Thursday, June 23, 2005

Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Dundee, St. Andrews

It's a quick drive to Aberdeen today, but we stay no more than an hour due to remaining time required to drive to Tillicoultry. It has a very wide main street but the buildings seem even more uniformly grey than other northern towns. We also bide a wee while in Stonehaven, a few miles south, with a photogenic harbour. Bondi wants to play in the sand with some local dogs, but he'd be in the water in no time, and I didn't want to have to desalinate and desandinate him, even if the means were available.

Next we pass through Dundee, cross the Firth of Tay and stop in St. Andrews, royale & anciente hoome of that worldwide phenomenon: the golf widow. Earlier today, young William Wales graduated from the University here with an MA in Geography (aka What lands will I own?). The BBC reported that his new stepmother congratulated him with a Well done! Twice! I hope the reporter was well-congratulated for such earth-shattering news.

I don't even look for the golf club: there are enough Americans buying really ugly troosers in the town centre. We survey the old cathedral and castle, and wander through throngs of jubilant graduates and impoverished parents. The university here is Scotland's oldest, and in the UK only predated by Oxford and Cambridge. I made a final desperate attempt to find accommodation in Edinburgh (it's the Highland Games that's flooding the city with weekend visitors) - and strike it lucky on my second call: an inexpensive room within walking distance of the old town, available for two nights!

Settling in for the night at a very character-filled mill-owner's house (nearly a mansion, with large grounds).

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