After a few days rest from the road, we began our trek north into the Highlands of Scotland. We first stopped into Linlithgow Palace near Edinburgh. It is quite evident that this is more of a palace than a fortress. The size, the grandeur, the ornamentation says stately, royal. And Linlithgow has had a royal presence since the 1100's, however the palace that still stands is from the 16th and 17th centuries. It was here that Mary Queen of Scots was born. Luckily there were many covered corridors to duck into and out of the rain.
|Linlithgow Palace Courtyard|
Next we traveled to the formidable 15th century Blackness Castle on the Firth of Forth. This castle is most certainly a fortress and has even been used as a prison.
|Blackness Castle on the Firth of Forth|
|Interiors Blackness Castle|
|Dovecote and Terraced Gardens at Aberdour Castle|
Lastly, in the gray afternoon, we made it to St. Andrews were we visited the ruined Cathedral. Construction on what is called Scotland's greatest cathedral began in 1160 and continued until 1272. In the Middle Ages, this was the center for the Catholic Church in Scotland until the Protestant Reformation in 1560. Up the coast just a bit, lies the ruins of St. Andrew's Castle which we just viewed as we walked by and then the famous St. Andrew's Gold Course, the famed birthplace of golf, where I stopped to buy some obligatory gifts for my father and brother, both golf enthusiasts. It was rainy, foggy, windy, and about 45 degrees out and there were golfers still on the greens.
|Ruins of St, Andrew's Cathedral|
|St, Andrew's Cathedral|
|St. Andrew's Cathedral|
|St. Andrews Coastal Walk looking out to the North Sea|
|Crumbling Ruins of St, Andrew's Castle|