Good day everyone, It is cold and wet here in South Africa this morning. Last year this time I was busy packing the last of my things and weighing our suitcases for our holiday in Scotland.
I can’t believe that the time went by so fast. The worst of it all is, I am not even halfway through editing all my photos. I better get working on that. I will still be posting about our first trip to Scotland for a long time. I am enjoying editing, posting photos, and stories of that day. It’s like I am back in Scotland.
Today I am going to share the rest of my photos of St Andrews.
The blue door of the Lions House caught my attention when I got closer to take a photo I saw the lions and the name of the house it is very appropriate.
My next stop was the Holy Trinity Church. Another beautiful church with lots of detail. It’s a shame I did not have enough time to capture every little detail as I would like too.
I love to capture the old buildings with their unique characteristics, for example, this corner bookstore.
Here are just a few more buildings that caught my eye on my way back to the car.
Our next stop the Blackfriars Chapel.
Thank you for joining me on my walk through St Andrews. Our next stop was St Andrew’s Cathedral. But that is a post all on its own.
I am feeling much better today. I hope you are all still healthy and enjoying life to the fullest.
WOW day two on the road, but first a little of our stay and warm reception at Knockhill Farm just outside St Andrews.
Linda Wood, the owner of Knockhill Farm B&B, made us feel right at home with her friendly reception. We ran late, and she was worried that something happened to us on the way there. She even went as far and contacted Nordic Visitor, our tour agent, to find out if they had heard something.
Linda showed us to our accommodation for the evening, and we talked a bit about our day. She then told us that breakfast will be served at 8:00 AM and showed us where we must go.
Our accommodation had a spacious lounge, with 2 comfortable couches, a television, and enough reading material to keep us busy for the night. In the kitchen area, we had a variety of coffee and teas to choose from.
The bathroom was also very spacious and had a beautiful big walk-in shower. There were fresh bath sheets, face towels, shampoo, shower gel, and cream.
The spacious bedroom had two twin beds, cupboards and, a dressing table.
After a long warm shower, I put on my PJ’s and made myself and dad a nice cup of coffee. We sat down in the lounge, dad grabbed a book and started reading and I started writing a quick blog with photos I took on the road with my phone. When I first anticipated writing a blog every evening, I did not factor in how tired I would be after a long day on the road.
We went to bed around 10:30 PM for a well-deserved rest.
At around 5:00 AM, I woke up refreshed. I got out of bed, got dressed, and gathered all my things. I grabbed my camera and headed outside to take some photos of the farm and its surroundings. I made dad and myself a cup of coffee then I woke him up just after 6:30 AM, giving him ample time to get ready.
Dad finished with time to spare, and we decided to take a walk down the road.
Thank you for joining us at Knockhill Farm B&B. Hope you enjoyed your stay just as much as we did. Our next stop St Andrews.
I hope that you are all having a great week. Today’s post is going to be sweet and short. I did not take a lot of photos in Anstruther, because we were running late and I could not phone the guesthouse where we were staying. I only had a data package, and it did not include airtime. On our way to get supper, we stopped at St. Ayle Church. I took a few photos through the gate, and then we were on our way again.
Since I started planning this road trip through Scotland with dad in October 2018, I decided that we are going to visit Anstruther Fish Bar. I have seen so many posts on Instagram about this award-winning restaurant that we just could not pass through without trying out something on their menu for ourselves. When we got there, the queue went out the door and down the sidewalk. It was late, but we were starving and decided to stay.
They did not disappoint. The food was delicious.
Just before we left, I took some photos of the harbor and surrounding buildings.
Thank you for joining us on this short visit to Anstruther.
Hope you are all still healthy and staying safe. Today’s post is not going to be long. I would rather let the photos tell the story.
Our next stop on our Grand Tour of Scotland that we booked through Nordic Visitor is St Monans.
St Monans is a village and parish in the East Neuk of Fife and is named after Saint Monan.
It was raining when we arrived in St Monans but when we got to St Monans Kirk the sun was shining.
