Too bad, more Scotland.
The next day were picked up for our tour around Scotland. Craig was our driver/guide (www.mini-tours.com) and he managed to put up with all of us for 4 days! I am not sure anyone would knowingly take on that task but I will have to say I think we behaved quite well. If anyone is looking for a guide for Scotland, England or Ireland you should definitely give Craig a ring.
The van. I sat up front with Craig. That was a little strange. Not sitting with Craig...but sitting on the left hand side of the car and not driving the vehicle! I only had one real freak out moment but I will have to say you never quite get used to the right hand turns!
Believe it or not, Craig could actually make us all shut up and listen!
I can't keep my days straight but here was the itinerary:
Edinburgh to Ft. William
Ft. William to Inverness
Inverness to Perth
Perth to Edinburgh (by way of St. Andrews)
The days began to blend together so I will just post pictures and tell you where they were but not necessarily in order...sorry!
The cousins at Stirling Castle
Just hanging out in the Queen's chair
A quick stop on the side of the road in the highlands of Scotland. I swear we could have stopped every 1/4 mile there were so many gorgeous views!
The 7 of us
I mentioned shoes as being essential to the fashion of this trip. They also needed to be extremely functional. Not only for walking, but for warmth. I don't think I would have made it without my new Nike's and my Uggs. Lambswool lined boots were just the answer in the wind and cold of Scotland! I almost didn't pack them but couldn't be happier I lugged them over there. Of course, one can't wear stretchy black pants and Uggs everyday so the Nike's were a close second in terms of best shoes for this trip!
Ok, enough about shoes. Scotland is full of history dating back 4 or 5,000 years! It is really incredible to be experiencing the history that you read about in textbooks first hand. When we were at Stirling Castle there were loads of kids on field trips. While we were going to the Arch for the 12th time, these kids are visiting castles that are hundreds of years old! And believe me, that have a lot to choose from!
We saw (palaces and castles):
-Old Inverlochy Castle
-Tower of London
-St. Andrews Castle
As many as you see, they never get old. Each has their own history of turmoil, battles, and royalty to go along with it.
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness
Lindsay (our marine) in front of the Commando Marine memorial
Hamish the highland cow (or coo as the Scot's say). He ate an apple right out of Lindsay's mouth!
Looking for Nessy (or is it Nessie?)...as you will recall, I found her later!
Me and Erin in front of Loch Ness
Cousins at Clava Cairns (4 or 5,000 years old). These rock structures used to have domes on top and are thought to be used for some kind of burial.
As one of the cousins noted, "they like to stand in front of things that are older than them". This stone is older than Stonehenge!
Culloden Battlefield...the fall of the clans
Speaking of clans...as I mentioned we are Scottish (among a lot of other things). Cynthia did some genealogy research awhile back and discovered that we were most likely associated with the MacNab clan. While some are more skeptical than others, I enjoyed learning a bit about our far off past (that may or may not be 100% accurate-I'll take Cynth's word for it!). We drove through where the clan resided...Perthshire! Very fun!
Ok, I am exhausted from uploading and typing. Time for a break. More some time!