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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

Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Journey to the Bottom of the Globe: Exploring the White Continent of Antarctica

nguins on  shore as writer's cruise ship passes by, Antarctica
As a travel journalist I am constantly asked what are some of my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless. But there is one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows. That destination is a cruise to Antarctica. Sadly, that cruise line I was on is no more, but today there is a plethora of cruise lines that offer similar packages. Here's a look back at my Antarctica cruise.

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Tom Weber's travel blog/review
Treasures of Ireland: The Quiet Man (Dispatch #17)

sunset at Galway Bay

The Palladian Traveler follows in the footsteps of some Hollywood icons as he goes "on location" in Cong to pay his respects to his all-time fave movie.

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John Clayton's travel blog/review
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!) People!

Emirates Airbus A-380
As she came around the corner we could not believe how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful – almost elegant in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as quiet as a church mouse – or "as quiet as dreaming trees."

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Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's Gold Country

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
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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Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

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Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing as the Man who Lived There

Cedar Hill, Washington DC
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job... – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.

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Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Discovering Art, Culture and Cuisine in Lancaster

Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, Lancaster

Lancaster has always been one of those cities that I pass through on the way to some other destination. But last week was different. I finally took the time to explore the place and wow, was I surprised! I discovered a downtown full of charm, culture, cuisine and community spirit. My recent getaway began when a friend and I drove about 60 miles north of Los Angeles toward the Mojave Desert and checked into the Towneplace Suites Lancaster.

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Bev Cohn's travel blog
Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar Discuss "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer"

a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

Richard Gere is one of America's acting treasures. He has an uncanny knack for selecting scripts with the most interesting characters. Included in some of his vast body of films are "American Gigolo, "An Officer and a Gentleman," "The Cotton Club," "Internal Affairs," "Pretty Woman," "Primal Fear," "Unfaithful," and "Chicago." Joseph Cedar, writer and director of the critically acclaimed "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer," was born in New York City but when he was five, his family moved to Israel where he was raised.

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Deb Roskamp's travel photo blog
Tahiti and Her Islands


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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Raoul Pascual's travel blog
Leviticus 20:13
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've been interpreting it wrong all these years!

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