Trip Diary – April/May 2017 – Day 29 – St. Andrews, the Birthplace of Golf

St. Andrews, located in Fife, was the birthplace of golf. The Old Course, as it is called, is still available for play, but you make a reservation at some point way in the future (a year or more away), and then you plan your vacation around that date, not the other way around. To get to the clubhouse, or the National Golf Museum, you drive ACROSS the first tee, which runs right along the coastline.

Castle again, here, but only ruins again. Commanding views of the North Sea between the UK and Scandinavia, the castle was an important part of the UK’s defenses years ago, especially during the Second World War.

You have a castle, you almost have to have a cathedral, too, and St. Andrews does. The cathedral honored St. Andrews, the patron saint of Scotland.

The Scottish flag has a pair of white bars crossing each other in the center on a field of blue. The cross, at one time, symbolized the drawing and quartering of a prisoner. The plaque on the side of the building below displays that punishment exactly.

Prince William (hopefully the next King of England!) and Kate Middleton were both students at St. Andrews when they met, according to popular legend, in the cafe below. No one else makes a similar claim, so it must be true, right?

Just an aside here about the British Royalty. Queen Elizabeth is loved dearly, and will be sorely missed when she dies. Her husband, Prince Philip, tends to put his foot in his mouth, much like Donald Trump at times, but the press here is different and tend to give him a lot of leeway with his foibles. Philip retired from public life recently, giving the press only the upcoming elections (and Donald Trump) to talk about.

To continue, Prince Charles, Elizabeth and Philip’s son, is not very popular, and if kings were elected, he would lose the election. He gained a lot of good feelings of the people when he married Princess Diana, but after her death and the revelation that he was seeing Camilla on the side, his popularity has taken a nose dive again. Charles would love to be king and, in fact, has been preparing for the role since the 1950’s when Elizabeth assumed the throne.

Standing in the wings, however, is Prince William, Charles’ oldest son with Diana. He was always popular, but got a big bump when he married Kate, and would be the best choice to most Britons if a successor for Elizabeth was needed. Prince Harry is OK, and does a lot of work with veterans, also making him popular, although not as popular as William. The Brits have thought long and hard about replacing Elizabeth some day, and have even passed legislation in Parliament that allows a variation from the traditional line of succession. It is only a matter to time to see what happens.


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