Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe

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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 19th 2019

We leave sunny and warm Niagara on the Lake today for a 3 week trip to Scotland. It will be a touring trip without golf, although we will stop in St. Andrews. The current plan is a week stay in and around Edinburgh and a self driving tour through Spey, Inverness, Western Highlands, Isle of Sky, and Glasgow. This is our first time in Scotland and we’re looking forward to the experience A friend and neighbour, Doug Gibson, who immigrated from Scotland a few years ago and still has the accent, has been giving us some language training and other advice. He loaned us a book, “How the Scots Invented the Modern World” by Arthur Herman. It is highly recommended for those interested in Scottish history. It’s amazing how influential tiny Scotland has been over the ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 21st 2019

Wie ihr wahrscheinlich mitbekommen habt, gab es gestern keinen Blog. Nach einer kurzen Nacht auf der Fähre, der Fahrt nach Edinburgh und dem Proclaimers Konzert im Edinburgh Castle war ich einfach zu müde. Auf der Fahrt gestern nach Edinburgh sind wir an der Tay Bridge vorbei gekommen. Wahrscheinlich kennt ihr folgendes Gedicht: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Brück’_am_Tay Genau diese Brücke habe ich gesehen. Man sieht sogar noch die alten Brückenpfeilerstümpfe der eingestürzten Brücke. Die Schotten waren ganz verwundert, dass wir vom Einsturz wussten und wir erzählten ihnen vom Gedicht. Heute haben wir Melrose Abbey und Rosslyn Chapel besucht. https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melrose_Abbey Melrose ist eine Ruine und der Ort der letzten Ruhestätte des Herzens von Robert the Bruce. Es gab einen wunderbaren gratis Audio Guide, der uns über zwei Stunden in Ba... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 21st 2019

Our vacation is beginning to wind down, but there is still so much more to do. Today was our second day in Edinburgh. One thing is interesting, that is the pronouncing of the word Edinburgh. Although it looks like it should be EDIN BUROUGH, it is actually, EDIN BORO. Kinda cool. Today we spent the day with William Wallace and Robert de Bruce. Now, many of you may have seen the Mel Gibson movie, Braveheart, the story of these two great men from Scottish history. Although a great movie, it is highly inaccurate, so take it with a grain of salt. Wallace and Robert were an integral part of the Scottish revolution for Scottish independence. There are many, many stories of their heroic actions. One interesting story involves the castle we visited today. In the early ... read more
Blair Castle
Armaments in Blair Castle
Drawing room Blair Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 20th 2019

The sun has come out to grace our tour today. First stop Blair castle, a 700 year old Victorian style mansion redesigned in the 1700s into a castle. This is the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl (or Athole) of the Highlands, a title granted to the first Duke in the 1703 by Queen Ann. The Duke must be from the Murray line and must be directly related in ancestry. When the last Duke died, there were no heirs. So the search began for a replacement. They found a distant cousin now living in South Africa. Bruce Murray was thus named the 12th duke of Atholl A heritage fund was set up in 1936 to manage the castle and it was opened to the public. The site is 11,400 acres and not only includes the ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh January 9th 2019

Day 39-43: Really great to be back - that's both genuine and satire. Offered 'gear' within 60 seconds of getting off the bus in london - seems to be an international pattern emerging. 15 person dorms provided a real lack of sleep mind. Higher proportion of old men also. Using trains and buses further cementing my intentions to work here in the short/mid-term future. British country side does have a distinctive aesthetic. Eye gouging costs mind you. Some great stories from my time at the grandparents. A notable stand out being one about a Ram shagging himself tired and requiring a lift back to the farm. Learning about grandads endeavours around Europe in a Fiat 500 also amused me. 5 hour discussion around the table on Christmas day. Very grateful for the progresses in heart surgery. Return ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 1st 2018

Note on a question about marrying in a blacksmith shop from yesterday: It was the law in Scotland that anyone could marry you if you stated you wanted to marry. Actually, you could even be “handfasted” by just reciting vows stating your intention. That was not the case in England. Thus the dash to the border by those who, for whatever reason such as parental disagreement, “ran for the border” to get married. The Blacksmith Shop was the first building on the border. Those to get married shared their vows from opposite sides of that anvil if the blacksmith shop was where you exchanged your vows. Another little tidbit we got was the fact that depending on where you said your vows, either outside or in a room in the house...THAT was the place you had ... read more
We are on top floor in this newer area of hotel
Back lawn view at our hotel
Front entrance to Norton House Hotel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 30th 2018

We pulled out at 8:00 as per usual on a transfer/travel day. The start of our day was with 50ish degrees temperature, cloudy and a misty rain which changed to sun about the time we crossed the Scottish border! We have been very lucky in our weather so far...perfect in fact. We passed a much more industrial area on our drive on first part of day on our way through the Liverpool /Manchester area on M6 going north. We saw part of a 30 mile canal built from the Irish Sea from Liverpool to Manchester, England. We saw Manchester in the distance. We stopped at Grasmere in the Lake District National Park for a coffee/bathroom break. We bought some gifts at The Grasmere National Park Heritage Trust Store. The tallest mountain in England is in this ... read more
Stacked Stone houses.
Mountains going through Grasmere National Park
Grasmere Parish Church

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 11th 2018

Tom went out and got our standard Scottish fare from around the corner (bacon & egg McMuffin and a latte) while I got myself organised then we crossed the road to the major bus stop across the road for our Rabbies Outlander Adventure (and our tour guide is wearing a kilt). Outlander is a TV series based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve owned the books (and obtained their author’s autograph) for years. Love them and love the Tv series. Tom watches it with me, for the action, adventure and Scottish history. I watch it for the love and romance between Jamie and Claire, and the touch of family history. Leaving Edinburgh we went across the new Queensferry Bridge, the third bridge across the firth of the Forth (across the mouth of the ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 10th 2018

Wow! Early brekky today, just to be sure everything goes smoothly. We motored up the Thames as we ate, and the watched the docking procedures from our balcony. Tilbury is very significant for me, for I know that my grandparents (who I grew up with but now know are not my biological grandparents), my biological grandparents, and my great grandparents all boarded ships here at Tilbury in the 1920s to migrate to Australia. What a huge step that was for them to take. As we dock I notice that the tide is out and the mudflats of the Thames are exposed (back in the old days scavengers had ”territories” in the mudflats, areas that were theirs to see what the tide had left behind to scavenge and raise money from). Other ports had hitech buffers attached ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 27th 2018

When I found some cheap bus tickets to go to Edinburgh I was quite up for visiting Scotland for the first time. What I didn't realise was how long and boring 10 hours on a bus by myself would be. Clearly I was not prepared to go all the way back two days later on the same bus. This is when I came across Corinne's post on Couchsurfing who was looking for hitchhiking partner down to London. This sounded perfect and I decided to meet her in a charity shop she was working in. When I met Corinne I instantly liked her. She was friendly and very chatty. She told me about her recent hitchhiking experience and the plan she had getting us down to London. The next day early morning we met to start our ... read more
managed to a lift in a truck
off we go
so far have we gone




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