(This is the first in a three-part series of posts on St Andrews.)
Anna is again at work in a foreign land, bringing me along to sample the local food, drink, sights, and smells. Not that there are that many smells in St Andrews, mostly just a sea breeze from time to time. There’s actually not that much of anything else in St Andrews, either; there are three main roads (North Street, South Street, and Market Street in between), and the majority of the town is found within the few city blocks between these streets. Which is not to say, exactly, that I haven’t kept myself busy.
The streets of St Andrews hold a bottle shop (utilized), two ice creameries (one of two sampled, as yet), several bakeries (one good, one bad, others untested), multiple coffee shops (who has time for that?), many pubs (definitely made time for that), and, of course, tons of old buildings (appropriately gawked at until they all started to look the same).
There is also a golf course, which you may have heard about–St Andrews is famously the home of the sport. I’ve never swung a club in my life, so while it was certainly pretty to look at, well, that’s about all I did.
Much more interesting are the ruins of the cathedral. St Andrews has been a holy site for at least a thousand years–the bones of, well, St. Andrew were reputedly brought over from Greece, then a giant tried to peg the bearer with a rock but missed, leaving behind a rock, er, *ahem* the Blue Stane. Apparently the ol’ stone-and-bones combination made for a hot pilgrimage destination, and St Andrews became the most important religious location in Scotland. A few crispy Reformationist martyrs later, the protestants took over, killed the bishop, and destroyed all traces of popery, which included, logically enough, the cathedral. As in, all of it. There are currently enough stones remaining only for one to make out how big the cathedral must have been (which was, technically speaking, really really big). And, just because we couldn’t have religious peace for too long, some time later a Presbyterian (or Episcopal) bishop was assassinated by an Episcopal (or Presbyterian) gang (I don’t remember which).
That’s about it for the town–but the surrounding lands are gorgeous. On the menu: walk inland, to the hills, and walk along the Fife coastal path.