This is the thirteenth post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ireland, Scotland and Great Britain. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 1 – How I am taking my Dad to Ireland, Scotland, and Wimbledon in London in Business Class for $137!
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 2 – Planning for Hotels in Europe for Maximum Miles
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 3 – The Orlando Star Alliance Gold Lounge and the first change of plans
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 4 – Layover in New York City
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 5 – The JFK Lufthansa Lounge
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 6 – Brussels Airlines JFK-BRU in their new Business Class
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 7 – 13 Hours in Brussels
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 8 – Two Days in Dublin
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 9 – Waterford, Kilkenny, the Butler Castle, and a bit of Blarney
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 10 – Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 11 – Galway and the Cliffs of Moher
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 12 – Belfast, the Ferry to Scotland and Train Travel
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 13 – Playing the St. Andrews Old Course, Aberdeen and the Drambuie Incident.
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 14 – Searching for the Loch Ness Monster, Eilean Donan Castle, and Turnberry Golf Course
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 15 – London and Wimbledon
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 16 – 22 Hours in Frankfurt
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 17 – Lufthansa Business AND New First Class FRA-AID on Boeing 747-800
For golfers, St. Andrews Old Course in Scotland is somewhat of a Mecca. It’s Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754 has set the rules for golf in many jurisdictions around the world. My Dad is an avid golfer so when we expanded our trip to include Scotland, St. Andrews was one of the first places on his mind. He had also won two rounds at the Old Course during a silent charity auction a few years back so this would be an opportunity to use them. Upon arrival, St. Andrews was just as impressive as I expected it to be.
My Dad had picked us out a hotel right on the 18th hole, the MacDonald Rusaks. MacDonald is a regional chain throughout the UK with a pretty mediocre loyalty program, but I signed up for it anyhow. We had a rate of 282 GBP per night and we were definitely paying for the location because the room was small without a view. But if you are all about the golf as my Dad was, it was perfect!
We also were able to walk around the village a bit and see the quaint town where St. Andrews College is as well.
My Dad was able to play two rounds at St. Andrews which made both of us happy, but we left right after the second round to catch the train up to Inverness stopping in Aberdeen along the way. Oh, what a fateful stop that would be! The countryside along the coast to Aberdeen was gorgeous.
We made the great decision based on my World Offline Travel Guide to go a restaurant called Moonfish Cafe where we had probably the best meal of the trip! Here was an incredible cheese platter that we had.
It was at Moonfish Cafe that what we now refer to as “The Drambuie Incident” occurred. My Dad is the friendly sort, and a meal seldom goes by without him making some new friends and this night was no exception. Towards the end of our meal, he struck up conversation with a couple at the table next to us. Long story short, they were from Aberdeen and insisted on buying us one of their local scotches. Keep in mind this is after a bottle of wine on the train and another bottle at dinner. I believe it was called Highland Park and boy did it go down easy. The next thing you know, the pretty blonde was insisting that we try some Drambuie. Well, blondes have a way with me so who was I to disappoint so we knocked back one of those as well. At this point we had about 20 minutes before the last train to Inverness left the station. We explained this to them, but would have none of us leaving. They insisted that we go with them for a quick drink at the oldest bar in Aberdeen and it was even on the way to the train station. It may have been the wine, or the scotch, or the Drambuie, but for some reason we agreed to this silly plan. You can see from the photographic evidence that we were in no condition to argue.
After quickly finishing our beers at the Old Kingshighway Bar, we barely made the last train up to Inverness, the land of Loch Ness and the ancestral lands of my Mother’s family!