Thursday, November 12, 2009

Inverness and St. Andrews

One last vacation blog if everyone can handle it...... then I will move onto other things going on in life. 
As I said in a previous post, we took advantage of the wonderful trains that are so easy use in the U.K..  On Sunday we boarded our train with no particular destination in mind.  The trip was so delightful that we took it all the way to the end - Inverness.

Along the way we were able to sit back and enjoy traveling through the Scottish Highlands.  I was on the lookout for some Scottish cattle (the big furry sort), but didn't not find any.  We did see many, many sheep and the scenery was just gorgeous.  There were clouds nestling right in among the trees and the autumn colors were so warm.

We passed many small towns and villages along the way, including this charming one that is within view of the Firth of Forth.

When we arrived we had to find a place to eat (of course).  There is nothing quite like the Sunday meal at the local pub.  This was no exception with the Sunday "roast."

Can you tell how delicious this was?  It was so cold outside and to sit down to roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and veggies was the perfect solution for warming the body.

The castle on the hill in Inverness. 

View from the castle grounds.

Looking the other way.

Of course there were some very interesting cemeteries to walk through and read the headstones.  It is amazing how many families lost small children in those days.

The next day we headed off to St. Andrews, the golf capital of the world, I'm sure.  We were able to walk the Old Course and watch some pretty good golphers having a frustrating day swinging a club at a little white ball.

The city is also know for it's university - the oldest in Scotland.  It sits in the heart of the city and anyone can walk through at any time.

This was a wedding that was taking place (on a Monday morning).  Check out those cars.

How would you like to study Logic and Metaphysics in this building?  The back of the building is on the Firth of Forth with spectacular views.  Guess it would be great for that daydreaming student.

They even had charming little gardens around each building.
From there it was onto the castle at St. Andrews. 

The castle sits on the Firth and is amazingly well preserved after so many years in the elements of the sea.  The marker to the castle stated, "George Wishart 1513-1546.  A powerful Protestant preacher, he was betrayed to Cardinal Beaton, brought here, put in the sea tower, condemned for heresy and burnt at the stake on 1 March.  His friends conspired against the Cardinal, and on 26 May gained entry to the castle, killed him and hung his body from the battlements, then together in the castle they created the first congregation of the Protestant Church in Scotland."

Walking through the town, one can sense the antiquity of it all from the size of the doors of the residences.  People must have been much smaller back then.

A few blocks further on our walk we came to the cathedral at St. Andrews.  Again, the preservation is amazing, but this was a massive building.  What was once the inside of the cathedral is a cemetery which reveals current tombstones. 

This wall with the curved doorways was the midpoint of the building.  You can sense the size of it in total.

One memorial that we particularily enjoyed was this one.  The caption below it was precious.

Anyone want a haircut.....check out the freebee that goes with it.....

After a delightful trip we did have to return home, but we did it in style.

Thanks to a medical emergency (which is another whole story) that I volunteered for on our last flight back from London, we were able to fly home First Class.  What a treat that was!  This was my very own little cubicle - a chair and a footstool that actually folded out into a real bed.  I was able to sleep soundly for the better part of the flight.  I wish I could do this on every flight that I take.


  1. What a wonderful vacation! I love all those old buildings, castles and cemeteries! That was the ideal trip!

  2. I've enjoyed all the posts about your trip and am sorry to see them end!

  3. Your trip has inspired me to go there someday.It makes me dream of those far away places !!
    I loved it all!

  4. wow! I loved looking at all the buildings. This vacation was really exciting to walk through with you! Thanks for sharing! love it!

  5. I have enjoyed following the trip. The photos are excellent and the narrative is well written. Cute little grands you have there. Blessings

  6. I have really enjoyed following along on your trip! Thanks for all the photo's & for taking us all along! Wow~ 1st class looks really nice too! :-)

  7. Thank you for taking us with you on your travels. I have really enjoying visiting and the wonderful places with you.

  8. First class, eh? Now that's living! I've only been able to try business class once when a sweet flight attendant recognized us from church. (It's all who you KNOW!)

    I loved your pictures and descriptions. When we went to England, Johnny and I had many meals at Pubs. It's good eating, even though we don't drink alcohol.

