About Me

I live in Tasmania with my husband of 40 years and have a daughter in Melbourne and a son in Launceston. My interests are quilting, theatre, reading, gardening, travel. I work as a chartered accountant.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Scotland Part 1

Our first stop in Scotland was at Gretna Green and, yes, there were a few wedding parties to be seen. It is all very commercial but some interesting buildings.

And our first glimpse of "The Highland Coos"

We arrived in Edinburgh that night and the next morning did a tour of the city and the Castle. We drove up to Arthur's Seat which looms over the city - a beautiful escape from the city.And lovely views towards Edinburgh Castle and the inevitable golf course.

Another view of the castle.

And a drive up The Royal Mile where the old pubs and building abound.

The statues in the forecourt of the castle were being hidden by the scaffolding which is erected each year for the tattoo. The area for the tattoo is much smaller than we envisaged.

The rock that the castle is built on.

More views of the castle.

As it was Anzac Day a service was given in this chapel - however it was so full of dignitaries that there wasn't any room left for the Aussies!

One of the great halls.

And looking down through a window.

A haze was over the city but this was taken from the castle.

St Margaret's Chapel within the Castle grounds.

And a view from the car park/tattoo grounds.

Looking down The Royal Mile.

And from Princes Street which was all pulled up for the reintroduction of trams.
In the evening we walked into the city from our hotel for a meal and watched this stunning sunset.

We left Edinburgh the next day and saw the Forth Railway Bridge.

Our first stop was St Andrews - this is the ruin of the cathedral and cemetry.

And the ruins of the castle.

And yes we did visit the golf club and even had a few hits on the putting green.

St Andrews Club House.

A brief stop at Dundee to see the Discovery which was the ship Scott sailed to the Antarctic - rather him than me!

Lunch was at Dunkeld - a delightful village.

We then visited Blair Castle the home of the Duke of Atholl.

The surrounding gardens are beautiful.

Up into the highlands of Scotland.

The ruins of Ruthven Barracks near Newtonmore where we drank a toast to Bonnie Prince Charlie. This is the place where he conceded defeat and then escaped to the Isle of Skye.

Some baby cows were interested in the parade of tourists walking up to the barracks.

A lone piper appeared as we drank the toast with the best Drambui - I have now acquired a taste for this liqueur.

That night we stayed at The Laggan Country Hotel - a real country pub - we could have spent a week relaxing there.
The view from the hotel - apparently at certain times of the year this area becomes a lake.

Our next day was spent travelling North and our first stop was at the Clava Cairns - a burial ground from 2000 B C with stones set in such a way to fall in line for both the Winter and Summer Soltice.
The burial mounds were built in such a way that you could walk into them.

Just down the road was the site of the Battle of Culloden. The new interpretation centre was very interesting and extremely moving. Imagine these fields full of marauding English and Scottish fighting to the death.

The cottage remains and was where they treated the wounded.

Then onto Loch Ness - and no we didn't see the monster.

The gentleman who lives here has spent a large part of his life looking for Nessie - he had lots of kitch souvenirs.

Lunch was in Inverness.

We then drove up the East Coast and stopped at Bruro for a coffee break - a delightful fishing village set on the North Sea.

And this was the local golf course!

We finally arrived at Thurso where we were to spend 2 nights.

Our next excursion was to the Orkney Islands and we left from John O'Groates on the Pentland Venture. Fortunately it was a calm crossing.

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