GB07-3. County Fife, Scotland


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March 24th 2007
Published: March 24th 2007
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1. county Fife1. county Fife1. county Fife

country roads and landscape
As I was saying, it was frustrating not to be able to stop anywhere by the side of the road. I managed to pull up once or twice to take a photo of the stunning scenery. No matter where you are on the planet the sight of nature is always special. In Europe nature has been kept like a garden for thousands of years. The landscape isn't 'wild'. I enjoyed seeing the stone walls dividing the paddocks on rolling green hills. Each of these stones has been looked for and placed neatly one after the other for miles. I wondered for a while why people didn't use hedges for dividers and then realised that hedges don't survive the harsh winds and weather of the Scottish winters. Granite stones do.

I tacked a number of times vaguely heading for St Andrews to the east. My big idea was to see if I could eventually get a job at the university. There's a strong French Language department as well as a strong French History department there. Maybe I could get an assistant's position for the next academic year in September. Or at least apply for one. But first I had to
2. county Fife2. county Fife2. county Fife

country roads and landscape
see the place and get the feel of it. So I drove east.

On the plateau of county Fife following the conveyor belt of a road to St Andrews, I suddenly saw a sign to the right for Crail. I knew there was a pottery there. I veered leaving the car behind me in wonder about this crazy left hand drive car with a French plate number. The tiny road was just a link between farms, a short cut to Crail. From the top of the plateau you could see the North sea at intervals, in between following a big tractor or two and following signs for Crail at crossroads.

Crail looked typical Scottish to me. Whatever that means! Dark two storey stone houses with bright blue shutters, the sea at the end of side streets, an overall stern look about the place. It was afternoon and the light was still rather oblique to me. I left my car somewhere and walked around. When I found the pottery I was glad to see it was open. A young potter who was pulling a handle in stone clay managed to tell me about a potters festival further north where
3. county Fife3. county Fife3. county Fife

country roads and landscape
I could meet loads of potters. Yes, but next year as you have to enrol quite some time ahead. Great, thanks. He gave me a list of all potters in Scotland. Would anyone come and stay in my part of the world? I started doubting it. My other big idea was to find a potter likely to rent my pottery studio in France... I admit I have a lot of imagination! Anyway, I bought a stoneware bowl for 17 pounds and left.

I strolled. I liked the place and thought of staying the night but I didn't find accomodation. The bed and breakfast where I rang the bell didn't answer. I met an old lady with a walking stick strolling like me but in the other direction. We stopped and chatted for a bit. She had been some kind of students accomodation manager at St Andrews all her life. Mentioned the daffodils in bloom on the slope from the battlement. Mentioned the special relationship between the Scots and the French. I would have loved to keep in touch with this lady. I asked her if she used a computer at all to connect with people. No, too old my
4. county Fife4. county Fife4. county Fife

country roads and landscape
dear for that sort of thing. God bless her. The winter days must be very long sometimes.

So, I drove on from Crail to St Andrews following the coastal road. The sight of the city in the distance lined by the North sea was quite something. I managed to park my car somewhere to take a photo. I drove in and followed the traffic turning left or right without any definite purpose except perhaps getting 'the feel' for the place. To my surprise it was built Australian fashion like a grid with parallel streets crossing at right angles. Was this built by an army? Such an ancient city?... ah ha! I recalled that in Dunfermline they said that St Andrews had been built as a second capital with an Archbishop ruling, and by the sea of course to land troops when needed. Politics! After I parked I run to a shop, bought a big bag of cashew nuts for cheap and some other goodies, walked for a bit and decided to leave. I wouldn't live here after all.

It was getting late. What to do? Driving back inland on more of the conveyor belt country roads was not
5. county Fife5. county Fife5. county Fife

country roads and landscape
a pleasant thought. I wasn't worried about finding accommodation somewhere as the tourist season was definitely not started yet. Heading back towards Edinburgh I came to a town called Burntisland by the sea on the north shore of the firth facing Edinburgh and passed in front of a Bed and Breakfast with a nice sign. I stopped and backed up. Yes, I could stay the night.


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1. Crail, county Fife, Scotland1. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
1. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
2. Crail, county Fife, Scotland2. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
2. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
3. Crail, county Fife, Scotland3. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
3. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
4. Crail, county Fife, Scotland4. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
4. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
5. Crail, county Fife, Scotland5. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
5. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
6. Crail, county Fife, Scotland6. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
6. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
7. Crail, county Fife, Scotland7. Crail, county Fife, Scotland
7. Crail, county Fife, Scotland

an old fishing village
1. St Andrews, county Fife, Scotland1. St Andrews, county Fife, Scotland
1. St Andrews, county Fife, Scotland

a university township by the North sea
2. St Andrews, county Fife, Scotland2. St Andrews, county Fife, Scotland
2. St Andrews, county Fife, Scotland

a university township by the North sea


9th May 2007

enjoying your trip
Hi, just want to say I'm enjoying your road trip. I haven't been on an adventure in years so I'm glad to go along on yours. Good descriptions about the scenery but how about local food? It'd be interesting to hear your views on what good or bad meals you're having and what they are, like I'm thinking there must be a lot of good seafood in Scotland? Enjoy!
18th June 2007

Wow, what a great trip, Frankie..maybe we could do something when I come to France. Love all the photos.John looks same as ever.

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