Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Jul 20, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Monday, June 9, 2008

There were 3 things I wanted to see in Scotland.  Pipers, kilts and highland "coos"!
Flew into Glasgow from Belfast, all of about half an hour - tough!  Well Glasgow is a gutsy, vibrant city, and has a raw edge - murders and attacks reported while we were there.  The architecture is amazing, and not just the Rennie Mackintosh works.  Glaswegians are a fabulous lot.  From the start, people were amazingly friendly and helpful.  and in some places thats not the case!
Our hospitality guides - Alistair & Leah were on our doorstep minutes after we arrived to do a walking tour thru Kelvingrove Park, around Glasgow University (over 550 years old) and onto the very funky Ashton lane where we enjoyed a few ales!
Saw all sorts of things like the Museum & Art Gallery, the Transport Museum, Botanical Gardens, Contemporary Art Museum, Hunterian Museum (at the Uni), Mackintosh House, the Willow Tea Rooms, Merchant City and loads more.  
 The great thing is that all these things are free, the benefit of having a socialist government.  But no pipers, kilts or coos!
Leaving Glasgow, we picked up a brand new hire car - a Vauxhall Corsa - black with mag wheels!  And off to discover the north.   Well, did we see lochs and glens - there are heaps of them! 
Ended up at Isle of Skye which was amazing, and finally saw my highland coos, right in the middle of the road, and not moving!  1 down, 2 to go!
Then to Edinburgh  - kilts everywhere!!! Yay! 2 down, 1 to go!
Lastly to  Edinburgh and The Royal  Mile and lo and behold - a piper! Who played and played his little heart out!
3 out of 3!
It was great to catch up with our friend from Tasmanian exchange days, Lesley and her boys. Boy how time has passed. Last time she saw our kids, Tom was 4 and Laura a shy?? 18month old in a little wooly coat We all went to the amazing Falkirk wheel between Glasgow and Edingurgh, sure to be a future engineering wonder of the world. I got to visit the Edinburgh Castle, yes Michael visits a historical monument!!! and I was impressed. The British are impressed by the distances we manage to travel in a hire car, most would not attempt our two day journeys for an annual holiday - its just the Australian way! Are we wearing out?? The question is posed to us in many emails. What can I say, we are made of tough stuff. Actually the only thing wearing out is my shoelaces, but maybe thet just want to escape the shoes I have been wearing constantly for nearly 3 months.
Enjoyed a night with our Indian/English friends from the Peru trip at their London home. Madhy and Ahayla put on a real treat for us, the perfect hosts.
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