Although I had selected a cute place for us to have breakfast (Hula Cafe) we went directly to Waverley station to catch our 9:10 am train to Perth.
|Waverley Station on Sunday Morning|
We got a little snack but found no place to dispose of the empty containers when we were finished. One thing we noticed about Edinburgh is a shortage of trash receptacles. Perhaps this is due to security?
The track # posted and we boarded another almost empty train for our 1 hour ride north to Perth. The weather today is nicer with temps in the 60's, clear skies and hopefully some sun by the afternoon. The train passed by a few towns and then we had a view of the sea before transversing across several fields.
|Passing a little town and church|
and then fields...
Scone Palace is a Gothic Georgian mansion that was completed in 1812 for the Earl of Mansfield. It is located east of the River Tay (Tee) and holds significance as the crowning place of the Kings of Scots and is the origin of the Stone of Destiny. The Stone of Destiny was moved (some may say stolen) to Westminster Abbey and was then returned to Scotland in 1996 where it can be seen at Edinburgh Castle. However, there is some controversy over the Stone and whether it was switched at some point during its relocation.
We bought our tickets at the gate (adult 10.00, senior 9.40) plus a few postcards before taking the commanding walk up to the Palace.
|Walking up to the Scone Palace entrance|
|Chandelier at Scone Palace Entry|
|Postcard of Scone Palace Dining Room|
The large private tour of about 40 people was right before us. While it would have been interesting to hear the guide's commentary, this wasn't our tour and we didn't have time to spare. We carefully skirted around them and saw what we could of this room before moving on to the next area.
Although there were lots of people enjoying the Palace, the building is so vast that it did not feel crowded. The next room we came to was the marvelous Drawing Room.
|Postcard of Drawing Room|
Moving on we next looked at the Library where instead of books they have beautiful porcelain, much of it is from Germany creatively displayed.
|Postcard of Scone Palace Library|
After seeing the Library we passed a couple more rooms, including the bedroom for Queen Victoria's visit, before reaching the Long Gallery. That is the perfect name for it, as it is 150 feet and the longest room of any home in Scotland. It was here that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert witnessed a Curling demonstration on the then polished wooden floor. Subsequently, Prince Albert accepted an invitation to become the first President of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.
|Postcard of Scone Palace Long Gallery|
I was happy that it did not take us long to see the interior of the palace. Now we could enjoy grounds and not need to rush.
Once outside we walked up to the Chapel and Moot Hill. The small Presbyterian chapel was restored around 1804. Moot Hill is the original home of the Stone of Scone (Destiny) where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. Robert the Bruce was crowned here on March 25, 1306. The last coronation was of Charles II in 1651. Moot Hill is also where Scottish noblemen swore their allegiance to the new King.
|Chapel and Moot Hill original location of Stone of Destiny|
|Tomb of William Earl of Mansfield|
|Tomb of Sir David Murray|
|Murray Family Crypt|
|Chapel with twig deer|
|Archway and Mercat Cross|
|Bismarck and a Peacock|
The Scone Palace shop was very nice and located in the former servants quarters. I bought more postcards but nothing else. When I went outside one of the peacocks was outside and seemed to have recovered from being chased but it appears the trauma has caused him to lose a feather.
So while we couldn't have our scone at Scone, we walked down the driveway to meet Graham for our drive to Gleneagles for lunch. As soon as we reached the bottom he was just pulling up. Perfect timing! We noticed that what we thought was a light tan car, was now white. Looks like someone got a little bath!
Graham couldn't have been nicer and shared some personal info of where he has traveled and his interests. He told us a funny story about eating at a Southern restaurant in the US and not understanding anything that was said. We told him the same thing happened to us one time in mountains of North Carolina. The waiter rattled off a choice of 11 sides and the only one I could make out was Hushpuppies. Everything else with like he was speaking another language!
The Perthshire scenery was gorgeous during the drive to Gleneagles.
