This morning began with breakfast at the Newton Hotel. The traditional scottish breakfast is about the same everywhere. They had a continental breakfast including cereal, porridge, fruit, breads, and juices. They took orders for the hot foods to include bacon, sausage, haggis, grilled tomatoes, fried or scrambled eggs, potato scones, and, of course, baked beans. After breakfast, we set out on the road for a distillery tour.
Pitlochry was a beautiful little Victorian town with the Blair Athol Distillery where they make scotch whiskey. It was neat to learn the process by which they make the whiskey. The machinery is quite impressive. No pictures were allowed inside the distillery but they had massive copper enclosures that held thousands of gallons of water for the various parts of the process. At the end they provided samples of the whiskey and told you all the dos and don’ts for drinking a fine whiskey (no ice cubes!). I didn’t try the whiskey but Mom threw hers back and asked for more. As if she wasn’t tipsy enough! If you believe that, then something’s wrong with you!
Next, we continued on to St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf! This was what I was looking forward to most on the trip. The weather was beautiful and the sun was shining bright most of the time we were there. First, we went to the Dunvegan hotel and restaurant for lunch. It’s an awesome little pub that is owned by a man and lady who had graduated from Texas A&M. The decor is LOTS of pictures of various golfers and famous people who have visited there. Pictures are everywhere, including the ceiling. While sitting there eating, I noticed a photo of the 1888 Open Champion named Jack Burns. I snapped a picture of it for Dad and it’s in today’s gallery.
Lunch was very good and then we headed to the St. Andrew’s clubhouse for some souvenir shopping. The prices were ridiculous! I was looking at a normal short sleeved golf polo shirt with the St. Andrew’s logo on it….90 pounds! That’s like $160. I found a sweater that I really liked that was 140 pounds….$200+! I don’t care what’s on that shirt, I’m not paying THAT much! We walked around and took some pictures and saw the Royal and Ancient as well as some of the course. I definitely want to go back and play one day! The views were spectacular. St. Andrews is on the shore of the North Sea and that beach right next to the course is where they filmed the iconic Chariots of Fire scene with the slow motion running on the beach. There was also a cool little mini golf putting area at St. Andrews for those who don’t want to play one of the large courses. I’m sure I’ll get to try that next time as well.
We traveled from St. Andrews to Edinburgh. It was an interesting drive that took us through some beautiful countryside. The tour company had given the driver some bad directions and we had to backtrack a little to get to our hotel. This hotel was a Marriott but it was still not a high rise hotel. Parts of it looked like a castle. Inside was the most confusing hotel yet. In the elevator, there are buttons for floors 0, -1, 1, -2, 2, -3, and 3. It’s like they have half floors or something. It’s funny to hear the elevator say “minus 2” when it gets to the floor.
We went into Edinburgh city for dinner at the Apex restaurant. It’s directly across the street from Edinburgh Castle. Dinner was ok but it was similar to what we had the two nights before. The views of Edinburgh Castle were amazing though. Following dinner we went walking through the city on a ghost tour with our Edinburg guide named Jenny. She told some interesting historical stories and how there are stories of ghosts in different parts of the town based on famous deaths. It’s a beautiful city with some cool architecture and made a great opportunity for photos. We headed back to the hotel for the evening after the ghost tour to get some rest before we head back to Edinburgh tomorrow for a city tour and some free time for shopping. Mom and I are planning to spend some time in the shops. The weather looks like it’s going to be cooler and rainy tomorrow so I guess we’ve run out of luck on our sunshine.
Photos from today are at