Blogs from Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe - page 3


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Outer Hebrides » South Uist October 23rd 2019

First and foremost this vacation ended on Na h-Eileanan Siar, the Western Isles in the Outer Hebrides, on the Isle of Barra not South Uist, I couldn't work out how to add that to the list of options under Outer Hebrides so there we are. I also can't speak Gaelic so forgive me if I make mistakes in any names I type of this stunning place. This holiday, a year after our amazing vacation in Florida, couldn't have been more different, rugged off grid with no cell service or WiFi, battered by the elements we had an equally, albeit totally different trip this year. Things have been hectic, I gave most of the update in the last blog I just published but I've taken on a new role in my company that involves a lot more ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland October 16th 2019

Scotland is just one of the places. We loved it last time we were here pre-kids and enjoyed showing our girls around this time. It was cold and wet, but we managed to do most of what we wanted and even had some snow on the hills behind our accommodation. Our ancestors hail from Scotland. My great-grandmother and Murray's grandfather were Scottish. With my dad a bag-piping man and myself and my sister highland dancers in our day, we seem to still have a strong connection with Scotland. When we named our girls, we choose somewhat unusual middles names. Of their 2 middle names one is an ancestral, Scottish name. That meant that when we visited some family history places, the girls seemed to cling more to their names sites. This was cool to watch actually ... read more
Edinburgh castle
View over to Edinburgh castle from the Camera Obscura

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland October 12th 2019

After breakfast in the hotel dining room, we headed out for our final day in Scotland. Our first stop was the Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry, which they claim is the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland. They make single malt scotch whiskey and we took their tour, which including a tasting of some of their products. It has a pretty site and friendly folks. We were also gifted with tea mugs and whiskey glasses. It was an interesting tour of the vats and storage facilities. I was surprised to learn that they use American oak bourbon barrels for storing some of their whiskeys. From there we drove to Glamis to visit the Glamis Castle, childhood home of the late Queen Mother. It is currently the home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, with beautiful gardens and ... read more
Edradour Distillery
Edradour Distillery
Edradour Distillery

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Inverness October 11th 2019

After breakfast, again at the Isle of Skye Baking Co., we headed back to the mainland on our way to Loch Ness. Rain and heavy traffic slowed us down and we arrived at Urquhart Castle after 11:30, so we decided to come back to it after our cruise on Loch Ness. It turned out we could upgrade our cruise tickets to include a stop at the castle for less than the price we would have had to pay to see the castle. It drizzled a bit as we began our cruise, but cleared shortly after getting underway. We even enjoyed seeing a rainbow as we neared the castle. The castle dates back to 1509 and is now just ruins, but still picturesque. Loch Ness is beautiful. Nessie, however, did not show. After cruising back to our ... read more
Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle from Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Isle of Skye October 10th 2019

We stopped for breakfast at Isle of Skye Baking Company, which had beautiful baked goods including a selection of gluten free. I had a wonderful breakfast of a gluten-free bacon and onion quiche and some toasted gluten free bread with butter and strawberry jam. When we left there, I carried with me the rest of that loaf of bread and two gluten free brownies. From there we drove to Idrigill where we stopped to take some pictures, then on to the fairy glens. The hillsides there were almost corrugated and it was fairy-like. Sara and Helen climbed a couple of the hills, while Faye and I stood in the drizzle and watched. It was charming, rain or no, with sheep grazing around us. We then took a narrow track to Quiraing, which is a ridge in ... read more
Fairy Glens
Fairy Glens
Fairy Glens

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland October 9th 2019

We were up early this morning and on the road a little after 7:30. We arrived at Glencoe Visitor Center about 15 minutes before they opened, but we just waited out of the rain. Glencoe is a National Nature Reserve in the care of the National Trust of Scotland. It consists of about 14,000 acres of some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen. After checking out the visitor center and enjoying a coffee, we drove along A82 for about 10 miles or so, stopping frequently to take pictures. Then we turned around and drove through again enjoying the return perspective. It was spectacular, even in the rain and fog. I'd love to see it in the sunshine, too. From there we drove to Eilean Donan Castle built in 1215 on a point of land ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Oban October 8th 2019

Today we were supposed to go on a boat cruise to the islands of Mull, Iona, and Staffa, but it was cancelled yesterday afternoon. Today was windy, cold and rainy, so cancelling was not a bad idea. The bay was full of whitecaps and farther out looked quite rough, too. So we slept late, dawdled over showers, and only left the flat when it was time to go eat lunch. Helen wasn't feeling well, so she and Faye went to the soup shop while Sara and I headed to the waterfront for seafood at the fish shack. It was a good choice on our part as I ate prawn cocktail and Sara had a smoked salmon sandwich and 4 fresh oysters. Afterwards we met Helen and Faye at a coffee shop for dessert and COFFEE. Later ... read more
McCaig's Tower
McCaig's Tower
McCaig's Tower

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 8th 2019

Linda and I started planning our 2020 vacation early to be able to use our frequent flyer miles which become available 330 days before our flights. We planned to visit Scotland, the land of her paternal ancestors, in September to avoid the crowds associated with the Edinburgh Festivals in August and to avoid the midges (no-see-ums) that swarm during the summer. I also like the autumn the best of all seasons! And I arranged our schedule to coincide with the Blairgowrie Highland Games to be held on Sunday, 6 September 2020. So I booked our flights, departing Colorado Springs on 2 Sep 2020; arriving in Edinburgh on 3 Sep and returning home on 14 September. Before doing so I checked to make sure that I could redeem my miles should something happen in the next 330 ... read more
Bagpipers at Glen Coe on our second visit to Scotland in 1980
The Firth of Fourth Bridge on my thrid visit to Scotland in 1986
Our fourth visit to Scotland in 1994 at Urquart Castle on Loch Ness

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Outer Hebrides October 7th 2019

Sara and Helen were up and out early to pick up the rental car. We finally were able to get on the road around 8:30, with Sara driving and me navigating. She did great driving on the left side of the road, but I would be startled every now and then, especially after a turn, thinking we were on the wrong side. We had planned to stop for breakfast somewhere once we were out of the city, but couldn't seem to find anyplace. We finally got to Falkirk around 10:30 and had breakfast (yay! coffee!) around 10:30 at the Kelpies visitor center. The rain had stopped (mostly) but the wind was blustery. We got to Stirling and the Stirling Castle in the rain again. After a fairly brief tour we drove on to Doune and Doune ... read more
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Wigtownshire October 6th 2019

We were up early this morning, off to see the castles. It was drizzling rain, but, hey, this is Scotland. That's what rain jackets are for. Onto the bus for the trip to Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the royal family still stays when they are in Edinburgh. Lots of rooms, lots of tapestries, lots of furniture, even though they consider it small and cozy. They even Megan Markle's wedding dress on display. But you can't take pictures inside the palace. The palace was constructed on top of and next to the ruins of the old Holyrood Abbey, parts of which still stand. We thought we would take the bus from there to the Edinburgh Castle, but the Royal Mile closes to vehicle traffic on the first Sunday of every month. So, we walked up (and I ... read more
Sara in front of Holyrood Palace
Charlie in front of Holyrood

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