Sand Fairways and Castles

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
Trip End May 18, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back tracking from the picturesque Loch Ness we headed to the final golfing destination on our UK part of the trip, Carnoustie.

Steve's plan was to play as many great golf courses as he could on the final month of the trip and Carnoustie being one of, if not the hardest Open Championship course to play, would be a fitting finale.

Staying at a B & B called the 'Golf Links View which overlooks the 18th hole of the Championship course we were greeted by our hosts Phil & June who gave us a rundown on the town and the facilities of the accommodation. Immediately we headed to the recommended Indian restaurant (Del has found them the easiest to get a wide range of Gluten Free meals) for dinner which was up there with the best we have eaten at.

Steve was glad to see blue skies and very little wind when he headed to the golf course and this time Del was going to be his Caddy (at least for 9 holes). After meeting his playing partners, three fellows from a group of nine on a golfing trip, we set off. All links courses are different and are affected by the winds in a different manner and it wasn’t long before they all realized that the reputation of the course for being tough, was not made up. Steve was either in the rough or in huge bunkers and at one point nearly falling in the burn that snakes its way throughout the course. Luckily he came off smiling with a plenty of stories to recall of his (mis) adventures on the course.

With golf finished we continued our slow trip back towards London with a two day stop in Edinburgh. We had been here briefly two years ago and also for one night a week earlier. We were going to explore the town more thoroughly this time, so back on went our walking shoes as we strolled through the Royal Mile and surrounding areas.

Steve had not rated Edinburgh highly on the previous visits but by taking the time to slowly wander the city he agreed we had missed so much previously. We spent some time at the Queens residence Holyrood House at the bottom of the Royal Mile. Having visited palaces such as King Ludwig’s castle in Bavaria and the Spanish palace in Madrid it was interesting to see another. Once again there was plenty of history behind the walls. This at one stage was the residence of Mary Queen of Scots. One piece of blood thirsty intrigue occurred when a male friend of Mary’s was dragged from a room by her husband and one of his accomplices and murdered. The body was left on the floor of the adjoining room and a plaque now notes where the body was left.

We had previously completed a tour of Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile and decided not to repeat this again. There is no doubt that the views over Edinburgh to the snow covered Hills, from the castle entrance, are still outstanding.

On our way out of Edinburgh we thought it only appropriate to stop off in one of the most famous churches in the world, Rosslyn Chapel. As fans of Dan Brown’s book and movie the Da Vinci Code will know, this is where they believe the Holy Grail is to be found.

It is a very beautiful little church but upon entering the chapel we found it was standing room only as a guide was giving the capacity crowd details of the history of the chapel along with some references to Dan Brown. It seems they still have not found the Holy Grail there but the extra publicity it has received from the book and the movie has helped fill its coffers so that substantial renovations are being done at a much faster rate than ever.

Satisfied that we had now seen the real Edinburgh we set of south to our next destination - Chester.
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