Great Scots!

Trip Start Apr 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hi everybody!

Our trip to Scotland was special for its opportunity to spend time with old friends, meet new friends, see lots of beautiful scenery and experience really high prices!

After our visit in Brackley, England (see previous entry), we had a long drive up to Scotland during which we saw more green hillsides, hedgerow and stone fences and sheep than we had ever imagined. Our Scotland experience started in Edinburgh. One of Melanie' colleagues, John, lives outside of Edinburgh and invited us to have stew and shortbread at his house followed by a driving tour of the town. This gave us a nice overview of the city. We had cold and rainy weather in Edinburg, which made the castle less enjoyable than on a sunny day - although still impressive. The castle, however, was no match for the new Scottish Parliament building. The Parliament building is a unique design with lots of wood, glass, metal and not a single right angle! We strolled the Royal Mile, had great pub food, toured the Royal Galleries and saw a really great student chamber music concert at St. Giles Church before moving on.

The next stop was Glasgow, where we toured many Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings. Mackintosh designed many building in the early 20th century and touring these is a highlight in Glasgow. We visited the Glasgow School of Art, The Willow Tea Rooms, and Hill House. Hill House was most interesting because it still has many of the original furnishings. Dave and Chris found the School of Art tour most interesting, however, because of the cute tour guide. :-)

After Glasgow we continued north through the highlands to the Isle of Skye. Skye feels very remote. The towns are small and few and the main attraction is the raw natural beauty. On Skye we did a lot of hiking - again in raw, blustery weather - and saw beautiful vistas along the way. To dry out a bit we toured the Tallisker distillery and tried a wee nip of the smokey whiskey. Skye also allowed us to meet another new friend. Steve's friend David (yes, a 3rd David!) lives on Skye so we stopped in for a coffee and a chat one afternoon.

On the way back to Edinburgh we, of course, had to stop in Loch Ness to see the Loch Ness monster! Scotland is filled with these beautiful lochs surrounded by green hillside and castles in various states of ruin.

After a week of beautiful countryside, lots of hiking, and expensive food and drink (thanks to a weak dollar), we dropped Dave and April back at the airport, picked up David in Brackley and drove back to Dover for the ferry crossing to France and the drive back home.

Getting into the countryside and feeling the fresh air was a great break for us. Browse the photo album to get a feel of the fresh air. And if you'd like to see more pictures, here's a link to Dave's photos. from the trip.

Happy travels!
Melanie and Chris

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