Tour day – St Andrews and beyond

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

In case I didn’t mention it, the bed is really comfortable in the apartment. That said, we got another good night’s rest before heading out on our tour this morning. Today we are taking a Rabbie’s Tour to St Andrews, which includes stops at the fishing village of Anstruther and the town of Falkland.

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Rabbie’s Tours

We meet the group at 9:30 am, which I’m sure surprises many of you who know our normal sleeping pattern. The tour group is limited to 16 people and the driver / guide Nik is terrific. Nik told us lots of stories along the way and was very entertaining, besides being knowledgeable. So while we’re driving along, he shared the following story.

Please skip the next paragraph if you’re easily offended.

So back in the day, Edinburgh was not so developed as far as plumbing goes. People would fill a bucket when they needed to go to the bathroom. When filled, it would be tossed out the window. To make things a little more civil, people would toss the bucket early in the morning or late at night. When they did, they would shout out “gar de loo”, which basically translates to “watch the water”. Well, people, especially sailors from other countries would come into port and go out and get drunk then walk back to their ships. Not understanding the local customs, they would unfortunately look up when they heard people shouting out “gar de loo”. And that is supposedly the birth of the phrase to be “shit-faced drunk”.

Onward, our journey took us down to the waterfront where we stopped to catch a glimpse of the three bridges that cross the Firth. One of the bridges, ‘The Forth Bridge’, is renowned for its design and strength and is a UNESCO World Heritage structure. Referred to as the train bridge, it’s a heavy steel girder bridge that was built after a rail accident in the 1800’s.

Our next stop was the fishing village of Anstruther. We made a short stop here to get the feel of a real Scottish fishing village. It was a cute and quaint little village, that is still in use, though not like in the olden days.

We continued our drive through some lovely land, green rolling hills with lots of sheep and cattle. Very idyllic and peaceful.

We arrived at St Andrews and it is a beautiful little town. Besides the golf course, it is also an University town. In fact, it’s where Kate Middleton and Prince William met while attending school together.

We walked through the town a bit and stopped at a pub for a bite to eat and a bit of refreshment. So our first pub meal was fish and chips with mushy peas. Mine washed down with a blonde ale and Sue’s with a large pinot grigio.

After our meal, we made our way through town and over to the old course at St Andrews, where we got to watch grown men act like children as they fulfilled a golf fantasy. Maybe someday I’ll get my chance, but for now we just watched. It was a cool, windy day, so they got the true Scottish golf experience. Our driver Nik, took the road which cuts across the golf course so we could tell our friends that we drove the first and eighteenth at St Andrews – albeit in a mini bus.

On the way home, our final stop was at the town of Falkland. Not well known except for one thing…. The filming of Outlander. We got to see the inn where Jamie and Claire spent their wedding night. Oooohhh…. It was fun as their were a couple of younger women on the bus that were Outlander devotees and were so excited to see the town.  After our stop, it was back to Edinburgh.

 

Once back in town, we stopped by the train station to pick up our tickets for Glasgow and then headed back to the hotel to rest until dinner.

Since we had enjoyed our meal the night before, we returned to Angels with Bagpipes, this time ordering from the ala carte menu. Not surprising, the meal was equally as delicious as last night. Such a great place to have right next door.

Tottered back to the apartment to relax and get aggravated by the camera issues. All in all it was a delightful day. A bit chilly, but we were prepared.

Tomorrow we’re off to Rosslyn Chapel and the Scottish borders.

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