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Guest: Pittornie Castle, Scotland
Pittormie Castle
Story and Photos by Gary Singh

sign on Pittormie Castle fence near St. Andrews, Scotland
Pittormie Castle near St. Andrews, Scotland

ynchronicities happen to me so often, especially when I travel, that I take them to be a part of nature. Such was the case at Pittormie Castle in Scotland, originally the home of the first Duke of Fife in 1593.

club car at the grounds of Pittormie Castle
Club car at the grounds of Pittormie Castle

The castle and residences lie within a few miles of St. Andrews, the World Capital of golf, a center of pilgrimage and a spiritual site for millions who make the journey. Right next door, one finds the university village of St. Andrews, steeped in religious and esoteric history, going all the way back to when Christianity first arrived in Scotland.

Appropriately, Pittormie serves as the home base of the Eden Club, an elite top-level international private club in which membership is strictly by invitation. The membership is drawn from individuals that belong to other notable private clubs around the world who can prove they share the vision and principals upon which the Eden Club was founded. The Club can refuse membership to anyone it deems unsatisfactory, without providing any reason whatsoever. Upon acceptance, though, its members gain ultra-privileged access to some of the finest golf courses and accommodations across the globe.

left: whiskey bottle and view of Pittormie Castle grounds from a window; right: one of the paintings in the Pittormie Castle collection
Left: View from the lounge area;
Right: Pittormie features an exquisite collection of oil paintings

Throughout the last eight years, the property has been refurbished to standards rarely seen in a Scottish country mansion. The gardens are manicured with the precision of a diamond cutter. Inside, the luxurious castle includes eight en-suite bedrooms and a variety of lounges and rooms enabling club members to relax. Four main dining areas all operate under the supreme guidance of Michelin Star Chef Alan Donald.

private kitchen at the Pittormie Castle
Chef Alan Donald presides over the private kitchen

In addition to the castle, the property contains separate two- and three-bedroom residences, between 1,300 and 2,890 square feet, all of which have been furnished to the highest levels. One can purchase a residence in whole or in part, depending upon one's requirements. The maximum is 24 two-week fractions; the minimum is one two-week fraction per apartment. A fulltime, dedicated staff, including an entire fleet of drivers, are available for guests and/or owners.

an en-suite bathroom at the Pittormie Castle
En-suite bathroom at Pittormie

I was in the bar, stone sober, when enough of a synchronicity emerged to indicate a heightened sense of awareness. With several bottles of whisky in the foreground, I looked up at a Sky News program on the television. A special report discussed which particular hard drugs were considered least harmful and most harmful to humans--heroin, crack cocaine, LSD and ecstasy (see photo). Like a mystical white light, beaming through from another dimension, the imagery emanating from the television stood out amidst the more subdued illumination of the bar.

Sky News program on bar television with whiskey bottles in the foreground, Pittormie Castle
The white light of the Sky News report on drugs illuminated the bar

There I was, in the home of the Eden Club, mesmerized by the white hue of the drug broadcast. It reminded me of Timothy Leary's blasphemous comedy routine about how the Garden of Eden was the site of the very first drug bust.

Told to him by Aldous Huxley during a psilocybin session in the early '60s, the routine claimed "original sin" was the intelligent use of drugs in the Garden of Eden. The forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge was the first controlled substance--that is, God established the first ever food-and-drug regulations. Adam and Eve were forbidden to partake, because if they did, they might actually see beyond good and evil and achieve immortality. But they partook and they got busted. Which explains, in Leary's view, why the church remains hysterically anti-drugs.

That's what I thought while viewing the mystical whiteness transmitting from the Sky News drug report, on the wall, in the bar, at Pittormie Castle, the home of the Eden Club. I have never done any of the drugs mentioned in the program, but I felt like someone somewhere was trying to tell me something. I felt a desire to achieve immortality and I needed to write a story. To me, that would constitute intelligence use of the situation.

second picture of Sky News program featuring Drugs Report, Pittormie Castle bar
Mesmerized by the white light of drugs in the bar at Pittormie

Therefore, I must claim that Pittormie left an indelible impression upon yours truly. Those who desire the highest possible levels of service will relish in the fine style of this lucrative private club. Aside from providing access to world-class golf, shooting, fishing, falconry and lowland deer stalking, the estate seems almost perfect for high-end gatherings, conference offsite events and business meetings. No need to feel sinful at all.

St Andrews Royal and Ancient Golf course, with the clubhouse in the background
St. Andrews is steeped in esoteric history

Related articles:
My Scotland, My Perthshire; Scotland whiskey tours, Scotland tour, Ship tours: Edinburgh and Dundee, Scotland

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Let Gary know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Your tea adventures are especially interesting because I've always associated tea with British etiquette or a bevy of women wearing dainty victorian costumes and sipping tea with their little pinky sticking out. To see Tea from a man's perspective brings new light in a man's psyche. I've been among the many silent admirers of your writings for a long time here at Traveling Boy. Thanks for your very interesting perspectives about your travels. Keep it up! --- Rodger, B. of Whittier, CA, USA

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Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791) could read and compose music, plus play the violin and piano, when he was five years old. Born into a musical family in Salzburg, Austria (then the Holy Roman Empire), he had a unique ability for imitating music, which first became evident when he recited a musical piece by simply observing his father conducting a lesson to his older sister. This led to a childhood on the road, where the young prodigy performed before many of the royal courts of Europe.

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In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world – and they came for one reason: gold. James Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in El Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.

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Award-winning Tim Robbins began his career on episodic television. Robbins' film work, however, is what catapulted him into becoming a major movie star including "Bull Durham" and "Mystic River" for which he won multiple awards. Equally at home behind the camera, he directed the riveting "Dead Man Walking." He is Founder and Artistic Director of The Actors' Gang, which he formed thirty-five years ago and has directed multiple provocative productions.

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Deb Roskamp's travel photo blog
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Just their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea, Taha'a. Her people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed. Warm lagoons, majestic peaks, tropical fruits from the land and bounty from the sea all tantalize the senses. Paradise! As near as can be found on planet earth. And, in my experience, the finest way to explore her is on a ship designed for that single purpose.

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