August 24, 2008

On Foot

(Many thanks to sweet K,
who took this picture of me
looking up at the sky and thinking,
"Another beautiful day in Scotland!")

One of the big decisions that confronted us once we committed to traveling to Scotland was whether or not to rent a car. The golfers would presumably be riding around together, but what about the non-golfing spouses in the bunch? Having no clear sense of the public transportation options and typically American in my desire for transportational self-determination, I decided to go ahead and rent a car. But although I did my share of driving in Scotland, it was the walking that I'll really remember.

We read up on the weather and packed accordingly... lots of turtlenecks and other things that could be easily layered in case of chill. So I was almost completely unprepared for the gorgeous string of long (15-hours of sunlight) sun-washed days that awaited us. The golfers golfed. (Seven rounds in all for Terri.) And the rest of us hiked all over the place.

From our little red star in Anstruther, we hiked the ocean cliff trail to Pittenweem and beyond several times. (The green space immediately to the south of town is the Anstruther golf course, which was within easy walking distance of the Great Lodging). (You can click on that map to enlarge it if you prefer to actually be able to READ your maps.) Some folks trekked all the way up to Crail one day. And in Edinburgh we walked and walked.

(Notations differ from our actual walks;
map lifted from Frommer's.)

Of course the golfers walked even more than we did. Check out this aerial shot of the courses at St. Andrews (several of which were "in play" by our golfers during the trip.)

No wonder we found it easy to sleep in. Bright Scottish sunshine or no.

(We had SOME rain. And I think I did
"layer up" a bit one one coolish day.
But all in all, we saw a lot more of Scotland
on foot than I ever expected to,
and I left wanting to come back and explore some more.
In other news, the online photo album of the trip
now includes some more great pictures from our
travelling companions!)

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