Thursday, June 09, 2016

Scotland 2015 Day 4: Glamis Castle

Scotland 2015 Day 4: Glamis Castle

We got up and got ready, having an excellent brekkie before taking off from Newtonmore. John made us oatmeal with demerara sugar and a slight bit of whisky! A great combo. We had eggs and a potato scone, good bread, and homemade lemon marmalade! And more yapping!

This was my favourite of the Harrod's Bears -- a Welsh Dragon!
Then we got dropped off at Dalwhinnie train station. Sadly we didn't have time to get to the Dalwhinnie distillery which was literally along the (one) road from the train station... but getting a bit more sleep was a better idea and also not missing our train :) On we went from Dalwhinnie back to Ladybank, and as expected, there was no one there at the single-platform station :) From there we continued onto Leuchars, which was quite close to St. Andrews where we were aiming for to start the beginning of Michal's trip. A van picked us up at Leuchars and whisked us off to the glamorous Fairmont St. Andrews.

We are not impressed with the train station name, for some reason

This was a similar trip to the China trip last year, an amazing bonus trip from Michal's work. She graciously invited lucky me again this year, and it was so exciting to be in Scotland already -- first for the fun hiking we had just done and now onto the amazing fancy St. Andrews times!

We arrived at the hotel to an amazing Suite Room with gifts waiting -- 2 Reebok Fairmont bags and a Tartan Fairmont Umbrella (amazing), as well as a jelly and fruit snack. We dropped our stuff and settled for a moment before heading right back out into St. Andrews town to go explore and wander. We had a (HUGE!) scone at the North Point Cafe, a place that my friend Becca used to work at (?!) and upon her recommendation. It was stellar.

This might be the most fantastic thing I've ever seen.


Had to get some good leverage to successfully slice this huge scone

I also met a Princess here, Princess Spring! (Alternative caption: if it's good enough of a date spot for the future King, it's good enough for us).

We wandered a bit in town and then Michal had the great idea of us walking back along the shore to the Fairmont St. Andrews. Now Michal is good at a great many things, but estimating time/distance for a hike is not one of her many strong suits. I figured it was a near 25 min DRIVE to get us from the hotel into town, so it was not going to be a "15 min walk" as Michal had suggested. "But it's just right there!" she said, motioning towards the big hotel on a far away cliffside, "It's only gonna take 15 min!" "We will definitely be an hour", I figured. Turns out it was a full 1 hr 20 min, and reminiscent of China, we carpe-diem'd all the way to the last moment. We had to walk through some fields, through paths on the golf course, and ultimately though someone's farm! We met a lady there with 2 dogs and asked her "How do we get back to the Fairmont?" "Just through the construction site", she cheerfully replied, and a construction worker warned us, "Watch your footing"! Haha we are nuts.

Hilarious bullhorn in a playground

How far could the hotel be? Only another hour from here!

Trekking back to the hotel
We arrived back at the hotel with a (small) amount of time to spare :) Amazingly we had another gift waiting for us! An amazing necklace for Michal and a cell phone power bank for me.

We got changed and off we went to Glamis Castle for the first night dinner. At first a bagpiper led us in with champagne, and we were given a tour of the castle and residence. It was really cool to see the Queen Mum's sitting room!! So cool.

In we went to dinner, and sat with all new folks, so it was nice to meet some new people. I had a venison salad and it was very soft and had excellent sauce. Michal had soup with cod, also very good. A classy operation! Then, a "palate cleanser", a Rhubarb sorbet! (It was insanely good. I had two.) :)

For dinner we had Cornish Game Hen (like Chicken), Jerusalem artichokes (like at Spinasse in Seattle!) and a sweet sauce. Stellar!!! Michal had saffron potatoes and very interesting fish. For dessert we had "Bannoffee" with Glenfarclas 105 WHISKY ICE CREAM (oh maaaaaaan). Wow that was SO good. We ended with a really incredible cheese plate. Wow, wow, wow!

Following the incredible meal, we watched some highland dancers, a young group, do a march and play for us. That rocked, but it must have been freezing for them outside!

We headed back to the hotel and to the Whisky bear at the hotel.... oh... MAN. They had Glenmorangie 25!!!! 25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a pour, you never see that at a whisky bar as a single pour (and it was even a non-insane price), I was amazed and had to get it. It was incredible. That dram is nuts. I've only had it once before at the Glenmorangie Distillery in 2014 with Lausch. So epic. Going a little nuts, I got a Highland Park 18 and a Caol Ila 12 as well. They have a pretty mental selection there. We chatted with folks at the hotel bar until late in the night.

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