the bend of the road until the cathedral ruins came into sight would fill me with a sense of belonging. I’ve never quite felt that anywhere else. The “auld grey toon” somehow manages to touch me in a way no other place has.
Do other people have such an attachment to a particular place?