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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Glencoe June 17th 2019

Today our journey to the Bonnie Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond begins with an unusual sight, the sun. This is the first morning where old Sol decided to grace us with his presence. The green of Scotland is magnificent under sunny skies. A word about Tour Director. Imaging doing a job where you play mother to 30 people you have never met, all of whom have some preconceived notions about travel, food, vacation, accommodations, and needs. Imagine also, that you are on call 24 hours a day, have to plan each days activities, and make sure everyone is safe, happy, and on time. This is just a small concept of the Tour Director’s job. No matter what tour company you use, the Tour Director is critical to the quality and enjoying your tour. To add insult ... read more
Our cruise ship on the Loch
High Street Fort William Scotland
Hogwarts is everywhere

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Lanarkshire » Glasgow June 16th 2019

Today dawned a little wet; as we hit the bus, there was a very light drizzle. As we departed Liverpool to head toward the lake district, the skies opened up. Our coach driver was fortunate in a way; he had to deal with wet weather but no traffic. Oh well… we settled in for the two hour trip to the lakes. Our first stop was a bit unique: a ride on a steam locomotive. Due to the light traffic, we arrived quite early, in plenty of time to enjoy a scone and coffee. Here we learned firsthand about the great scone controversy. It seems the cities of Devon and Cornwall differ on how one should eat a scone with clotted cream and jam. Devon puts the cream on first and the jam covering the cream. Cornwall ... read more
1900 steam engine
inside our train coach
Loch Windemere Ferry

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland May 28th 2019

What a relief-no more driving. Dropped the car off at Hertz-very dissapointing experience there to tarnish our last day-will explain below. Last day of vacation. Full travel day tomorrow. We left Stirling and made 2 castle stops our way to Edinburgh. We really liked our B&B in Stirling. Perfected situated just outside of town so it was quiet, but just a short walk to the Castle and the downtown restaurants. As you will see in the photos..it was a SUNNY DAY. Our first in a couple of weeks. Our first stop today was Linlithgow Castle. This is a shell, but you can climb all over it. For Outlander fans, this is the castle they used it for Wentworth Prison. You can see 5 or 6 stories clearly. Lots of pics below. It is a huge complex. ... read more
Linlithgow Castle
Up on the ramparts of Linlithgow Castle
Castle was 5 or 6 stories high

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Roxburghshire » Hawick May 28th 2019

Blog 1 22 May 2019 Dear all – the travelling golfers are currently in Scotland enjoying cool sunny weather. Arrived in Edinburgh on 15th May. Picked up a hire car at Edinburgh Airport and drove straight to Crail Golf Course which is on the sea about 30 minutes from St Andrews. Had a nice round happening until we hit the tough Par 3’s and a few long Par 4’s on the back nine holes. That soon wrecked the scores and by then the sea mist was rolling in making it difficult to see the ball. It was an amazing course that had some quaint and interesting history attached to it. For example a cave where centuries ago Constantine was killed by the Vikings and a beach where a ship with the mother of Mary, Queen of ... read more
400 year old Weeping Birch
1607 artwork
Abbey in Jedburgh

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Stirlingshire May 27th 2019

We heard some interesting anecdotes today. Not sure if they are true - you be the judge. We drove to the historic town of Culross, a village trapped in time and now being preserved by the National Trust of Scotland. While touring the main house in town, we came to to the large dining room. The docent told us where some phrases originated: In the dining room was a long table, which she said is really just a Board placed on a trestle that could be dismantled when not in use to make more room. So...the table is called a Board. 1. According to the laws of hospitality in Scotland back then, if someone knocked on your door you were obligated to provide a room and shelter for the night. If you also provided them a ... read more
I guess that dates the garden
Nice garden feature
Exterior view of the main house from the garden terrace

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Stirlingshire May 26th 2019

Last night we walked down the street for dinner (in the rain of course). We went to Clan MacDuff restaurant. It was pretty good. They had a tasting of 4 local whiskeys so I tried that. Pictures here in the blog with the descriptions. My favorite was the 1st one and my least favorite was the last one, from the islands with the smokey flavor. I had the sea bass on top of potatoes and rocket (very grassy salad greens) with shrimp and chorizo. Pics in the blog. Dot chose the fish of the day - haddock lightly crusted in pistachio crumbs. Both pretty good. For dessert I decided to stray away from chocolate for a change and tried the Bread and Butter Pudding. The waiter suggested having it with both custard and ice cream - ... read more
Since we walked to dinner....
Detail of the 4 whiskeys
Sea bass on top of mashed potatoes (hidden underneath)

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands May 25th 2019

Too tired to write last night, so you are stuck with two days worth. We have decided we must be weak hikers. Everyone around us is going on these super long hikes. They German guy who sat next to us at breakfast was going to catch a bus, hike up to Old Man of Storr, but then walk back to the B&B. Easily 30 miles. We drove both ways of course and just did the hiking part of the hike. Oh well. We still have fun. We said goodbye to the Isle of Skye yesterday and made our way to Fort William. Instead of leaving by the Skye Bridge, we took the ferry with our car. It was my first car ferry. They really pack the cars in there. I didn't think there was anyway everyone ... read more
Another bridge
Pretty view on Isle of Skye
Harbor where we will catch the Ferry

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands May 23rd 2019

It's official: we are starting to blend in. We were walking through downtown Portree on the Isle of Skye and some guy on the street needed help and asked if we were locals. Plus, at dinner tonight we weren't engaging in conversations with our neighbors because we were surrounded by strange languages. But when the guy at the next table went to use the WC, I asked his girlfriend if they were on Holiday. They are on holiday and are from the Netherlands. She asked if we were from Skye! And that was after I opened my mouth! We have been gone over a week and we have become so European, and we still have almost a week left! We started the day with a drive to a new hiking spot: The Fairy Pools Hike. I ... read more
One of the many waterfalls we hiked to this morning
This entire area was gorgeous
Top of one of the hikes

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland May 22nd 2019

Today was our first full day on the Isle of Skye. After breakfast at our B&B we headed out for sightseeing and hiking. The scenery on the Isle of Sky is breathtaking and the pictures don't begin to do it justice. It is an island, so a lot of the driving was along the rugged coastline. It was a challenging drive this morning: a one lane narrow road with 2 -way traffic. There are many niches along the road for you to pull over slightly so the oncoming traffic can drive past you. It is a constant game of chicken. After a while I got used to it, until we turned off the main (1-lane) road onto a a much narrower 1 lane road. That was more challenging, but we got lucky and didn't have to ... read more
You can almost see the waterfall
Chris at one of the many scenic overlooks
Baby sheep hiding under the picnic table

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands May 21st 2019

Italics are Dot's comments Note: If you click on the first picture within the blog, you can scroll through all the pictures and skip the blog. :) Isle of Sky Poem (and the theme song from Outlander) Sing me a song of a lad that is gone, Say, could that lad be I? Merry of soul he sailed on a day, Over the sea to Skye. Instead of sailing, we are driving to Skye today. From Inverness to the Isle of Skye. It is a very scenic drive and luckily, pretty easy 2 lane road driving. We had several stops planned along the way. The beginning of the drive was along Loch Ness, so of course we had to stop at the cheesy Loch Ness visitor center. It was surprisingly interesting and worth the stop. Then ... read more
Chris with the submarine that looked for the Loch Ness Monster
Urquhart Castle, with Loch Ness in the background
My favorite toy, the Trebuchet




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