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Day 4

Relaxed sight-seeing day. The drive from Inverness to St. Andrews is supposed to be about 4 hours. More dramatic scenery.

If the day goes well, I may try to get a round in at The Old Course, but that would be an extra. The Old Course is recognized as the place were the modern game was developed. It is the home of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the keeper of the rules of Golf for the UK and Europe.

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See complete itinerary.

Scottish Weather

Today started with a solution to the weekend's log-on problem. Thanks to David Ross and "Bonny" William Maur at the Inverness Technology Center for making their facilities available to me.

I've decided that I am much more likely to die as a pedestrian than as a driver. While driving on the right-hand side of the road has been ingrained in me since I began driving, thinking that traffic is driving on the right has been ingrained in me since I began walking. I panic every time I step off the curb because I forget to look the correct way for oncoming traffic. Beep!

The drive was uneventful compared to yesterday. The views were beautiful, but tame compared to the west coast. I was rained on for the first time but it had stopped by the time I got to St. Andrews. When I pulled in to St. Andrews I was expecting a sleepy, seaside village. What I saw instead was a beehive of cars, people and general confusion. I found my B&B right away but it took me over an hour to find a place to park - and then I was about half a mile away.

Now as it turns out, today was the first day of classes at the University of St. Andrews, so everyone was in town dropping off their students, moving into flats and dorm rooms and generally clogging up the streets. In addition today was the first day of school for Prince William, who is attending the university starting this year, and there must have been 1000 police about.

I guess I was paying for a long day in the car yesterday, but my back was killing me for the whole drive. Today was spent mostly on "duel carrageways" or what we would think of as limited access interstate highways. I experienced my first major multiple-lane roundabouts today and guess what . . . they work really well. Cars in the outer lanes do indeed yield to the inner lanes, so unless you're going off at the first exit, you just dive to the center lane and cut across traffic when it's time to exit. Still seems wierd to me, but it really, really works.

Finally got settled in my room about 15:00, and headed down to the Old Course starter shack to meet my e-mail buddy Hamish.

I asked him what my best strategy for playing the Old Course Tuesday and he said "get here early." I asked him when early was & he said that there were about 10 players here when he opened at 06:00 this morning. I'm going to be there at 05:00 tomorrow. Wish me luck.

It was raining most of the drive, so I didn't really stop much. I did pull over at a roadside display at the site of the Battle of Sterling Bridge. That's the battle where Mel dropped his kilt for the English. Mel wasn't there.

After I checked in with Hamish, I walked through town to the ruins of St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral. The Cathedral was about four stories from the floor to the ceiling and could seat around 500. Very impressive when you realize that it was built in the 13th century!

What was once the interior of the Cathedral was turned into a graveyard in the 17th century. As I was walking through it I came upon the grave of old Tom Morris, widely recognized as the world's first golf professional and 8-time British Open champion.

I then went down to the harbor and watched some of the fishing boats come in. When I turned to head back into town, there was this amazing view of the castle ruins.

Aslar Guest House This is supposed to be a very cool B&B right in the heart of downtown St. Andrews.

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