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Day 15, St. Andrews. Golf Anyone?

Today was the day to go see the Castle and in city stuff. So we could have a break from driving. But since the weather may not be as nice tomorrow as today we elected to switch the agenda around a bit. Nobody should say we aren’t flexible. Just well planned 😉

I’ve decided I really like driving a manual here. Fun and lots of control. Downside is Edinburgh is an old European city. Meaning, lots of traffic, narrow roads and because it’s summer, construction. Makes for demanding driving.

Anyway once back out of the city we’re off into the Kingdom of Fife. My ancestral lands. Or maybe. I’ve done a bit of research and taken what my Dad has done. To say things get a bit muddy 200 years back is a bit of an understatement. Things like the Clearances (where people were kicked out to make room for sheep), wars and such makes a mess of the records. Also people would change their name when they moved. Kris has it easy, there is still a Clan Shaw. For me there is no Clan Dye anymore. We are a sept (sub clan) of Davidson. Maybe. MacDuff is what we’ve always believed but Dye doesn’t show up in their list of names. Davidson at least we do. But then it may not be our Dye’s they are talking about. Like I said, a little muddy.

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Anyway, St Andrews has the golf course everyone knows about. Just last week the Open was there. Thank goodness we’re there today, not last week. And no, I didn’t golf. For the safety of others I stay off golf courses 😉 There are also a couple ruins. A castle and cathedral. This was the centre of Scottish Christian power for a good while. 1100 ish to around 1609.

St Andrew’s Cathedral is actually a bishop’s residence built in 1158. The original was destroyed in 1337 by Robert the Bruce to avoid English occupation. 2 towers left (‘east’ tower and St Rule’s tower). We went up St Rule’s tower. Lots of steep steps. 156 up and of course 156 back down.

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image St. Rules Tower.

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St Andrew’s Castle is “next door” There has been a castle on this site since the time of Bishop Roger (1189 – 1202) when St. Andrew’s was the ecclesiastical centre of Scotland before the reformation. Has been occupied by both Scotland and England. Contains a ‘bottle dungeon’ which was used as a prison.

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At one point the enemies tried to mine under the castle to blow it up.  Part of the shaft i open for viewing.  The boys went in.  They said it was tight.  Gald we didn’t go in, may back doesn’t bend that far down 😉

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Just down the seawalk (East Scores), scenes from Chariots of Fire were filmed on the beach behind the cathedral. It’s where the music we all know is played. Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) did a great parody in the Olympic opening too.

And because I don’t read pop mags I didn’t realize William and Kate met at College – St Andrews. There is a quaint little coffee shop that they used to go. Of course now they have a big sign saying so 😉 And a balloon in the window that say’s “It’s a Boy!”

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Last stop of the day is the Lundin Links. It’s the Ladies course for St Andrews. On one of the fairways there are standing stones. Only in Scotland could Celtic ruins be a hazard on a golf course. Rather fitting really.

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I’m doing this update a little earlier than usual but the rest of the day is tapas for dinner then more pool time. Hopefully the weather holds and we’re dry for the Castle tomorrow.

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