It was a pretty drive up to the Gleneagles Hotel which is actually in the town of Auchterarder. There is also a town named Gleneagles which is just a couple minutes away.
|2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles|
|Arriving at Gleneagles|
The exterior of the hotel is outstanding but it does not feel imposing. Gleneagles is touted as having the some of the best golf courses in the World and even tops the Old Course at St. Andrews in several rankings.
|Exterior Front of Gleneagles Hotel|
They kindly attended to these requests and then showed us to the bar area for our tea. The bar area is a large room and very much on the masculine side. It seem a bit incongruous to have a "dainty" tea in these surroundings.but with all the golfers it probably works better. We were given menus and I selected the Classic tea while my mother opted with my prompting, for the special Champagne Tea.
|Bar area for Afternoon Tea|
We were famished and looking forward to our first real meal of the day. Our server Fiona, first brought a small plate of poached salmon. It went wonderfully with my Hibiscus tea and my mother's, Earl Grey.
|Smoked Salmon and Hibiscus Tea|
The first course arrived with tea sandwiches, biscuits and other savories. I took a quick photos before we devoured it. About halfway through I realized by looking at the other tables there is a decant dessert tray that comes after this one. Oh my!
|First Course with sandwiches and sausage rolls|
|Dessert Selection for Afternoon Tea|
While I was savoring my sense of accomplishment in finishing most of the lovely pastries, a plate of scones arrived with the usual accompaniments. I had completely forgotten about this part!
|Bill for Gleneagles Afternoon Tea|
|Lovely Gleneagles grounds|
|Gorgeous gardens and grounds|
|Golfers and magnificent scenery|
|Gleneagles Hotel Map|
|Grand fountain and view|
|Pony Delivery with the Bar area in the background|
|Rear of Glenealges Hotel|
We went back outside and our driver David, from SM Taxi was there to greet us. I found this car service on the Internet when searching for Gleneagles transportation. However, although the company is called Gleneagles Taxi on the Internet, they are not located here but in Stirling. This fact came up when the concierge called to reconfirm our ride. I must say she wasn't too happy about them using the Gleneagles name. Perhaps they are gearing up for the Ryders Cup.
In any event, David was very nice, a great driver and told us about his dog and how he used to breed German Shepherds. He confirmed it would take about 40-45 minutes to reach Rosyth. A car service was the only option here as the train takes too long and on a Sunday definitely didn't work. The cost for the transfer is £80 which sounds like a lot. However, the Gleneagles Hotel quoted me £100 so while not a bargain, David is still less.
We enjoyed the scenery in this area. I kept the window open for a bit to take some photos.
|Heading from Gleneagles to Rosyth|
|On the road to Rosyth|
We soon could see water and it appeared we would be back in Rosyth very soon.
|Port of Rosyth|
Tonight we are eating in Sabatini's, the Italian specialty restaurant. We loved Sabatini's on the Ruby Princess, and it was probably along with the Sanctuary, the highlight of that cruise.
On the Ocean Princess the two specialty restaurants, Sabatini's and the Sterling Steakhouse are open on alternate nights. They don't have the passenger demand nor the staff to keep them open on the same nights.
Our dining time is at 6:00 pm tonight but it is still very bright outside. It sort of throws you off as it looks like it is early afternoon. We took the elevator to Sabatini's on Deck 9 aft. They seated us at a table for 4, which was set for 2 and facing a large window. So far so good.
|Lovely Table and View|
|Poached Shrimp with white beans|
|Soft Shell Crab|
Mercifully, the main dishes soon arrived. My mother had the Pasta and I had the Lobster three ways.
|Mother's Pasta Dish|
|Disappointing Lobster 3 Ways|
That was certainly true in this case as I was very happy with the Napoleon with hazelnut, almond and praline.
|White Chocolate Semifredo|
We went back to the room early and went right to bed! Tomorrow we have a sea day to recover from the last 48 hours. The ship is headed north around the coast of Scotland near the Orkney Islands. I am hoping for decent weather and beautiful scenery.