Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beasts of Burden: The journey to St. Andrews

We took the train over to historic St. Andrews on Wednesday morning, and it wasn't the smoothest of journeys. Our train was actually "delayed by cow." Apparently, the poor creature was hanging out around the track, so we had to proceed slowly in case it meandered back to the track. Which led me to wonder, is it somebody's job to move the cows personally?  Ryan thinks they just honk the train until it moves. I'm not convinced cows would know what that means.

At any rate, we had to stop completely at least once, traveled slowly for long stretches, and were treated to several "cow delay" updates during our trip from Leuchars to St. Andrews. The updates got a laugh out of everyone on the train, even the natives. The conductor sounded rather perplexed himself.

A Scottish cow, aka Highland cattle. This is not the cow delaying our train. But I picture it looking like this, only with a more defiant expression.  (Photo by Gaizka Portillo / Flickr)

The delay caused us to miss the first bus into the city, and we met with several other annoying difficulties as we tried to find our hotel (note to self: remember to print off Google directions to all hotels next year). To add insult to annoyance, Ryan's head got in the way of a pooping seagull. We did the best we could with tissues before we finally, finally got to our lodgings and Ryan was able to shower. He handled it rather well, honestly. Much better than I would have.

Ryan spent the rest of his day a little wary of the seagulls above. 

Fortunately, our day improved considerably after that. We walked around St. Andrews Links, the town center and down by the coast of the North Sea. By dinner, Ryan's opinion of St. Andrews had improved considerably. (Although I think the oak-aged beer he discovered with dinner, called Innis & Gunn, helped a lot. )

Happier times in front of the North Sea. 

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