Off to the Highlands – with a quick stop at St. Andrews Golf Course!!

Well, the lengthy title sort of sums up the day. We left Edinburgh at about 10 AM and after some finagling through the city, we were out in the Scottish countryside and headed to St. Andrews. The GPS lady didn’t take us on any crazy detours on unidentified roads so the drive was fairly easy and we arrived there around 11:30. Across from the carpark we found the famous members only clubhouse, watched some people tee off on Hole 1 and others putt out on Hole 18.  I think that I should let Richard take it from here….

Anyone who golfs or is a sports fan has heard of St. Andrews Golf Club.  It is the oldest and arguably the most iconic course on the planet.  Golf has been played on the Links at St Andrews since around 1400 AD, and the Old Course is renowned throughout the world as the Home of Golf. What was one simple track hacked through the bushes and heather has developed into six links golf courses and four other courses in the immediate area.  By 1764, the Old Course consisted of 22 holes, 11 out and 11 back, with golfers playing to the same hole going out and in, except for the 11th and 22nd holes. The golfers decided the first four holes, therefore also the last four holes, were too short and that they should be made into two holes instead of four. Thus the number of holes per round dropped from 22 to 18, and that is how today’s standard round of golf was created.  In 1754, the Royal and Ancient Club was founded under its original name of the Society of St Andrews Golfers. This club, originally composed of 22 noblemen, professors and landowners, has become the foremost golf club in the world and now governs the rules of golf everywhere except in the USA.

I was not that excited as we were traveling to the grand ol’ course, but once we arrived and starting walking around it was quite exciting.  So glad we took the detour to stop in for a visit.

The celebrated clubhouse of St. Andrews.


The Swilcan Bridge.

It’s not a particularly imposing bridge, but the Swilcan Bridge on The Old Course’s 18th hole is one of the most famous golf course landmarks in the world.

Everyone who crosses it stops to have his or her photo taken, even the pros. And this gallery of Swilcan Bridge images includes some of those famous pros who’ve posed on it. Even a trio of greats who said their goodbyes to St. Andrews from atop it — plus another legend of the game who once tap danced across it.


Jack Nicklaus.

Some of the course and those hated bunkers.


I snuck on to the course to take the bunker shots and figured I might as well take a selfie while I Am On St. Andrew’s Golf Course!!!!


St. Andrew’s Ale at St. Andrews.


The picture below was in the club house where we had lunch.


Before we reached Inverness we stopped for a coffee and Col managed to get the Highland Cow to stand still long enough for a photo.



Edinburgh, Scotland

The day looked pretty rainy and miserable but we are in Scotland now so it is either tour in the rain or never see Scotland. Or so we have been led to believe. When we arrived in Edinburgh the day before, there was no rain. Our BNB is just down the block from the North Sea so, though it was windy and a bit chilly, we walked the promenade from one end to other.  The sea was wild and choppy but there were still people on the beach, in the water and spending time with friends and family. We decided that they were much tougher than us as they were in shorts and t-shirts while we were bundled in our winter jackets. That doesn’t happen very often!

Anyways, on Day two we jumped the bus and headed to Old Edinburgh. Though we have the car, we thought that it would be much easier to ride the bus and given all the construction downtown, we were right about that. We got off in front of the Scott Monument, dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, a writer. The monument is quite impressive and is the second largest in the world dedicated to a writer. The other is in Havana, Cuba.

We joined all the other folks with their umbrellas heading towards the Edinburgh Castle. This historic fortress dominates the skyline of the city from its position on the volcanic Castle Rock. Though the Rock has been occupied since the Iron Age, King Charles I was the last sovereign to stay there. He slept there on 19 June 1633, the night before his Scottish coronation. The Castle has played a prominent role in the ongoing battle between the Scottish and the English and has had many facelifts as a result of war and destruction. It now houses the Crown Jewels and is the number one tourist spot in Scotland. We took a few pictures and then headed down Royal Mile to see the historic buildings and the shops.

We did some shopping, had lunch at the McGregor (can’t get much more Scottish than that!!)  and when the rain finally stopped, we headed up to Calton Hill. Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh’s main hills, set right in the city centre. It is unmistakable with its Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline. The acropolis is in fact an unfinished monument – originally called the “National Monument”. Initiated in 1816, a year after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, it was meant to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, as a memorial to those who had died in the Napoleonic Wars. However, funds ran out during construction and it has never been completed.  The panoramic views of the city and the craggy volcanic hills that surround it are amazing. I can only imagine what you could see on a clear day!!

We headed back down the hill and satisfied with a day well spent in the capital city, headed back to our BNB to get ready for tomorrow’s adventure – a trip up to Inverness to see if we can catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster. Wish us luck!!

PS…  Richard had his first taste of Haggis today.  He actually like it.

The sign sums up what it is like to drive in Great Britain.

Image result for Welcome to Scotland


The Scott Monument.


Image result for the scott monument edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle.


Image result for edinburgh castle

Around Edinburgh