Last night we returned from eight days in Scotland. As usual, we had a fun trip. Often it was rainy and cold, but that’s what you get in Scotland in October.
The first couple of days were spent in Edinburgh. We walked the Royal Mile from Holyrood Palace at the base of castle hill to the castle at the top of the hill. We spent time at the National Museum of Scotland and also in various shops. We stayed at the Ibis Hotel which is about half way in the Royal Mile and an easy walk up the hill from the train station. As usual, we ate at pubs and the inexpensive vegetarian stuffed baked potato shop. One of our evening meals was at David Bann’s which is an upscale vegetarian restaurant which never fails to deliver good food.
Then came three days in Anstruther/Cellardyke. These are two old fishing villages so close together that you cannot tell when you move from one to the other without a sign. Our son Derek and his wife Kat live in Cellardyke. They bought and remodeled a wonderful 150 year old fisherman’s cottage built right into the seawall. On really high tide days, North Sea waves hit their home. We stayed in Anstruther at The Waterfront, which is a restaurant and bed and breakfast. It is only about four or five blocks from Derek’s house. The Waterfront is also near the Anstruther Fish Bar which has awards naming it the best fish and chips restaurant in the UK. They are very good!
Derek is a lecturer at St. Andrews University and we like the town of St. Andrews a lot, so we spent some time there shopping, walking the beach, eating and drink coffee. Derek drove us to the village of Falkland where we toured the Falkland Palace. It was an impressive tour of a restored renaissance palace. The drive through the Scottish countryside was nice as well.
We took a bus across Scotland to Glasgow to spend three days there. This is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the UK. Although the city is ancient, unlike Edinburgh, very little of the ancient buildings still stand. It was renovated during the industrial age and after the World Wars. One of the few ancient buildings still standing is Glasgow Cathedral which was started in the 12th century. We attended the Church of Scotland evensong service there. It was quite beautiful.
Our second day there, we toured the Glasgow School of Art which was designed and built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a famous Scottish architect. His style spanned both Art Nouveau and Art Deco. He designed more than just buildings; he designed the interiors, the furniture and even the silverware and plates for his buildings. We also ate at the Willow Tea Room which is a reconstruction of one of his famous interior designs. Unfortunately, for the rest of that day, I was somewhat ill from the cancer and afib. Laurie was able to go to the necropolis which is a large Victorian cemetery near the Cathedral. She tells me that it was interesting and beautiful.
The next and final day of our tour we walked a good distance through the city and visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is the most visited attraction in the city and has some spectacular exhibits. We took the guided tour and visited some of it ourselves. There was a good exhibit of the Glasgow Boys who were a well-known group of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists who worked in teh 1880s and 1890s. The art was great! However, the most impressive piece in the museum to me was Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross.
After touring the Kelvingrove, we walked to the Riverside Museum which is a very good transportation museum. Trains, bicycles, and lots and lots of automobiles. These are mostly British, so they seem a little strange to our eyes sometimes. It was a good museum. Then we had a long walk back to the hotel and another pub meal at our favorite pub in Glasgow: the Horseshoe Bar.
All in all, it was a satisfying trip, with a minimum of disruption from my ailments.