Scottish Breakfast, Culross and Beer.
I have not given the Scottish Breakfast its full due up to this point. It has become so consistent as we travel from place to place, it is becoming very clear that it is really more a matter of selecting which parts of it you want to eat. This picture is from the Keavil House in Dunfermline, but the next day at Tigh Bhan in the Duror of Appin they literally handed us a checklist. Porridge, Sausage, Blood Sausage, Haggis, Back Bacon, Eggs, Mushrooms, Baked Tomatoes, Hash Browns, Baked Beans, Toast. Regarding Haggis, for all the hype, to me it tasted like a spicy version of liverwurst. Blood sausage, kind of a grainy ground beef. All that to say, "hearty" would be an understatement for the typical Scottish breakfast.
Our next destination point was Culross, a very well perserved small village east of Stirling. It's benefactor was Sir George of Bruce, who was a pioneer in coal production in the 16th century. His fingerprints are still clear on the town, including the Culross Palace that was his home in the core of town and the Culross Abbey where he, his wife and eight children where buried.
The best view of the town is from his garden that has multiple terraces and overlooks the village and bay.
The garden was beautiful and Robyn was able to make fast friends with the cat in residence.
Some pretty wonderul poppies as well.
The Culross Palace has a bright mustard plaster color on the outside. You can walk through all the rooms with their simple wood panelling and furniture. I think almost every room was used for an episode of "Outlander". A very subtle Scottish touch by the way, they wanted to send the message to not sit on the furniture, so every chair has a discreetly placed scotch thistle. Nicely done!
Okay, so I think I have been clear that I have a very restrained adventure spirit. Culross maybe quaint, but its cobblestone roads are basically one car wide and bumpy (cute street names too). Once you start up a road, either you or the other guy has to back up.
Robyn has fully researched the Culross Abbey, too far to walk, but at the top of one of these cobbly roads. On her "must see" list. I resist as much as I can, but up the road we go. The abbey was established in 1217, built over a site from the 6th century. The current church dates back to the 1600's. These dates ae still almost unimaginable to me. The era's of construction are very clear when you walk the grounds.
The church itself is active and in use by the Church of Scotland. A service was going on while we were there and after the service was over they opened the doors up for tourists. The real treasure was in the side naive where the tomb for Sir George of Bruce was built. The carved statues of the husband and wife are so elegant and peaceful. The eight figures in front of them represent their eight children.
Of course none of this describes the very best part of the visit. Right next to the church, was a small childcare / tea room that sold homemade fresh baked goods. The mom's running the show were more than pleased to hear about our trip and give us good travel advice. They also sold us three our four scones made by one of their church members who was over 90 years old. As we left they started slipping shortbread and jams into our bag too. So far everyone has been very generous and kind to us. Has made the trip a pleasure.
It is after 1 am now, got to get to bed. We drove through Glencoe in the rain to our next hotel, the Tigh Bahn ( white house ) . Snuck out that night to the Clachaig Inn since they have live music on Sunday nights. Had good scottish food and a few pints to finish off the day.
The locals were playing traditional music and having a good time as shown below. What was stunning was that all the chatting cut off when the women in the band sang a traditional scottish song solo with no instruments. The traditions run deep...you could feel the respect in the room when she sang.
Another full day.