Apr 24, 2017

St Andrews - the birthplace of golf!

Day Two in Scotland - Edinburgh to St Andrews to Stirling

If it's been a minute (or never, lol) since you have looked at a map of Scotland, here is one of the lower 2/3s which is where we were traveling.

Scotland is about the size of Indiana.  Of course - they have mountains, glaciers, lots of lakes, glens, valleys, hills, coastline, oceans, northern lights while we have meadows and cornfields!

We were gone for just over 2 weeks and we slept in a different place every night.  The population of both places is higher than it has ever been.  Our State has just over 6 million and Scotland has just over 5 million.

Day Two - we were up for an early start to be able to fit everything in.  As soon as we were up - I opened the windows (it is Scotland!) to sideways snow and sleet.  The hardy Scots who lived in the flat complex where we were staying wer walking their dogs, on their way to the bus stop braving the cold without gloves nor umbrellas.  

I realized one of the appeals of Australia after coming there from Scotland was that I had been warm!

We had crumpets and lemon curd for breakfast and set off to St Andrews.  It was a pretty drive and as we neared the town the sun came out.  Of all of the crazy weather days that Scotland is known for, this day of our trip was by far the craziest!

We had so much to do on this day that stopping to eat was not going to fit in.  But we had heard about the famous donuts of St Andrews - and my family never says no to a donut!  When we got there - there was so much deliciousness!  In the end we all chose a fudge donut.  To say they were yummy is an understatement.

Karisa came to Scotland for her two favorite things - Castles and Golf.  St Andrews has both!

There is a part of the course that anyone can be play, but as with many things in the country, it doesn't open til Easter or April 1.  Nearly everywhere we went there were preparations underway for tourist season, which was just days away.  Painting, cleaning, gardening.  Our Spring Break dates meant some attractions were not 'open'.  It was a trade off - we had travel guides that we read to give us the information that would have been on the signs had we gotten through the gates, but you will see from our pictures we were never in crowds and lots of times we would be the only people wherever we were.

We parked in town and walked starting on the side with the ruins.  St Andrews Cathedral and St Andrews Castle are right on the coast.  There is a boarding school through these arches.

St Andrews University is where William met Kate.  It is lovely.  

We didn't get a picture (because it would have been awkward!) But we saw some of the students in capes.  The odd thing was - they were not 'on'.  Karisa googled it once we were back in the car.  The color of the capes (gowns) reflects the college or major of study and whether is is fully on or draped on one shoulder or the other shows what year the student is in.  Nothing so cool on the campus of  IUPUI!  Felt more like the set of Hogwarts!

  Daffodils were blooming everywhere.  Literally everywhere.  Sides of the road are so much prettier when there are flowers in bloom.

Two words to describe the Old Course.  Gorgeous and WINDY.  

Oh my word was it windy!!  Was it as windy as Karisa's last match ever?  I don't know - at least it was sunny in Scotland, but it would be so difficult to play (and to spectate!) in that wind.  Watching The Open there would be unreal!

Karisa picked up several things at the course gift shop.  It was a great warm respite from that wind!  The streets were also lined with golf stores - that had some of the cutest women's wear that we have ever seen!  Kind of relieved that needing to buy golf gear is no longer our parental duty - it was cute but pretty pricey!!

All this - and we were back on the road before noon!  Next up: the road to Stirling and the land of Braveheart.

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