Blogs from United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London October 12th 2019

The ‘pock, pock’, of Wimbledon is like the ‘ping, ping’ of a submarine film; a unique soundtrack from my childhood. I got into tennis in the late 1960s, the era of John Newcombe, Rod Laver, and Billie Jean King. It was always good, and things got better in the 1970s with Martina Navratilova, and Jimmy Connors until, for me, the first superstar; Bjorn Borg. Between him and Abba, Sweden ruled the world. Naturally, I hated Borg because young women found him attractive and I wanted them to fancy me. I burned with jealousy as they screamed through his Wimbledon matches. Okay, he was champion several times but, as an apprentice telephone engineer in 1976, I felt I had the upper hand. He’s only a few years older than me and I view our lives as being ... read more
My wife with Simon le Bon
Four Umpires
Henperson Hill

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Anglesey October 12th 2019

What a beautiful island. Driving over the Britannia Bridge from mainland Wales is a delight. Holiday time. We had two weeks this summer driving round the coast of Anglesey from site to site, each one a treasure. From Beaumaris to Cemaes it's such a wonderful place. Rugged coastline and coastal villages and proper British pubs a plenty. We came across this fantastic Anglesey camping guide earlier this year which was a great help in our planning. We stopped at 5 different sites over the two weeks and made it our mission to walk as much of the coastal path as we could. Here are our highlights: 1. Cemaes Bay This place tops the list. A lovely village with a picturesque harbour and three good pubs in the centre. The stag is a great find and the ... read more

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

I started planning my 2020 vacation early to be able to use my frequent flyer miles which become available 330 days before my flight. Linda and I plan to visit Scotland 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. I can't book my return flights until 14 October. Before doing so I checked to make sure that I could redeem my miles should something happen in the next 330 days that would ... 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

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland October 5th 2019

We must have had a heck of a tailwind because Sara said we were an hour early arriving in Edinburgh. Still a 6 hour flight and it's darned near impossible to sleep well sitting up. Outside the airport it was cool and breezy as we walked to catch the tram to our hotel on Waterloo Place. We bought tickets (good through Monday) for the hop-on-hop-off buses along with entry tickets to some of the attractions. We got on one of the buses and rode the full circuit to get an idea of what we wanted to see, but were so worn out that we kept falling asleep. After lunch, Faye and I walked back to the hotel while Sara and Helen went in search of a knee brace for my right knee that has decided to ... read more
Scott Monument
Arthur's Seat

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