Page 3 of Doug and Vicki Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 16th 2011

It was cloudy as we started today but not raining. Our bus driver, “Bob” , took us on our last tour today as our tour lady, Kirsten pointed out the main points of her home town of Edinburgh. Edinburgh as it turns out is made up of an old part and a new part. The old part was hemmed in by a wall for protection and that meant people had to build up or into the streets to house the growing population. Soon the buildings were so close to each other that people could shake hands out the window with the person across the street that lived on the same level. Since there were no elevators then the people would not carry their “nasties” bucket all the way downstairs to throw it out, instead they would ... read more
Edinburgh Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Fife » Saint Andrews September 15th 2011

The day started off sunny and pretty cool. Today we travelled to St. Andrews and then to Edinburgh. At St Andrews we learned that the Scots put up St. Andrew’s church to show the cardinals in England that they were capable of having their own church separate from England. The church supposedly had some bones from one of the disciples, St. Andrew and in the day people would go on pilgrimages just to see this church and touch the casket holding the bones of St. Andrew. The church was enormous and very ornate. Later a man named John Knox gave a rousing speech at the local Presbyterian church denouncing the Catholic religion and how the bishops lived in opulence while the people were in poverty. This led to the whole town converting to Protestant and heading ... read more
Counter Tunnel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Culloden September 14th 2011

The sun came out today and brightened our spirits considerably. Our first visit was an interpretive centre near the site of the Last battle between the Jacobites and the Government Forces. Here is where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army of Clansman that he gathered up from the Scottish highlands met the Government forces for their last battle after an exhausting march and a lack of food had already made them weak. It was a bloody battle and the Jacobites fought valiantly but exhaustion and bad conditions on the battlefield split their forces and the government forces were victorious, though many were lost. The government forces chased down every one of them who could still flee and killed the ones laying wounded on the field. Next we headed to Pitlochery for lunch, then up out of ... read more
Church with rear in ruins

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Isle of Skye September 13th 2011

Today we headed for the Isle of Skye. The trip there was amazing. From the bus you’re looking up 3-4000 feet to the top of a mountain covered in great foliage, when you round another corner and there’s one even taller. It was still raining so where there is a little crevice in the face of the mountain, today it was a white streak following gravity downward. Where these cracks come together to form a river you usually see a bridge across it somewhere. The bridges, like everything are made from stone and mortar and are almost always in the shape of an arch where it allows the river to flow underneath. Sheep farming is very prevalent in the Highlands and where you see a farm the sheep are usually kept in with a stone fence. ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Loch Ness September 12th 2011

Today we met up with our group. The only problem with bus tours is that you have to do them with other people. We were almost late for the bus, seems the times we were given with our tour information were not right. Luckily we sat at table with people who had started our tour 2 days earlier and they knew the drill. We toured north out of Glasgow, the narrow roads barely wide enough for our tour bus and the oncoming traffic at places. It was raining pretty hard and peering up at the soft green covered mountains from the road we could see rain induced rivers gushing water that looked like scars along their faces. Our trek took us along the lochs(pronounced lo-choking sound-s). First Loch Lochie then Loch Oich then Loch Ness. At ... read more
Photo 3

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Renfrewshire » Paisley September 11th 2011

Darkness is setting in in Toronto as we board the A330 for Glasgow. It’s hard to believe 400 people have paid good money for the opportunity to cram themselves into a 9 seat wide aluminum tube with wings for a 6 12 hour flight. The view of Toronto’s lights as the engines thrust us skyward into the night was breathtaking. We could just make out the moonlight glinting off Lake Ontario as we drifted overhead. The plane made a constant noise like a car window cracked open a bit at 120km/hr as it thrust itself through the air at about 400mph trying to make up time for the delay in Toronto. Sleep was almost impossible, trying to lean on each other or use our coats as pillows. About 1/2 way my legs started going crazly so ... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto September 10th 2011

Beautiful day on our last day in Ontario. Great trip down the four-zero-one to the park-n-fly. It's only a max 8 minute wait for a shuttle to come pick you up at the lot. I'm thinking that before our driver started it was probably a ten minute wait but his Nascar style driving(skillfully just barely keeping all 4 wheels of our mini bus on the road during 3g cornering) probably shaved 2 minutes off the trip. Vicki's monster suitcase tipped the scales at 20 kg(allowed 25) Whew!! Had golden ceasars and swiss chalet at a diner/bar. Now we have a 1 1/2 hour wait to board. 8 hours till Glasgow!!... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Applecross July 3rd 2011

We have to have new luggage!! Ours isn't big enough for a 2 week stay. Doug: This new one is so big we're going to have to tow it behind the rental car. It even has mag rims.... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Lochcarron June 10th 2011

Finally got everything booked through CAA travel. Agent was helpfull and probably got us some decent prices but we were unsure of her reliablily and made sure all bookings were confirmed. Our seats on the flight are supposed to be 2 seats together near a window, as opposed to 2 seats in a 3 or 4 seat configuration down the middle of the plane. This way we only have ourselves to deal with when getting up and we get a view, such as it will be on a night flight. The plan is to go on the Royal Scottish Tour - Scottish Wonder bus tour for the first week. Then for the second week will be a driving tour which we hope will include some geocaching in some very beautiful areas. ... read more

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