Monday, July 27, 2009

North Berwick

My friend Megan is coming today! She will be staying with me all week, and I'm very excited about it. And after today's post, there is only one more day of vacation left to recap. I've got that post all ready to go and will post it tomorrow as planned, despite Megan's presence. But, then I'll be out of here for the week while I show Megan around town! And I'm sure you'll be glad for my silence for a little bit after this posting rampage. But for now, the show must go on!

DAY 10: Thursday, July 16, 2009

We got going pretty early Thursday morning so we could catch an 8:30 a.m. train to North Berwick, which is about a half hour away from Edinburgh. We arrived shortly after 9:00 a.m. Eric was scheduled to play golf around 10:00, so we had just enough time to hit the tourist information center and pick up some maps (and pause to marvel at the scenery around town) before getting him checked in at the North Berwick Golf Club.

Ready for more golf!

So scenic, and the day has only just begun!

I debated about whether to have another day about town by myself while Eric golfed like I did in St. Andrews, but decided instead to tag along and "caddie" for Eric. I must say, North Berwick is absolutely gorgeous. Yet another little seaside town, with beautiful water views. The golf course follows along the water for a ways, so I figured tagging along with Eric was a good way to take in the scenery and spend time with my husband. Plus, I had never even really been on a golf course before! So, off we went.

Teeing off - look at those forearms!

Gorgeous views along the golf course

Beware: coastal erosion

See that big hill in front of him to the right? We're going to climb that bad boy later.

Putting with the Bass Rock - one of North Berwick's most notable landmarks - behind him

Me as the caddie

Eric played well (he broke 90 again) and I enjoyed being able to watch him play! I kept score and helped with his bag, too. I was a good caddie.

After golfing, we walked along the water towards the Seabird Centre, where we planned to have lunch. On the way we admired the town, talked about how crazy the Scots swimming at the beach were (hello, it must have been in the 50s, windy and cloudy - HARDLY beach weather), and checked out the sites. We saw St. Andrew's Old Kirk, which was first built in the 12th century. We also saw a beautiful Celtic cross by the water that serves as a memorial to a 19-year-old girl who drowned trying to save the life of a young boy. How very sad.

North Berwick

Crazy people! This is not beach weather!

St. Andrew's Old Kirk

Celtic cross memorial

We had lunch at the Seabird Centre: ham and cheese baguettes with "crisps" and more St. Andrews Ale. We ate outside on the patio overlooking the water, despite the chilly temperatures and wind!


After lunch, we caught a bus to Tantallon Castle, about two miles outside of North Berwick. We had to actually ask the bus driver to stop there, and when we returned, we had to flag the bus down like a cab! Crazy. The castle was more ruins, sort of like St. Andrews, and very cool. It sits right on the edge of a cliff (something new and different) and has beautiful views of the Bass Rock.

Tantallon Castle

At the castle

Bass Rock

At the castle with Bass Rock behind me

We really enjoyed exploring this castle, too. We spent about an hour and a half roaming around, checking out all the nooks and crannies.

Castle ruins

Window and steps

More castle

Tower entrance

And get this - there was a tower you could climb up in, by way of a crazy scary ancient spiral staircase. You would come out at the top of the castle for some beautiful views. And...I DID IT! I made it to the top! Of course, I promptly plastered myself to the wall and wanted to cry, but I was up there. Go me!

Look how high up I am! (I WAS higher - this is when I started making my way down after I wanted to cry.)

Eric at the top

Views from the top

Hooray for me! I did it!

After an hour and a half we had seen all there was to see, and had to head back out to flag down our bus (which only came by every 90 minutes!). We made it back to North Berwick and dove right into our next task: climbing North Berwick Law, the 600+ foot dormant volcano!

Um, there's thieves about? What does that even mean?

North Berwick Law

When I read about Berwick Law online, it sounded like a nice little hill with pretty views that would be a nice, easy climb. In actuality, it was a little more intense of a hike than we expected (Eric especially - he wore flip flops!). But, the view was totally worth it. I didn't think it would be as I climbed, but when we got up there, wow. I was so glad we did it.

Path to Summit sign, partially obscured by Scottish thistle

Um, okay. Also, those little dots on the grass down there are cows. Hi, cows.

Taking a break part of the way up

Climb, climb, climb

I made it! What a victorious day for me.

At the top! The arch behind us is a pair of (replica) whale jawbones, first placed there in 1709.
In more recent environmentally-sensitive times, the real whale bones were replaced with fiberglass ones. So, no whales were harmed in the making of that arch.

Eric towering over North Berwick

Us and bonny Scotland

We spent quite a bit of time at the top of the Law, admiring the view and taking pictures. Then we made the long climb down. We made our way back to the Golf Club to pick up Eric's clubs, which he had stored there for the day. We looked for something to eat, but were unimpressed with our restaurant options and were so worn out. So, we just caught a train back to Edinburgh. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for Italian food at Bella Italia. We had bruscetta, a delicious chicken pasta dish, a bottle of wine, and some amazing desserts.

Penne Pollo e Crema: chicken, pancetta bacon, roasted peppers, red onion and penne pasta baked in a white wine and cream sauce

My dessert: milk and white chocolate mousse, layered on a truffle base with fresh cream

Eric's dessert: Brownies with vanilla and toffee ice cream with chocolate crunch and wafer curls

After dinner it was back to the hotel to crash yet again. We were so tired. I think our long days of non-stop sightseeing fun were starting to take a toll on us. We decided to scrap the Stirling trip plans for Friday in favor of sleeping in and a relaxed day around Edinburgh. So, for the first time on our trip, we went to bed without setting an alarm clock for the next morning!

Up next: Our last day!

Reminder: More North Berwick pictures on MyLifeAsALawyersWife.Shutterfly.Com! Lots of scenery and castle pictures especially.


Dad said...

Hmmmm...can't decide if I like the views of Scotland or those curvy thumbs better :o)

Becky said...

Yum. Those desserts look so good!!