  9. Wow! Wonderful vacation - lucky you!!!

  10. Thanks for letting me go along on your trip...well, sort of along! Enjoyed the photos.

    I'm wondering about the "other story".

  11. i'm thrilled you shared your vacation...i loved it! thank you! ☺

  12. wonderful pictures...I don't know which I liked best...the houses or the castles

  13. I just loved seeing your vacation pictures and reading a little bit about where you visited! Such beautiful places with so much history!
    I also wanted to say that your grandchildren are absolutely adorable!!
    Thank you so very much for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comment!
    Have a lovely weekend~
    Hugs, Carol Anne

  14. Good morning Mary, what a great post from your vacation..I enjoyed viewing all of your pictures by clicking on them..when I see them in a larger view, I feel like I am there with you on your trip..

    I hope your medical emergency was not a bad one..I have never flown first class. I like to travel by train and would love a trip like yours..have a good day.
    Hugs, Baba

  15. Love the photos. Isn't it a blessing to be able to see the world one trip at a time?

  16. That was quite a vacation!!
    I love the shots of the quaint little villages and the meal look wonderful!

  17. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pics, I have been to Ireland but not to England or Scotland. They are so fabulous and I love how you described places. Now you have me curious about the medical emergency and what you did! If I could fly in seats like that I would be so happy, I get so claustrophobic on long flights.

  18. Beautiful photos! I've flown first class once for work..but it didn't have cubbies like that. Cool!

  19. It is nice to read about your marvellous trip to europe.
    The siggy is on his way to the usa.
    To a person named mary
    I hope you will enjoy it.
    greetings Dorine

  20. How beautiful! You must have had so much fun there.

  21. Wow! Great vacation pictures! Wish I was there! :0)

  22. Thanks for all those lovely photo's. I visited Inverness when I was a child and stayed near Loch Ness, I would love to go back and the train journey looks a great way to see the countryside.

  23. Such a beautiful place. I love the castle photos and the cemetery pics especially. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with us. One day, I would love to visit it..

  24. Don't stop. I love seeing all these pictures. What a neat trip.
    More, please.

  25. Castle ruins, breathtaking scenery, Yorkshire pudding...oh yes, now you know why I've always wanted to go over there:-) Oh, Mary, your pictures were all brilliant. You know how much I love walking through old cemeteries so it was a treat seeing the pictures you took of the ones you went to. When I've gone to old ones like that I've also noticed how many young children had died, it's so sad.

    Oh wow, imagine taking a course in that building...I'd take it just for the views! lol Such an interesting story behind that castle at St. Andrews and as you say, it's surprising it's in such good shape since it's so close to the sea like that.

    Omigosh, look how short that door is! When I've gone to pioneer villages, I've noticed how short even the beds were in those days so as you say people really must have been much shorter!!

    I would have loved seeing that Cathedral, how terrific that they're using what used to be the inside as a cemetery. Tommy's monument caption was indeed precious!! Sad, though, to die so young on Christmas Day!

    I sure had a giggle over that barber shop sign...I'm surprised there's not a long line of people waiting there! lol

    Flying back home first class, a treat for sure:-) Mary, such a wonderful trip you've shared with us...when are you and I going there??? hehe Take care my friend. Love you. xoxox

  26. Wow, what a first class trip all the way! I always hate walking through first class on my way back to the crowded masses!

    The roast dinner looks wonderful - I remember our Sunday dinner just like that when we were in ENgland - so many years ago. Good memories!

    I finally have Part I up!

  27. LOVE all your holiday pics!!! We're heading out to UK to visit our daughter next year. Your post has made me quite excited to get there now!!!
    Joy :o)

  28. thank you for sharing photos of scotland!!!!

  29. Have never been as far North as Inverness so enjoyed these photos.

    Now to travel first class is the only reason I would like to win the lottery. It's not going to happen though as I do not do it!!

  30. I have really loved seeing these pictures of your trip! What a time you have had! I am so glad you got to go. It will be sweet memories to cherish forever. The castles are so intriguing to me. I have been to some in France, but not been to Iverness. And that meal at the pub! YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Thanks for taking me along with you on your trip! I loved the pictures and I felt like I was there. Thanks for sharing!

  32. What incredible scenery!! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Loved the pics , I would have no hair left from all the haircuts LOL!
    Beautiful new garndy...and loved the cakes! Tracey