Page 3 of NigelR Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 16th 2012

Woke up to a sunny day and I did a run through the pentlands one last time! Nice to have a few dry days in a row! After changing our minds several times on how to spend our final day, we came upon another Highland Games right across the Forth Road bridge in Burntisland. This is quite close, only 45 minutes away and just across the firth. So, off we went! This one was similar to the one in Alva with quite a large midway behind the central field where the actual competitions were held. Once we found a good place to sit and watch all the events, we started to recognize quite a few familiar faces! Several cyclists, runners and even heavies guys that we have seen at either one or both of the previous ... read more
Heats for the 90m adult race
More highland flings

Today was the day of Nigel's big race!!! I got in an early run before we left and then we drove to Kelso, about 1 hour and 15 minutes away. The day was bright and sunny, cool and dry!!!! Perfect weather for a run. The race was fairly flat and fast. Nigel was very pleased with his race and felt great afterwards. He got a medal as a keepsake and of course there were some Scottish oatcakes in his racer package. His run included running around the Floors Castle which was gorgeous. Beautiful setting for a race again. The castle is actually still inhabited by a duke and duchess so is perfectly maintained. Afterwards, we made our way east and actually drove into England!! We arrived in Berwick-Upon-Tweed which is just across the Scotland-England border. This ... read more
Battlement Wall
Nice place for a round of golf

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Stirlingshire » Stirling July 14th 2012

We got a fairly early start today so that we could make it to the Loch Lomond Highland Games held at the south end of the largest lake in Scotland. The town was called Balloch and rightly so!!! Ballochs - the games had been cancelled and rescheduled for September.....well, what about our needs! The website, as recent as last night, showed nothing about the cancellation. We debated whether to stay in the area and take in the sights or to find another highland games. We decided, since there was another games not too far away (although we had already driven past it earlier that morning....) in Alva and so we headed there. On the up side, these games were a little smaller than those in Balloch and did not start up until lunch time so we ... read more
Throwing the hammer
Throwing weight for distance
Tossing the caber

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Fife July 13th 2012

Started off with another dry (what?! can this be?) run and then headed across the Forth Bridge to The Kingdom of Fife. Another lovely day although not the sunshine we had yesterday. Oh well, no rain so we won't complain. First stop today was Dunfermline Abbey and Palace. This is actually where Robert the Bruce was buried (except for his heart which is buried at Melrose Abbey). He spent a great deal of time at this abbey and after it was largely destroyed in the war, he funded a major portion of the rebuild. His name is built right into one of the towers in carved stone. After the abbey and palace, we walked the High Street and did a little shopping. Next stop was a little village called Aberdour. Very quaint (although Nigel had thought ... read more
Robert the Bruce's church
Robert the Bruce's noggin

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ayrshire » Ayr July 12th 2012

We woke to a....wait for it....wait for it....sunny day!!! Got in a nice dry pleasant run! Woohoo! Then off on our road trip to the other coast. First stop was Craiglethan Castle. This one was built beside a ravine which is unusual. It was built by the most famous builder of defensive castles although this castle did not survive the wars (ironically). Next we went on to Bothwell Castle to represent Patrick and Catharine! It was very cool. There was the original Donjon from 1242. Then the castle was built up from there in the 1300's and the chapel was added in the 1400's. Building projects back in the day seemed to last decades. The first Lord or Baron would start but it would be his son that saw the project through to completion. Anyway, the ... read more
Gorgeous sunny day
Bothwell Castle
Fake sword

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » East Lothian » North Berwick July 11th 2012

After a run in the rain, we decided to get away from the morning rain shower, so we went and saw Ice Age 4. It was probably a lot like seeing it in Canada but we felt a need to get away from the rain for a bit. When it ended, the rain had stopped too! Lucky! So, after having a quick lunch back at home, we headed north and east towards North Berwick. The drive was lovely and our first stop was Seton Collegiate Church. This was an historic church that also had the remains of where 6 priests had lived beside the church. There was also the Castle next door which used to be owned by Lord Seton (a series of Lord Setons through the generations actually) but has been bought fairly recently by ... read more
Seton Collegiate Church
Tantallon Castle
Looking down over Tantallon

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Perthshire » Pitlochry July 10th 2012

Started off with a nice scottish breakfast (black pudding, haggis, white pudding, sausage, haggis, potato scones, toast, eggs, haggis, grilled tomatoes, and baked beans). Then off to Pilochry to see the Edradour distillery which is the smallest distillery in all of Scotland and incidently is Nigel's favourite scotch! The tour was fabulous and took us through the warehouse where there were many casks, the oldest of which was turning 50 years old next year. Many of these were casks of Edradour and there were also many casks from other either existing or no-longer existing distilleries where the owner of Edradour bought the casks and will later bottle them under the original scotch brand. We also saw the stills in action and a malting room. The entire distillery operation is done by 4 men. They showed a ... read more
That's a lot of scotch
Yet another piper!
Rachel dressed as a cotton mill worker

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian July 9th 2012

Today we had a rainy morning so put the run off till the afternoon and went to do some shopping. The Scottish family last night gave us some tips on where to shop so we went off to Livingston and found some Scottish paraphernalia. We were successful and then also went into M&S (Marks and Spencers) to get some food supplies. Home for lunch and a long run and by then the rain had basically stopped. Then visited the nearby Pentlands Nature Park to walk around the boardwalk loop (over a 15 foot thick peat bog floating on a couple metres of water - so don't step off the boardwalk!). Saw lots of slugs and some tiny frogs. Too much fog to see the tops of the pentlands. Out to the Spylaw Pub for a nice ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Perthshire July 8th 2012

It's not raining! Gorgeous morning and a good day for a running race! Drove to Crieff for Lori's 10km race and the kids' 1mile race. Weather was so nice we all ran in shorts and t-shirts! There were over 300 runners and about 40 kids racing too! Lori took off first for what was predicted to be a "mud fest" by the race organizers. Well, it most certainly did not disappoint if you were looking for mud! After a short start on a road, the next 5.5km were hilly trails,most of which were muddy and parts of which were like slogging through a pig pen! Mud up past the shoes! Her fear was a muddy messy wipeout which she managed to avoid.....whew! In spite of conditions, she had a great time and was very pleased with ... read more
Race piper
Being piped out for 10km
Russell and his fellow competitors

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 7th 2012

Today we really did get some rain. It must have rained heavily overnight (and we did hear warnings about flooding in England expected for today) so our backyard garden has turned into a small lake! Some of the roads on our drive were flooded over and one of the smaller highways was even closed and the water being pumped off! We managed to avoid that highway luckily. The rain/drizzle kept up for the whole morning and slowed in the afternoon to a mist. We headed out anyways to Linlithgow Palace where there was a special jousting exhibit on today. It was close by, under 30 minutes drive. We spent the first hour wandering the castle and checking out the various towers and views. They had put on several exhibits with interpreters dressed in period costumes. One ... read more
Front of castle
The towers

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