St Monans Kirk is situated on the west end of the village on the edge of a rock overlooking the ocean. They say that St Monans Kirk is the closest to the sea in the whole of Scotland.
Dad decided to stay in the car because the wind was just too cold. I grabbed my camera and walked around the Kirk trying to capture it from all angles.
Our next stop was St Monans harbor and the Wellie boot garden.
Next on my places of interest list was the Wellie Boot Garden. I have seen so many photos of it on Instagram and just had to capture it for myself. I had a bit of a struggle with the sun and the wet ground but I got it done in the end.
I just love the way they utilized the old Welly Boots as planters for the flowers.
The view from the slipway was also very beautiful. I just had to take some photos of the boats on the water.
Thank you for joining us for our visit to St Monans. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Oh my word this morning I am freezing. Hope you are all still healthy and staying safe.
Okay let’s continue our Grand Tour of Scotland.
Our next stop was Letham Glen. It was not even on my places of interest. In 2010 dad had his colon removed due to cancer. So if dad has to go there are not much time you must get him to a bathroom as soon as possible. This was also a reason why all our stops are so close together just in case.
I wondered around and took a few photo’s while waiting for dad.
The Sunken Garden at Letham Glen was the towns former swimmingpool in the 1930’s. They have turned it into a beautiful garden. I was impressed.
Our next stop was the standing stones of Lundin. But oh my hat did we struggle to get to it. First of all the GPS says your destination is on your left side, you have reached your destination. When we look around all we see is houses on the left and a golf club on the right hand side.
We drove past our destination at least 4 times when I told my dad that’s it I am not going to search anymore… Then I spotted it through one of the houses gates opening up on the golf course. Okay now we know where it is. Now how to get to it. So we followed a dirt road and there it was. But I had to go through someones backyard to get to the golf course. The groundskeeper told me the man get’s very difficult when he spots tourists in his backyard. But that’s the only way to get there….
I did not come this far just to give up. So dad waited in the car while I invaded the poor man’s privacy. Luckily he was not there so I climbed over the wall onto the golf course, took a few photo’s and climbed back again.
I got to the car and just as I pulled away the owner arrived…. That’s what I call timing…..
“On the second hole of the Lundin Links Ladies Golf Course (which incidentally is the oldest women’s golf course in the world), stands a trio of prehistoric stones, looking wonderfully out of place against the manicured landscape.
The huge megaliths stand between 14 to 17 feet tall. Crookedly shaped and made of sandstone, the pillars are believed to date back to the Bronze age, around the 2nd millennium BCE. Legend holds that the site was used by the Druids for ancient rituals.
Druidic rituals or not, it is likely that the three standing stones are the remains of an ancient stone circle. There used to be at least four pillars, but one stone went missing in the 18th century.”
My fiancée’s daughter is visiting, and instead of planning and writing my blog, I spend my time playing teacher… I normally post on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I have time, so here I am.
It started raining when we left Aberdour, and we skipped a few of the items on our list, and when we got to Kirkcaldy, it was coming down really hard.
I struggled to get to the park, and when I finally got a spot and got out of the car, it came down extra hard. I jumped back into the car, and we sat and waited. Dad still asked me what I was going to do. I told him Well, if I have to, I’ll take some photos through the window, but we can’t keep skipping places just because it is raining. We will have to skip more than 50% of our tour at that rate.
I spent many hours planning our vacation and researching the places we would like to visit and the places I would like to photograph.
The rain stopped for a while, and I exited the car and took photos of St. Bryce Kirk.
As you can see, I just loved the church tower. I also took photos of the houses in the street we parked in.
We then headed to Ravenscraig Castle, but I only took photos from the parking lot. Time was running away with us, and due to the rain, it was really wet.
Well, that is all for now. Thank you for stopping by.
Hope you are all still safe and healthy. Here in Cape Town, we are freezing our buds off. My hands feel like two ice cubes.
Our next stop was Aberdour Castle and Gardens. It was spectacular, and this was the first castle we visited on our Grand Tour of Scotland. Nordic Visitor arranged for explorer passes with Historic Scotland. This enables us to visit a wide range of places without standing in queues at ticket counters.
