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Published: September 9th 2011
Stepping outside early this morning to get some milk for our in-room breakfast the weather didn’t look too good but amazing what a difference an hour makes. Today we are heading north of the English border into Scotland.
We ventured into the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and found a great little spot beside the river to take a photo of the Royal Bridge, a fabulous railway bridge with 28 arches. While we were deciding on the best vantage point a local came along and we had a great chat about the city, the timetable of the next train, and a bit of history. One piece of history, which accounts for the accents in the area, is the border changed places thirteen times. The trains were on time and we headed north.
We left the A1 and meandered along a coastal road stopping for an early lunch at St Abb. Sitting in brilliant sunshine we reflected on the last time we enjoyed such warmth, perhaps Poitiers or Warsaw. The cafe was in a converted farm building along with a collection of artisan shops selling art and homespun wool and other products.
It was a great feeling to drive along Scottish country roads surrounded
by productive farmland looking out at a blue sea. Driving into North Berwick was like arriving at a seaside resort town similar to those along the south coast of England. Perhaps the sea temperature is a little different and although the wide expanse of sand looked inviting, it was not for us today. Further along the coast we stopped for a walk around in the small town of Gullane. This town had a great collection of very large houses that border a very well groomed golf course. From the number we have seen today it is obvious we are in the home of golf courses. Near the centre of town are the ruins of the 12th century St Andrews Kirk that was abandoned in the early 17th century because it was repeatedly inundated by sand.
Our destination tonight was Perth so after crossing the Forth Bridge we decided to take the scenic route via St Andrews. What a delightful town. It is the start of the University year so the town was looking busy with new students becoming familiar with their new surroundings. Sitting in a cafe we wondered whether Kate and Wills had sat in the very same seats!
It was now time to head for Perth and find our hotel. We don’t have a GPS for this part of our adventure so we rely on Google Maps and a good memory. Tonight we stopped at a set of traffic lights and there was the hotel, a little sooner than we had expected.
We have had a great day. The weather has been perfect and the drive through Scottish countryside has been relaxing. We have stopped in great little towns and villages and chatted with the locals. What could be better? Tomorrow we explore the area around Dundee and find the home of one of our great great grandfathers.
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