i remember that i was going to be so diligent about posting my scotland photos…and here it is october already.  i’m trying to be a better person, but it’s just so much work…

anyway, we biked for five days and then spent our last biking day riding the bus to a castle and then walking to a distillery.

the next day we took the train and the bus to St. Andrews, the home of golf.  when we arrived, the place was crawling with tourists.  we lumbered along pulling our very heavy suitcases and hated all the tourists.  plus there was lots of uneven pavement to scrabble over and we didn’t enjoy the walk at all.

we got to our b&b after walking for maybe 15 minutes, and nobody was home.  hmm.  i kept pressing the doorbell hoping that somebody would magically appear, but it didn’t happen.  what were we going to do?  i tried going around back, but there was just another house on the other side, and a very very steep hill.

so we waited and every once in a while i rang the bell.

after a while, a guy opened the door.  a pleasant-enough english fellow who was a guest there.  i know that the b&b policy is that you’re not supposed to let strangers into the house, but he let us in and said he didn’t know where the woman…what was her name?…was, but we could leave our stuff in the hall and take a key and go out.

we sat in the very fancy living room for a while.  it was an indescribably weird feeling, sitting in this very lovely home with nobody around (the guy had gone back to his room).   this was definitely a much fancier place than any others we stayed in, even though it wasn’t even rated in the top 10 b&bs in st. andrews on tripadvisor.com.

we looked at the photos strewn around – old ones of a woman with a soldier, and we guessed this was our host and her now-deceased husband.  but maybe not, maybe they’re divorced, and she got this big fabulous house?

i went upstairs and looked in at the rooms.  the one in the front was huge and beautiful and i wished that it would be ours.

we finally decided to leave, so we started walking.  the crowds had thinned, and because we weren’t lugging our suitcases the walk was nice.  we came to the ruined cathedral, which was grand and huge and sad.


it was cool that it was right next to the sea.




we walked out the back gate and looked out at the water.



we didn’t feel like walking way out on that promontory.


over there on the left is the ruined castle.  the only bad thing about walking on the path by the sea is that for most of it, there was a high wall so you couldn’t see the water.  what were they thinking?


when we got back, the proprietor was there.  jill, her name is jill.  she was friendly and very casual about everything and asked us when we wanted breakfast.  she lived in a downstairs apartment, and she did give us the beautiful room in the front on the 2nd floor.

here’s a photo of our room, looking out onto the hallway.  the lovely pale green wallpaper was in the bathroom, too.


scotland is so full of so many beautiful flowers.  i have no idea where these were – were they along the walk through town?  or were they outside the living room window?


we went out and wandered around, looking for a place for dinner.  authentic scottish food was fine, but the air was suddenly filled with the tantalizing aroma of pizza.  one a square was a place called Pizza Express and we went in and had the best pizza i’ve ever eaten.  it was casual but delicious, with organic salads and a list of wonderful desserts plus a full bar.  very nice.

when we got up the next morning, sunday, we went downstairs for breakfast in the fancy dining room.  it had one long table, and the guy we’d met the day before was there, with his snotty girlfriend.  more snooty than snotty.  there were in st. andrews for a wedding and really seemed very very bored with everything. we told them that we were going to return to america on the Queen Mary 2, and they said something kind of disparaging about sailing ships.  annoying people.  a couple of german guys showed up but they didn’t speak much english.  a woman came to take our breakfast order; we’d just assumed that jill would do that, but she only breezed in for a few minutes.  it was a delicious breakfast, but we were happy to get out of there and away from those people.

we set out to see more of st. andrews before taking the bus and the train to edinburgh.  because it was relatively early on sunday morning, there weren’t so many people around.


we walked to the Old Course, and there were many many golf shops all around.  we went into one and there were quite a few people milling around.  many very wealthy tourists in St. Andrews.


there in the distance is the hotel at the old course, and all that green in the foreground is the old course itself.  it wasn’t open, so there were lots of tourists walking around on the green.


here’s kevin on the 18th hole, or maybe it was the first hole.  many people got their pictures taken here.


this is the first of many photos we tried to get people to take.  we wanted the clubhouse in the background, but people we asked to take the photo had a difficult time managing to to that.


we went through the golf museum.  if you’re into golf, it must be the most fascinating museum ever.  i thought it was pretty neat, but didn’t linger that long.  it’s funny, though – there were buses full of tourists walking around the old course, but almost nobody inside the museum.  kevin took a few pictures of the display of vintage golf posters.



this was the best picture that somebody took.  it would have been better to take it horizontally, but at this point we were tired of asking people to take our picture.


after the morning in st. andrews, we got on the bus to the train to edinburgh.  here’s the view outside the train station.


and this is the street out b&b was on.  it was a quiet street, across from a huge park.  people played some kind of golf there – kevin says it’s called putt-n-pitch.  maybe he’ll tell you what that involves.  there were people playing even when it rained.


this was the #1 rated b&b in edinburgh, and it did seem very nice.  it wasn’t as fancy as the place in st. andrew, but our hosts were incredibly accomodating.  we were in a garden room in the back, with a view of a little patio.  there was a decanter of sherry in the room as well as cookies, and we devoured the cookies and polished off the sherry.

we walked up the street to a modest little pub and had a good and cheap dinner.  it started raining pretty hard on our way to the restaurant, and we were happy to go inside and get dry.

just like it’s raining today…when i got up it was still dark and it hasn’t gotten much lighter and it’s supposed to rain rain rain all day long.

it’s a good thing we’re not biking today.  it would have been DREADFUL to bike in rain all the livelong day.

ok then,

very productive already thursday grace.