History, Golf and Sheep

Today got off to a start with a morning full of history that both Scots and Yanks could enjoy. At the Andrew Carnegie museum and birthplace, the curators have decided to focus on the man behind the millions, rather than the vast amounts of money that he made with his empire. From his family history in the textile business to his incredible philanthropic works, a comprehensive timeline of this Scottish-American was given, and his mark left on the world was displayed with fantastic visuals and great hands on activities the whole family can enjoy.

Next was a trek to the ancient town of St. Andrews, famous for its university, which served as the meeting place for William and Kate. More so than that, it is famous for housing the worlds oldest golf course, which also has several other modern -and cheaper- courses for golf enthusiasts to make a pilgrimage to. The surrounding beach was also a nice break from all the brick and asphalt, though the cold temperature and light rain made it feel less than tropical.

At this stop the greens keeper for this hallowed ground was met. He explained his tasks, experiences, and background. He also provided insight into the various pathogens that the grass faces, including anthracnose, Fusarium spp., and insect pests including leatherbacks.

Kinaldy farm was next, and after being herded into sheep trailers we were transported in Land Rovers around various sheep grazing fields and given demonstrations on how young sheep dogs gain experience. Various breeds were described and insight into the delicate sheep market was lamented by the farmers, who went on to show the group their innovative lamb operation.

On the way home, a rest room stop was made in a small coastal town with plenty of opportunities for ice cream, coffee, and lovely sites of boats and closely huddled seaside  homes.

The day was rounded off with a stop to a small Cuban shop to get a lamb wrap. A pint with some fish and chips was desired, but drunken kilt clad Scots were spilling out of the doors of every pub in crawling distance, so the small hole-in-the-wall Latin joint was a runner up to help cure the lamb cravings caused by the previous farm tours. Come morning we’ll see if the whisky can stave off the inevitable food poisoning.

-Caleb Mathias



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