Vacation – day 8: Methil => Kirkcaldy => Aberdour => Edinburgh

We were happy to leave Methil. I didn’t sleep much, though my sleep was okay during its 5 hours. And, weirdly, my sleep machine kind of broke in the morning. The button to turn it off stopped functioning, so I can still use it but I have to plug/unplug to turn it on/off. So that’s a thing I’ll have to do when I get home.

We stopped for breakfast at a little spot called Nova that had an odd American/New York theme, but I had an egg roll and a mocha that were fine. Then we were on the road toward the first castle of the day, Macduff Castle. We’ve been switching the maps we use between the Apple map and the Google map. For this part of the trip, we were using Apple maps. We’re driving along a fairly residential street when the map lady suddenly says, “You’ve arrived.” We pulled over and could see hide nor hair of any castle. There were no signs about a castle around. We quickly decided to move on. (There is a Macduff Castle ruin though, apparently it’s a little hard to find. Oh well, something to see next time!)

We were not disappointed with the next place, though. It’s another ruin, but we saw this one: Ravenscraig Castle in Kirkcaldy. We first parked up on street level, then saw a road that would take us down to the beach beneath the castle. We parked and walked around the cliff under the castle to see this:

To me, it could be a cala in Playa de Aro, though much more rocky, and probably much colder! This body of water is the Firth of Forth (that’s fun to say!) From here, we went up to the castle, which took some effort because stairs. But it was worth it.

It was really cool. Where those people are standing, there’s a little plaque with a drawing of what they think the castle looked like in its heyday. Really amazing.

Walking back to the car, I snapped this shot of the cemetery near the castle. Barbara & I considered seeing cemeteries our version of the “Punch Bug” game on this trip. There are a lot of them.

Then it was on to Aberdour. These locations weren’t too far apart, and in between was just glorious green countryside. We were lucky to get a beautiful, and dare I say warm, day for this last bit.

In Aberdour, we pulled into a parking lot that had a little walkway to the castle. There was ticket prices posted on the sign and we decided we didn’t want to pay so we got back in the car after taking a photo of the castle through the trees. When we left the parking lot, I noticed another sign that indicated there was parking at the castle, so we motored up there. Let me take a moment to talk about the narrow roads. In many places, including in the cities, roads are one way, not because they’re only one way, but because they’re narrow as can be so only car can fit at a time. Plus in the cities, there may not be any parking laws. People park in the street, in the lanes, sometimes they’re up on the sidewalk, but sometimes not, which makes for very narrow passages on a street that technically is big enough for two lanes. That was one of the most bizarre things to me. Plus they park any which way so you never are quite sure if the street is actually one way or people just parked there because they could.

Anyway, the road up to the castle was one of those narrow, one car only roads. And it was curved. But we got lucky, and got up there (it wasn’t very long thankfully) and parked. We’re so glad we did!

It cost 6 pounds to tour the castle and gardens, and we were tempted. But the little gift shop where you buy tickets closed when we got there so the attendant could have lunch. The sign on the door said, explore and pay at the end. Well…

We went in the castle (cold!) and turned a corner and found this:

You can barely see it, but there’s water out on the horizon, and the grass fields descend to the right to an orchard. There’s also a church on the grounds that’s just out of frame on the left. We wanted to go check that out but didn’t see a path so we went back through the castle (we could have gone up into the castle, but chose not to) and out to the gardens:

This shot is from the far side of the gardens looking back at the castle. You see a door on the other side, I was standing near the opposite door to take this. When we went through the door I was at and turned right, we were on the path to the church, St. Fillian’s. And this is what we saw:

Oh man, it was spectacular. Small, but the combination of the sun, the sky, the colors of the trees and the little daisies on the grass. It was delightful.

We went back out the way we came. By this time, I was willing to pay for both of us, but the attendant was still at lunch so we left. I owe 12 pounds to Aberdour Castle!

We drove through the town and saw some cool gates that looked like they led to a big green meadow so we went in, but it was a golf course so we headed out and decided we were hungry. We went back and parked in the first lot we’d been in and had lunch at a cute cafe called McTaggart’s where we both had a cheese & ham toastie and crisps.

After lunch we headed into Edinburgh to our last AirBnB. It’s very cute, near the airport. Way better than Methil. We took some time to rest and relax until it was time to head into the city for Barbara’s gig. The route took us to the Grassmarket where I’d had lunch 14 years ago (is what it feels like), and I was so happy to recognize so much of where we were driving!

Her gig was in the old town at a place called the Royal Oak in their cellar bar which has been dubbed the Wee Folk Club. We found a parking spot nearby (yay!) and we happened to be right in front of a cafe that looked good for dinner called biblos. We both had Scottish salmon that was truly delicious. I cried at dinner a couple times at the thought of leaving Barbara and this adventure the next day.

The Wee Folk Club is very aptly named, but it was a great venue. No PA, a small bar, and room for about 25-30 people. When all was said and done, Barbara played for about 12 people, but she was great. I can tell when she has to change her songs to hit notes, but no one else can, and she did great. It was a very intimate show, that was well-received although it wasn’t a big buying crowd which I would have thought opposite.

After the show, we came back to the flat with McDonald’s French fries and watched a terrible dating show called “Take Me Out” then I came in to bed. Long travel day coming up!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandy says:

    Great photos!

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