When we wake up and look outside, it is still gray, just like the last few days. The weather does not really help to make me feel better. It saves a lot of money because I do not eat anything except for some soup, and of course a dirty medicinal potion and the antibiotics. But it certainly does not make this the best holiday ever. Usually I am full of plans but apart from driving around and seeing if we encounter something interesting, I feel that I have been very aimlessly in the last few days.
That's why we start today with a goal: Falkland. Not the islands of course which were the subject of the last war of the United Kingdom but the former Royal Burgh in Fife, a village or city with a little more than 1000 inhabitants. The Falkland Islands are named after the 5th Viscount of Falkland. There are still many restored host buildings, and the most important of them is the Falkland Palace where the Scottish royal family liked to stay. From the 14th to the 17th century, these were the Catholic Stewarts, the family for which the Jacobites fought in the 18th century and thus unleashed a civil war.
The palace was built in 1500 after a previous castle was destroyed by the English. Here you can also find the oldest surviving tennis court in Great Britain, built in 1539, where Mary, Queen of Scots, liked to play tennis, even though she did so scandalously enough (for that time of course) in a pair of men's trousers. This was clearly a palace to make fun, not a castle with defenses. They went hunting in the wooded area, did falconry and sports. It is a nice palace to walk through and the gardens are certainly worth a walk.
Then we drive for a long time through Fife, the area south of Perth and on the north side of the Firth of Forth. King James VI said of Fife that it was like a beggar's cloak fringed with gold, with which he meant the coast. The area is much flatter than Perthshire and forests and fields alternate. We see quite a lot of gatelodges and castle ruins, but unfortunately the camera's GPS has completely gone and we have no idea where exactly we have taken the photos.
There are still plenty of historic buildings in Fife, although this area became the center of heavy industry in the 19th century when more and more coal mines were opened. We explored the coastline extensively last year so now we drive mainly through the inland and fortunately for Elisabeth we regularly come across nice and interesting buildings. I can mark a lot of roads on my map as 'done' but it is a pity that we have not noted where we took the pictures.We return early to our hotel which we will leave tomorrow morning. A nice place where I would like to come another time when I feel better. But now I feel refreshed enough to have something to eat in the restaurant and that tastes good.