The history of the Camino de Santiago is so confusing. Drenched in two thousand years of legend, politics and religion, it’s hard for the Average Joe or JoJo to get it all straight. Here is a timeline of what I hope is a coherent, brief summary of the history of the Camino de Santiago. Pre-Christian […]
Below you’ll find a few of the images that tickled my funny bone while strolling Edinburgh, Scotland. At the very bottom of this post you will also find a short Youtube video featuring the sights of Edinburgh. My one regret is that I didn’t take a photo of our constant roommate for three nights in Smart City Hostel. Randy met his match in that this outgoing young English man out-talked him. Randy did happen to run into him in the hallway just as the young man was coming home from his night security job, so they did get a “proper” goodbye. Hope all is well…
Hmmm… I’m not sure if we are “kick ass” enough for this hostel! Smart City Hostel worked well for us.
I also found the people taking photos of each other at tourist spots interesting…
…and then you have the typical bored kids at a historically significant location ~ Edinburgh Castle. Bored looks bored in any language.
The short video below features some of the typical tourist spots such as, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyrood House and Holyrood Abbey, St. Giles Cathedral, Grassmarket…
Holyrood Park is a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in the heart of the city. It is a 640 acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. The highest point of Holyrood Park is Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano that sits 251 m above sea level giving excellent views of the city.
During the last stretch to the summit we are joined by a doctor from Japan who has been attending a medical conference in Scotland. We engage in lively conversation, taking our minds off the strenuous task at hand.
The doctor has been photographing these two Lego dolls, representing his own two children, in Scottish locations as he tours the country. It’s his way of including them in his travels and I could tell from our conversation that he truly loves and misses his family.After sharing the touching Love Rock story with him, he asks to use the rock I received while camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota and poses it with his two “kids.” Click on the link, Love Rock, if you are unfamiliar with the story.
We savor this escape from our current urban travel life and enjoy the tranquility of the moment.
9-14-15: I believe there are angels among us… ~Alabama
Yes, so many times when we may be tempted to take a wrong turn down a difficult path, someone appears to help us find our way. Today was no different.
The cold rain is drizzling down on us as we shuffle our way along the muddy path. We approach a coastal church with high tide up to the gated cemetery in front with no easy path around. The sign points to the high tide path which goes away from the coast and is quite long, but we decide that is our best option. Out of nowhere and in the rain, an older woman appears and stops us from taking our chosen path. No, that path is a muddy mess with all this rain and very long. Take these steps up and go around the front of the church, inside the cemetery and go over the stone fence. That will connect to the path directly on the other side of the church.
I believe this structure may be the remains of Lady’s Tower built for Lady Jane Anstruther in the latter part of the 18th century and was used as a bathing house for her. She was a naturist and from this point she was able to enter the bay below without being seen by the local residents of Elie. ~ longdistancewalks.org
Below is a YouTube link to a short video of our adventures today.
9-13-2015: We hop on a bus in St. Andrews…
… and get off in the quaint village of Crail, Scotland along the East Neuk of Fife.
It’s a cloudy morning and the world is slowly waking up to ready itself for the day.
The path follows the East Neuk of Fife with Neuk being the old Scots word for corner. The path is well marked and follows the coast along the former Kingdom of Fife. Our views are spectacular with the sea to our left and farm country with livestock on our right.
We enjoy a beverage with the locals at the old Dreel Tavern. Sadly, it appears as though the Dreel Tavern has become a victim of the times and is now closed for business. Click on the Fife Today link for a little info on the current status of this historic pub filled with a unique ambience and character along with an interesting clientele. Visiting with the locals always seems to make travel experiences more memorable.
Below is a short video featuring our views along the Fife Coastal Path:
We locate our hostel for the night in the town of St. Andrews, Scotland and find the beaten-in side entrance. It looks as though this dodgy site has seen its share of people in need of anger management classes.
Oh, no!! What scary experiences are in store for us now?
We creep up the stairway and find a nice common lounge area and a clean kitchen stocked with dishes, pots and pans. A friendly gal in the small office shows us our room filled with bunk beds and large windows facing the street for the best Beeking view ever. Add in a welcome party for new college students across the street and you have a recipe for entertainment plus! Randy had plenty of new people to visit with and we grew to appreciate our new home for the next couple of days at St. Andrews Tourist Hostel.
The friendly hostel manager has lived all over the world. Fascinating conversations, to say the least.
Meet Laura Lizbeth, a face and body artist. She competed in the World Body Painting Festival in Austria in July 2015. Another interesting pair was a father/son staying while the father competed in a St. Andrews golf tournament. He won his regional competition to earn a spot to play on the prestigious course.
We meet so many interesting people by staying at hostels. It’s kind of like camping with a roof over our heads.
We are told that this is a local tavern, so we enter cautiously only to see a dining area. An employee greets us and quickly figures out our mission: Oh, you want the bar? Follow me… We wind our way through the dining area and walk up a narrow staircase. I’m beginning to feel as though I’m entering a speakeasy from the prohibition era.
Instead, we find ourselves sipping pints with a few of the local guys. We are all cautious, at first, until one of them breaks the ice: From America, eh? You aren’t seriously going to elect Donald Trump for President? By the end of our stay they offer to buy us a round and the conversation flows freely about locations in the United States.
Next stop, Randy inquires about store hours at Linda’s Fish & Chips. It seems that every town has the BEST award-winning fish & chips.
Cullen is the home of Skink (Scottish word for “soup”) and The Rockpool has bragging rites for its award-winning soup.
No visit to Cullen, Scotland is complete without trying a hot bowl of Cullen Skink. (Smoked haddock and potato soup)
I enjoyed this experience so much that I decided to make my own skink on Christmas Eve in Minnesota. Smoked haddock is expensive here, so I substituted much cheaper pollock. It was O.K. and much better the second day, but let’s just say The Rockpool Cafe doesn’t have to worry about me whisking any awards away from them!
A community library serves as a resource for people of all ages and interests. Meet Margaret, the friendly and helpful librarian in Cullen, Scotland. If traveling in a region, the librarian can provide a wealth of local information for its residents and visitors.
Since Cullen, Scotland is located right on the coast of the North Sea along the Firth of Moray, it is appropriate to have a historical display of fishing equipment and coordinating books.
Visiting a community library provides a fantastic opportunity to explore things to see and do in the area, current local affairs/concerns with a local historical perspective. Thank you, Librarian Margaret of Cullen, Scotland, for your helpfulness and we appreciated your helpful advice and services.
We’d like to extend an invitation to check out the following link and visit the Gary, South Dakota City Library. Interested in area history? Genealogy research? Want to curl up by the fire with a good book? Librarian, Vera Meyer, will go out of her way to help you feel welcome, answer any questions you may have with a variety of resources at her fingertips. While you are at it, you may as well get to know some members of the community by working on a puzzle or play a round or two of Marbles (a popular card game)!