We do not have much time to talk to Iain and Cathy today, they have to deal with their overdue and normal work after weeks of worry and the death of Iain's mother. I still have to arrange some things for their website and the computers (so that everyone can email and surf the internet again) while Elisabeth makes some pictures of the interior.In the afternoon we leave Beauly, waved off by Iain and Cathy who apologize for having so little time for us. But we don't mind that, we find it rather sad for them what they have experienced. The next time we meet them in better conditions hopefully.
We only have to make a short trip today and when the sun starts to shine we stop at Birnam for a cup of soup at a pub where we come often. But unfortunately, soup is no longer served during the day. Then just a coffee and just when we want to sit down it starts to rain. But this time the sun comes through the clouds again after a few minutes. On the map we study which route we will take this time.
We have not been to the east coast often in this area and therefore drive through St. Andrews, a famous place in Scotland. The first university in Scotland was founded here in 1413 and of course famous for being the birthplace of golf when around 1100 shepherds struck stones in rabbit holes to amuse themselves. Well, that is one of the stories.
But like in almost all Scottish towns, there is also an atmosphere of history within the city walls: churches, old buildings, ruins and monuments, all with their own story. We make a city walk through the center and along the coast so that we get to see most of the historical sites.
From the 10th century to the Reformation in the 16th century, St. Andrews was the religious center of Scotland and the Bishop of St Andrews was the head of the Scottish Roman Catholic Church. The cathedral, of which there is now only one ruin left, was for a long time the tallest building in Scotland. The castle of St Andrews was also owned by the bishops although it was regularly destroyed and rebuilt.
The east side of Scotland is quite different from the west coast in terms of nature, but the houses are just as characteristic Scottish as anywhere in the country. Our preference, however, goes to the west coast because of the somewhat rougher landscape, although we also feel at home every time we are in the east. We have at least still a lot of roads to drive here!Then we continue to the southwest, to Livingstone where we spend the night in a Travelodge. This chain of hotels has excellent rooms, clean and always spacious, but the hotels are often located in remote areas or at a petrol station next to a motorway. Not the most fun places to spend your vacation, but perfectly suitable as a place to sleep when you are passing through. It is a pity that the weather is getting a bit warmer now while we are busy with the return journey ...