Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Scotland

 At the beginning of June I went to Scotland and Ireland.  I'll get to Ireland in my next post, but I'll start where I started....Scotland.  I've been blessed to be able to travel a lot of different places, and I have to admit the draw for Scotland and Ireland is that my Mom's side of the family is from that corner of the world.  My Mom has been a bit of a black sheep in the family with her red hair (and blue eyes, which she wasn't kind enough to pass along to me or my brother, but my aunt and cousins all acquired).  We knew through family history and her grandparent's last names that they were Irish and Scottish, but that's about all because they immigrated in the late 1600's.  All this to say, I don't know if I loved Scotland so much because it felt like I was finding my roots.  I don't know if I loved it so much b/c our guide was fabulous.  I don't know if I loved it so much because they were having this crazy string of sunny weather.  But....I loved it and feel homesick just looking at these photos. As a Christian, in a family where I was taught about the faith (before making that choice) I often think back and wonder who first made that leap?  That's a story for another post, but I love Deuteronomy 7:9.
Back to Scotland.  We started by flying into Glasgow, Scotland.  One of our first stops was Glasgow Cathedral.  The grounds were stunning.
 The streets were cobbled, and these poppy wreaths were displayed around the cathedral in honor of those who served in their military past.  These were sort of an anchor for me-so very United Kingdomish....and sure enough I encountered the real variety on quite a few of our stops.
 No doubt all of that rain (which was saw very little of in Scotland) lead these countries to be as green as you have heard, as moss covered, and flower filled, and lush as all the stories, and....there is something pretty spectacular to be about to encounter all of those rain delivered jewels in the sunshine.
I'm not going to go into great details about each stop b/c....I've got my personal diaries for that, but our next journey was to move towards the Highlands.  It was so interesting to see the dramatic change of scenery that marks the lowlands and the highlands.
 We made a lot of stops at various battle sites (above) Glencoe, and lochs (including a boat ride to find Nessie).  Below isn't Loch Ness, it's just another loch we passed, but serious,this photo was from a moving car window.....so can you imagine how beautiful the day if it was even pretty at that speed?
 I think each season has it's flower, but what I noticed a long the roads the ENTIRE way were these 'weeds' called Gorse, and little white daisies all over the fields.  I know they call them weeds, but.....I loved them all.  Apparently the Heather blooms in August (marking that down on my to do list).
 Just a little side note-I thought haggis was something they USED to eat in Scotland and we heard about it a lot b/c it was so strangely made.  No.  It was served at every breakfast I attended and several dinners.  I did NOT try the haggis.  I have nothing to prove.  BUT I did try all the caramel and toffee filled desserts I could get my hands on.
 We spent one evening at the Newton Hotel.  It was this adorable manor house Charlie Chapman had frequented and they had two Hairy Coos on site.
 It was a 10 minute walk from a first that lead to the North Sea passed some pretty stunning houses.
We then journeyed back down and spent some time in St Andrew.  I think this was one of my favorite stops.  I'm not a golfer, but we got to see the famous greens, and then I walked to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedrals and around to the shops and sites in the (very walkable) college town.  
Our final nights in Scotland were spent in Edinburgh.  I wasn't sure what to expect, except that everyone said this was their favorite city.  I see why.  First off, you've got that impressive castle built high on the rock.  
 It was a steep walk up, but the views were worth it from the top.  I went and saw the crown jewels in the castle and was accidentally present for their daily cannon demonstration.
 As soon as you exit the castle grounds you are in an old part of the city called the Royal Mile.  This is full of pubs and shops.  I think I visited each shop, even though it's a lot of the same, though I did come across some stands selling locally made crafts where I was able to stock up on some gifts for family back home.
 After two days in Edinburgh, we headed down to the Irish Sea and took a ferry across to Ireland.  That's for another blog post.  But, Scotland I puffy heart you and I'll be back!  It was truly just a taste of a pretty fabulous country.

1 comments:

frances said...

I was born inGlasgow, and came to Canada when I was 7. My family is all still there, I'm the only one here. My heart will always belong to Scotland. I go home almost every year. Cheers. Glad you love it too