Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Another Short Break

We've been away for another little break. A glance at the photos might tell you where...

Sue and I stayed in what I can only describe as one of the very best B&Bs I have ever experienced. http://www.grangefarmhousebnb.co.uk/ . The guest rooms are spacious and nicely furnished. Breakfast was a feast, including home made bread and preserves, and even honey from the hives in the garden. The owners were just so helpful, providing us with guide books, leaflets and information about everything in which we mentioned an interest.

West Wing Room, Grange Farmhouse B&B
Ready for breakfast
The farmhouse stands just a mile from the centre of Dunfermline, so on day one, Sue and I were happy to leave Puss safely at the house and walk into town. Dunfermline was a surprising place to us. A huge and beautiful park - Pittencreiff - flanks one side of the town. The park has woodland, lawns, formal flower beds, herbaceous areas, a large glasshouse... there's plenty to explore. Also in Dunfermline are substantial remains of an abbey and royal palace. Just open this year is a fine new library, museum and gallery. The town was the birthplace of a child who became one of the world's richest men - Andrew Carnegie. Although living most of his life in America, he never forgot his roots and left a considerable sum of money in trust to the town. It would seem that his money is still being well-spent.

Sue in Pittencreiff Park
Pittencreiff House - home of  General John Forbes
Pittencreiff Park
Double-arch bridge - Pittencreiff Park 
Andrew Carnegie statue, Pittencreiff Park
Looking out of the park into Dunfermline
Dunfermline Abbey Church from the Carnegie Library
Inside Dunfermline Abbey nave
Ruins of the abbey refectory
I'm in what were the Abbey kitchens
Coffee break in Dunfermline Carnegie Library
Abbot House, Dunfermline, from the Carnegie Library

Day two, we walked to the local station and took a train ride over the Forth Bridge into Edinburgh. I was only in my 20s when I last visited our lovely capital city, and then only spent a day there. On this occasion, we made the most of the beautiful autumn weather to walk extensively around the city. I wanted to see for myself the Scottish Parliament Building - and found it to be slightly less dreadful to look at than it often looks on TV.

Title barely necessary - Edinburgh Castle
Back of the Scottish Parliament Building with wooden-barred windows..??
Scottish Parliament Building - front entrance
Scottish Parliament Building - an architectural masterpiece?....errmmm?
Nearby, we spotted a building which clearly housed a not-crowded cafe, so in we went for a lunchtime coffee, only to discover we were in the home of 'Dynamic Earth' http://www.dynamicearth.co.uk/ . So after our coffee, we bought tickets to discover what Dynamic Earth was all about. I can really only say 'Wow!' We had a great time! We experienced the birth of the planet (including being in an earthquake), falling back in time, flying over the arctic (in a room that I swear actually tipped us on our sides), holograms, no end of interactive screens, a real iceberg, being sniffed by a 3D rhino, and a tropical storm. We laughed, stood with mouths gaping, clung onto each other, and emerged convinced that we had just had the best lunchtime coffee, ever.

By now, it was late afternoon, but we could see people making their way up the side of the nearby hill named Arthur's Seat. So off we went, for a lovely walk which gave us a wonderful birds eye view of the city.

Arthur's Seat from the grounds of the Scottish Parliament Building
Track up Arthur's Seat
View from Arthur's Seat -
Foreground, Dynamic Earth building.
Centre left - Scottish Parliament Building,
Right - Holyrood Palace.

We had planned to eat in Edinburgh before heading back to the B&B, but being Friday night, everywhere looked crowded, so we collapsed into the train, and found a lively and friendly pub in Dunfermline for dinner.

What a great short break!

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