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Do you want to know what cost me a grand sum of eight pounds today?

A train ticket to the small, beautiful town of Dunfermline for an afternoon of exploring the impressive Abbey ruins and church and photographing every glorious inch of the massive nearby Pittencrief Park.  Oh, and a sandwich, cupcake, and tea for lunch and an ice cream cone because I was feeling indulgent.

Yep.  Eight pounds.  It was a good day.

With the promise of sunshine and a somewhat mild temperature, I decided I needed an adventure, but I wasn’t sure where to go.  I didn’t want to spend much money because I have some other trips coming up.  I opened my trusty Historic Scotland guide with all the locations that my membership gets me into for free and looked at everywhere close to Edinburgh.  And that’s when I spotted Dunfermline.  Just across the Firth and only a half hour away by train, I knew I had found my destination.

And did I ever choose well.

It proved to be exactly as gloriously sunny and warm as promised (‘warm’ being a relative term – I suppose I should stick with ‘warmer than it’s been all spring’).  Dunfermline is a compact little town and easy to navigate, though I had my map downloaded onto my iPad just in case.  I’m paranoid like that.

I had my Celtic music playing as I walked (Julie Fowlis and Cara Dillon are my two favorites right now) and soon found my way to the grand abbey and church.

The flowering trees actually seemed appropriate rather than tragic, shivering creatures rooted to a frozen landscape.  Yay for a real spring day!

The massive buttresses are awesome…

But I especially like how they added Robert the Bruce’s name in ginormous letters to the tower.  It’s the subtlety of it that intrigues me… Robert the Bruce DunfermlineThe daring Scottish king is actually buried in that church.  After passing through the old part,

I entered the new bit that’s still used (there was actually a wedding there later on).

And under the pulpit is Robert the Bruce’s tomb. Shiny.I took a break from old buildings to go and check out the nearby park.  I had no idea how amazing it was going to turn out.

I love stairs!  Especially rock ones!  Leading to little stone bridges over waterfalls!  *pure joy*My requirement for a proper garden or park is that there be a maze of paths which you have to choose from.  It makes the park feel big, mysterious, and like a very relaxing sort of adventure.

And you never know what strange creatures you might happen upon.  Like…

A squirrel!

Watch out, squirrel, you are being stalked by…

another squirrel!

The church bells started ringing out full hymns.  I pulled out my earphones to enjoy the bells for a bit.

I love this sun-dappled mossy path.

The bells kept ringing… and I finally discovered that it wasn’t just some rope-happy priest going nuts.  There was a wedding!

I went back to the abbey to tour the grounds of the ruins.  There wasn’t much to the interior, but I like to be thorough with these things.  Plus, I had all day!

Napoleon came with me, but pretty gardens are not his favorite.  When we passed through the royal quarters where the kings and queens stayed during visits to Dumfermline, he did insist on inspecting them.  He also determined that when he builds a castle, his name will be sculpted in giant letters around the top tower.  And his name is longer.  So take that, the Bruce.

It was after two and I was done with my touring, so I decided to grab a sandwich and laze around outside while the sun was still warm.  Such a cute town centre!

I spotted gates to a park at the end of the street and thought, ‘Wow this town has two parks!’ But no, it was the same one.  Pittencrief is just a really big park.

I chose my spot carefully.  In the sunlight, away from the sidewalks and people, and near the cute little tower.

Andrew Carnegie was born here.  He has a statue.

Random shot up cupcake in grass turned out amazingly cute.  It was a yummy cupcake too!

I ate my sandwich and cupcake, drank my tea, dozed in the grass, appreciated the warmth, the breeze, and the sunshine, and an hour disappeared. The weather predicted late afternoon rain, so when I saw some distant, grayish clouds gathering, I decided to make my way back to the train station.

I went back into the wooded part of the park and found this pretty little gazebo tucked away by the stream!

A gate hidden in the ivy… well, I had to try it, but it didn’t open.  One continues to hope, of course…

It started to sprinkle very lightly just as I reached the train station.  Perfect timing, for once!  This is the kind of weather I had expected for the spring.  I can only hope for more days like this (though I rather suspect that they will make studying very difficult!)