Sunday, 2 February 2014

St Andrews & Queensferry

This Saturday I went to Queensferry and St Andrews with the International Society. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and first stop was Queensferry to gawp at Forth Bridge. This Railway bridge opened in 1890, and it is 2528,7 meters long. That is longer than Galdhøpiggen is tall.
Forth Bridge
Forth Road Bridge, where the cars drive across.
There was a pretty, ruin-like thing in between two of the spans. The internet tells me the island is called Inchgarvie and it has had some form of castle and fortification on it since the Middle Ages.
Tiny train on the bridge.
Long train on the bridge.
Here you can see the Forth Bridge on the right and the Forth Road Bridge on the left. 
I met this fellow on the pier extending by the Forth Bridge.
I'm standing in the water taking pictures of the bridge! (I'm not).

We drove on towards St. Andrews. On the way we passed a dear farm and a town with a church.

We then arrived in the town of St Andrews, home of golf and Scotlands oldest university. The coaches dropped us of by the beach.
Funny rocks to climb.
First view of St Andrews
View of West Sands beach, which I'll return to later.
Little birdie in the sea.
Little birdie in the sky.
Me with the view.
I also came across some petroglyph, rock carvings. I would say they date from late Bronze Age/early Iron Age.
Here you can see a symbol resembling a skull. It is possible it marked the entrance to the realm of the dead, which was believed to be located near sandy beaches at that time.
This is a glimpse into what people were called back then. Wether Ellle is a man's or a woman's name is not known.
As for the symbol on the right, you might say it is a heart, but the heart shape originated in the middle ages. This shape is probably meant to represent the boundaries of a family's territory. The symbols of the four people who lived within this enclosure are engraved on the rock. You might say it is the earliest example for 'home is where the heart is'.
This symbol is not Celtic or Pictish or Scottish. It originates in east Asia and denotes contact between the two continents. It is quite possible it was the Asian merchants who left this symbol behind when they traded their spice for bronze.

Martyrs Monument
University of St Andrews, founded in 1410-13, oldest university in Scotland and third oldest in the English speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge.
University if St Andrews
University of St Andrews
My mom doesn't like this plant, but I do, so I have to include a picture of it.
St Andrews Castle was covered in scaffolding, not very pretty for photographs. I didn't pay to go into the Castle grounds, instead hurrying on to the cathedral.
St Andrews Castle
St Andrews Castle

Last time I went to St Andrews I walked around the ruins of St Andrew Cathedral. You can see pictures here. This time I climbed up Rules Tower, something I didn't have time for last time. The view from the top was beautiful, but the wind wasn't kind. When I could no longer feel my fingertips I climbed down again.
Rules Tower.

The journey went on to the old golf course.
Here you can find Swilcan Bridge, a over 700 years old stone bridge. Originally built to help farmers get their livestock across it has now become an icon for the golf sport.

If you have seen the film Chariots of Fire (1981), at least the opening sequence, you might recognize the following sceneries. In fact, refresh your memory with this:

This is the hotel they are running towards.
This is West Side Beach, which they are running along.

It was about to get dark, we climbed back into our coaches and drove home.

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