Today we left Edinburgh and headed to Inverness. This was the optional extension to the trip. Our group was now just over 20 people and we obtained a new driver – Paul. We boarded and started our drive with little bits of sunshine.
Our first quick stop was to see the 3 bridges of Edinburgh. Of course, now it is raining.
The three Forth Bridges across the Firth of Forth which had the weather been better might have been a great sight but in the rain and lighting, it was just a quick – look at this. This shows the 3 bridges in one shot with the monument.
The Forth Bridge is one of Scotland’s major landmarks, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.This magnificent railway bridge was built between 1883 and 1890 by Sir John Fowler, Benjamin Baker and over 4,500 men.
The Queensferry Crossing is a length of 2.7 km, it will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. The bridge is destined to become the main route for vehicles travelling between Edinburgh and Fife.
The sign at the stop was a hoot. Check out the bottom left.
Our first real stop was St Andrews. For those golfers, yes, that St Andrews. We did a quick swing by and let off a couple of people who were more interested in this place than the cathedral and college. The coach then took the rest of us over to the College of St Andrews and the ruins of the cathedral for our walking tour.
This is the view looking up from the first drop off point towards the town.
Looking up towards the clubhouse of St Andrews and some of the putting greens.
Everywhere you looked there were more golf shops.
St Andrews is where Prince William met his wife Princess Kate at this cafe.
And here are those cobblestones that we have been walking on for the last couple of weeks. Colorful but my feet are tiring of them.
The St Andrews Cathedral is a ruined Roman Catholic cathedral in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It was built in 1158 and became the center of the Medieval Catholic Church in Scotland as the seat of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews. It fell into disuse and ruin after Catholic mass was outlawed during the 16th-century Scottish Reformation. It is currently a monument in the custody of Historic Scotland. The ruins indicate that the building was approximately 390 ft long, and is the largest church to have been built in Scotland.
and walking along the wall back to town.
Barbara and I stopped for a bite, tea for me and soup for her, before we got back on the coach to continue our journey. The cafe we visited was working with people with challenges. I was feeling good that there are places here that are willing to work with people to give them a productive life. It was a well worthwhile stop.
Back on our coach, where we joined back up with the golf lovers and headed on the road to Dunkeld. There were walking paths everywhere. I would have enjoyed staying here longer. I walked to the Dunkeld Cathedral passed fields of deer and sheep.
From the Cathedral, I walked down the lawn to the river’s edge. This was a wonderful view and I so enjoyed the benches where you could sit and just reflect on the day.
then back to the town where I found some cute little shops.
On the door of this little cafe was the following:
“Our door is closed to keep out the cold
So we are warm and cozy.
Why not pop your head inside
And have a little “nosey”
A gentle push is all it takes
Welcome to the Kingdom of Calorific Cakes!
Fresh sandwiches and super soups
Amongst the tempting treats
We invite you to stay awhile and enjoy a bite to eat
Aromatic coffee and flavorsome loose leaf tea
The very best hot chocolate
Worthy of Apres Ski
If on this occasion
you decide not to stay
We hope you will come back again
And join us another day”
I walked back toward the bridge I had photographed from the river, to find two kayakers paddling towards me.
It was time to pick up some lunch to take on the coach, so back towards town.
And on the road again – we passed this castle – which was only visible over the tree tops.
And a final stop at Killercrankie. The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James II and VII and troops supporting King William of Orange on 27 July 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising. Although it was a stunning victory for the Jacobites, it had little overall effect on the outcome of the war and left their leader dead. Their forces were scattered at the Battle of Dunkeld the next month.
This stop was to walk down to The Soldier’s Leap, where a fleeing soldier escaped his pursuers by leaping across the river after the Battle of Killiecrankie. While some people did the walk down the hill, it was rather steep and with wet leaves and slippery, my knees said no way, and I stopped half way. Nice view though.
Then it was on to Inverness and our next to last hotel – the Kingsmills Hotel. Very nice accommodations and a first – a separate tub and shower.