After getting our pass activated, we could go and explore. The only thing Dad wanted to explore was the shop and restaurant… But I got him to walk with me through the garden and grounds.
We had to walk through the Walled Garden to get to St. Fillan’s Church. It took me a while to get to St Fillan’s Church there were just too many beautiful flowers to capture…
“St Fillan’s Church is one of Scotland’s finest examples of simple Norman architecture. To the south, it overlooks Aberdour Harbour; to the north and west, it is sheltered by the high wall of Aberdour Castle Garden; to the east, what was the Castle kitchen garden as early as 1390 St Fillan is mentioned as the church’s patron saint.
The entrance to the church and its old cemetery is from Hawkcraig Road along Kirk Wynd. On the right, the top of the Wynd is a door to the Castle grounds, above which the monogram of William, Earl of Morton, and his wife, Lady Anne, dated 1632. Further down the Wynd, on the left, is a collection of badly weathered old gravestones, some dating from the seventeenth century.
Initially, St Fillan’s consisted simply of a nave and the chancel, lit by deeply splayed windows, and remains much as it was in the 12th century. Sockets for the rood screen can still be seen.
The dedication to St Fillan probably came about through the influence of Robert I (the Bruce), who gave Aberdour to his close friend and supporter Thomas Randolph Earl of Moray. St Fillan was the king’s favorite saint and is credited with helping the Scots win the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
In the 15th century, the church was enlarged by adding the south aisle. This involved an arcade supported by the three pseudo-Norman pillars and lowering the floor to its present level.
St. Fillan’s Church will celebrate its 900th Anniversary in 2023.”
For more information, please go to St Fillans Church.
Next, we walked around and came across the Terraced Garden.
Up next, we had a peek into the stables and then went for a nice cup of tea.
After our tea break, I explored some more, and Dad went to the gift shop to look for fridge magnets for his collection.
Thank you for joining us on our walk through Aberdour Castle and the gardens. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Our next stop was a beautiful little town called Aberdour. Just as we entered the town I was taken with all the flowers and beautiful houses and their hanging basket gardens…. The streets are not really wide and the houses are on the street only a narrow sidewalk that separate them from the street. I saw only a few houses with nice front yards and the most beautiful gardens.
We stopped at a parking area near a garden and I took my camera and walked up the road to where we entered Aberdour.
I just love Hydrangea’s and the colors are to die for. I grew up with light pink and blue/purple Hydrangea’s. I just could not get enough of these pretty plants.
As you know by now I loved capturing Churches and Cathedrals even if they are closed. The architecture is just amazing. I love the colorful doors and the beautiful windows. I just wish we had enough time to go into every single one we visited. Also I know I missed a few too.
Here are some photos taken on my walk back to the car.
Thank you for joining us on this short visit at Aberdour. Next up Aberdour Castle and Gardens.
Without further delay, let’s continue our road trip to St Andrews and Knockhill Farm, where we will spend the night.
Our next stop was Dalgety Bay. The 8th largest town in Fife. We did not spend much time exploring Dalgety Bay due to a very long list of places to see. Also, at this stage, I struggled with the Tom Tom trying to get to the places of interest on our list… We were trying to find Donibristle Stable Block but ended up with a view of the Fourth Road Railway Bridge instead. Not that I am complaining. The views and flowers were stunning.
Our next stop on our list was Cornerstone Full Gospel Church. I got the names on my Google Maps when I planned our trip. What I did come to realize on our Grand Tour of Scotland was that the names on Google Maps and the names on the signboards are not always the same…
Dad and I saw the church on our way to Dalgety Bay, and on our way back, we took the turnoff to the church. Next to the church, I found this beautiful cottage with fields and sheep.
I walked up to the gate to see if I could enter, and it was open, so I walked inside and took a few photos. Now this is what I call a peaceful place. Normally I don’t like walking in graveyards, but one thing that stood out for me was how peaceful it was here. Maybe it is the surrounding pastures with sheep and horses grazing. One doesn’t even hear the cars passing on the road to and from Dalgety Bay.
