This entry's for you, Dad!

Trip Start May 06, 2012
Trip End Jun 05, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Thursday, May 31, 2012

On Monday morning I headed off to St. Andrews. The trip turned into a bit of a mess. I got on a train bound for Edinburgh; I was supposed to get off in Ladybank to catch another train to Leuchars and then I would take a bus to St. Andrews. The train was 15 minutes late to Blair Atholl and by the time we got to Perth it was half an hour late. Sooo, in Perth the train was changed to an express service and wouldn't make anymore stops before Edinburgh. Lovely. Perth is the stop right before Ladybank, by the way. I got off the train in Perth and caught another one to Markinch. From there I caught a train to Leuchars and was back on course. I made it eventually, and at least I didn't have any deadlines to meet. There was a woman on the Edinburgh train with me who missed an appointment about a new job because of the delays.

I stayed at Failte B&B in St. Andrews. The owner is this nice lady named Jean. If you're ever in St. Andrews, I recommend you stay there; it's worth it just for Jean's breakfasts. She gives you a menu when you arrive and you can choose what you want to eat. I had fruit salad with yogurt, bacon, sausages, potato scones and toast both mornings. Gooooood.

After dinner I made the pilgrimage to golf's Holy Land: the Old Course. Pictures were taken at the 18th hole tee box and green, and on Swilcan Bridge. I also popped into The St. Andrews Links Golf Shop (Exclusive Retailers of Officially Approved Merchandise!).

On Tuesday I went to St. Andrews Cathedral, the castle, the aquarium and the British Golf Museum. The aquarium has meerkats! (Desert animal in an aquarium. Go figure.) In the golf museum I learned that the first golf balls were stuffed with feathers. I also went to the Old Course Hotel for afternoon tea. I had peppermint tea with assorted scones and pastries. It was pretty tasty.

On Wednesday morning I caught a bus to Stirling. I visited Stirling Castle and made it to the Wallace Monument half an hour before closing time. I met a less than cheerful bus driver on the way to the monument. Before I got on the bus I bought a tea so that I would have change for the bus fare, not knowing that "hot drinks are not allowed". Thankfully, he let it slide and a perfectly good cup of tea was not wasted. He also asked if I had a student card, but didn't like my Canadian one. I tried to put my best "silly tourist" smile on during our interaction, but I don't think he was too impressed with me.

The bus ride on the way back from the monument was eventful too, but for a different reason: it was the most scenic route in the history of public transportation. The bus ride from my hostel to the monument took about 15 minutes; the bus ride back took over an hour. The bus drove from Stirling University (where you get off and walk a few minutes to the monument entrance) to several small towns outside of Stirling. From what I could tell looking on the map afterwards, I also visited Menstrie, Alva, Tilliecoultry, Sauchie, Alloa and Tullibody.

Today (Thursday) I caught the bus to Edinburgh. I'll be here until monday, when I catch the train back to London. I fly home at 6 am on Tuesday. (3 am trip to the airport! Woo hoo!)

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