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Published: June 13th 2011
After the wedding in the south of France we headed back to Paris for a final farewell. Went to Giverny by bus to visit Monet's garden. Unfortunately it was a holiday in France, and the garden had been heavily promoted within France, so the crowds were HUGE. Still it was lovely. Our final night in Paris was a flaming sucess, and we were given a warm farewell. Or at least Graeme was - the waiter spilled flaming Grand Marnier into his lap when flaming his crepe!!! No lasting damage, but I think the waiter may have PTSD as a result - to say nothing of Graeme.
Eurostar to London. Our hotel in Russell Square was a pleasant surprise, with our room being quiet, clean and spacious. Hop on Hop off bus tour of all major sights, with highlight being London tower and Crown Jewels. Cruise on the Thames to Greenwich Village, and back to Westminter Abbey. Visited Harrods - huge shop - very expensive, and more attendants than customers.
Train to Edinburgh - 4 and half hour trip. Stayed 2 nights. Royal mile and tour of the underground vaults in the Medieval city. Thunder storm over Edinburgh castle while
we were there - got a bit wet, but soldiered on. Hop on Hop of bus tour of the city. Nice dinner at the Mussell Inn one night, and a Scottish dinner and show at Prestonfield Estate - very commercial, but fun.
Bus to Inverness where we picked up our little car. Spent 3 hours trying to find accomodation in Inverness that night - apparently Inverness is unable to cope with increased tourism. The fact that Rockness was on may have been some contribution, but unlikely. 3 nights in Inverness where we circumnavigated Loch Ness - awesome scenery- day at Findhorn, and Findhorn Community - Culloden moor which was very bleak and moving. Lots of commemorative stones etc.
Went to Aviemore to our base for a week. Took the furnicular railway to the top of the Cairngorm mountains, and an afternoon at Loch Insh. Tomorrow the Orkney's where we hope to see Puffins, Standing stones and a neolithic site. 2 and half hour drive to John o Groats then a 45 min ferry trip to main Orkney island, where we pick up a tour.
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