Thank you for visiting Dalgety Bay with us. Our next stop is Aberdour, and I look forward to sharing some of the photos taken in this beautiful town.
At long last, we can start the next phase of our Grand Tour of Scotland. We will drive to St Andrew’s along the coast and spend the night at Knockhill Farm. I must admit I was very nervous on that Cloudy Tuesday morning. This would be my first time driving in Scotland, and I did not know what to expect. The only comfort for me was that I was used to driving on the left side of the road.
The driver that picked us up at the airport on Sunday gave me a few tips and told me to avoid the bus lanes and never to park in parking places for taxis. He also explained to me how the passing place works.
The people at Arnold Clark were very friendly, and before I knew it, we were on our way to Inverkeithing, our first stop.
We stopped in the first parking lot we could find, and from there we walked and explored for a while. While touring through Scotland, I fell in love with the buildings, the decor and details on the buildings, the shapes and sizes of the windows, the colorful and detailed doors, and lastly, the bright colors used to paint the houses and shops. I we could, I think we would have stayed much longer in the different towns, and I would have taken building by building, street by street, to make sure I captured every little detail… But we had to cover around 100 to 180 miles per day depending on our route, and we had to be at our final destination for the day at a certain time… This was one of the reasons we decided that our next tour of Scotland we will do in a campervan and we will stay in Scotland for about 76 days.
It took me a while to get used to driving 20 miles per hour. But I made sure that I kept below the speed limit just to make sure I did not get a ticket. Now let me explain why the speed difference was so difficult. Here in South Africa, the speed limit in our towns is 60 Kilometers per hour which equals around 37 miles per hour. The most confusing part while driving is you get a sign that says 40 Miles per hour, then about 2 meters after that, it is either 30 or 20 miles per hour. For someone who is driving in Scotland for the first time, it is very nerve-wracking, but by the end of the day, I figured out the pattern…
In our rental car, we had a Tom Tom, and oh my word, did it frustrate the living daylights out of me. First, when I typed in a castle name or Church name, it kept saying not found. Before we came to Scotland, I mapped out our tour in Google Maps and saved it to my phone. All the places on our list were on google maps, but for some reason, I could not find it on the Tom Tom, not even when I typed in Street addresses. So, when I saw that some streets have more than one name, it started to make sense. I switched to google maps on my phone and only used the Tom Tom as a guide to the flow of the road ahead.
After exploring, we remembered the sign at the church that offered Tea, coffee, and home baking. Dad and I decided we still had time for a nice cup of tea before leaving for our next stop.
We were welcomed with open arms and felt right at home. We sat down at a table, and it was not even a few seconds when the first man came to greet us. He and Dad hit it off and talked about Scotland and South Africa. He was a retired doctor and came to visit a few times here in South Africa around 15 years back. Dad explained to him how everything has changed and that nowadays, one can’t just go out at night and walk as one pleases; it is too dangerous.
While Dad and the retired doctor talked, I excused myself and took photos of the church’s beautiful windows.
Thank you for reading my post, and I truly hope you enjoyed the photos. Our next stop is Dalgety Bay.
At long last I can post about our night at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo…
Dad loves bagpipes since I can remember he played a 7 single with bagpipe music on it. He always said that before he closes his eyes permanently he want’s to go to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo…
Then in March 2018 he got very sick and was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. One day out of the blue he asked me if I could choose any place overseas to visit where would I like to go… “I have a list as long as the National road” I told him…
Then I remembered his words and said Scotland. Dad asked me to see when the Military Tattoo is his only demand for our holiday was that it includes the Military Tattoo…. After doing some research I contact Nordic Visitor for a quote and put the plans in motion. Sarah told me that I better book our tickets for tattoo early because it sells out very fast. 24 January 2019 I booked our tickets for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August 2019.
Dad was super excited and I could see in the way he walked that he could not get there fast enough… I did take some random photos while walking…
Dad was so excited that not even the stairs was to much for him. The closer we got the less dad talked… He was getting a bit emotional…