Friday, July 13, 2007

Falkland Palace, St. Andrews, and Pittenweem

Another International Students trip, another day of quaint villages and crumbling castles.

Falkland (Palace)

Quaint cottages at Falkland
First, the quaint village...

Falkland Center

Falkland Palace is technically owned by the queen, but it has been under the care of keepers for hundreds of years.

...In 1402 the eldest son of King Robert III of Scotland was imprisoned at Falkland Palace, and died there due to starvation. The Scots have this great culture where it seems that someone important has been murdered at every castle.

The frontside of Falkland Palace

The backside of the palace

It is also the home of the oldest tennis courts in the world. The precursor to lawn tennis, royal tennis (very exciting, I know):

A Royal Tennis court

St. Andrews

Next it was onto St. Andrews, the home of golf and the centre of much activity during the Reformation.

Since St. Andrews was the seat of the Bishop (and the seat of Catholicism in Scotland), much violence during the Reformation focused here. Many of the cathedrals have crosses marked on the ground where prominent Reformers had been burned at the stake by the Bishop to prove a point.

The Bishop lived in St. Andrews Castle. At some point in time, the Castle had been overtaken by Reformers and the Bishop's body was thrown into the bottle dungeon. There is an underground siege tunnel that goes from someone's basement to the castle, where the Catholics tried to gain back the castle. The occupiers dug three different tunnels to try and intercept the others. the third was successful.

St. Andrews Castle

St. Andrews Castle

And then St. Andrews Cathedral...which has been blown down by storms twice, burnt down once, and pillaged in the 16th century. It was once one of the largest and most magnificent cathedrals in Britain.

St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Rules Tower
St. Rules tower, all that remains of the original church.

View from St. Rules Tower
The view from St. Rules Tower

Gold headstone
Only at the seat of the governing body of golf would there be a golf headstone.

No Saints allowed?

After being all castle-ed and church-ed out, we went for a walk on the beach (after the castle, we all were essentially let loose on the city, which was very nice). I found some of the most delicious ice cream ever. Vanilla with chunks of butter "tablet" (i.e. butter fudge) in it.

The Old Course?
Must pass the Old Course to get to the beach...

St. Andrews from the beach

See, proof that I was there.


And as a final bonus trip, we stopped at the fishing village of Pittenweem on our way back. Of course, it began to rain. But we had nothing but nice weather earlier in the day, which was very un-Scotland-like.

Pittenweem houses

Pittenweem flowers

Pittenweem houses

1 comment:

Anna said...

You seem extremely awesome.