Winding Down

Trip Start Jul 31, 2011
Trip End Aug 19, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

18 Aug 20111

Wow, where has the time gone. It's almost three weeks that we've spent in Scotland now.  And we're on our way back home in a couple of days.

We've had a lovely time and are returning with great memories.  Here are a few photos to share with you as we wind down our vacation.

See you stateside soon!

19 Aug 11

So when we got to the rental car return the guy's eyes nearly popped out of his head.  He said, "do you know that you traveled over 1500 miles in 16 days?"  He just found it really outrageous.  He said, "I don't think I've driven 1500 miles in a car my entire life!"  He was just fascinated by that fact....AND that we did it all in Scotland was even more amazing to him.  Guess he was surprised  there were 1500 miles of road in Scotland!  And we missed the entire northern part--we left that for the next visit!!

21 Aug 11

Oh, and just this morning I did the calculations around the cost of gas.  We averaged about $9.27/gallon.  Yes, you saw that right.....$9.27.  No wonder that kid was surprised by our mileage. $3.37/gallon seems like quite the deal.  

A few other thoughts:  I kept seeing a sign on the way out of many of the little villages that I read to say, "Hasta ye return."  I thought it was a little odd, but then I figured that the world gets a little smaller all the time so maybe it was a take on "Hasta la vista, baby!".  By the time I saw this about 4 times I realized that I had been misreading it all along.  What it actually said was, "HASTE ye return."  You can take the boy outta the country, but you can't.......(you finish it).

BTW, did try the haggis and I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.  Aside from what it’s cooked in (which can look pretty gross), the taste was not much more than a very robust meatloaf with a hint of kidney.  In all cases, we got it when it was either taken out of the casing or it was sliced so we didn’t have this big ball of intestine (is that what it is) sitting on a plate.  We tried it prepared several different ways (including in a whiskey sauce) and they were all quite delicious.  Now, I do have to admit that having it for breakfast was not my favorite time to eat it.  But then, I wouldn’t want meatloaf for breakfast either.  In all fairness, it didn’t live up to the negative hoopla that surrounds it.  If you find yourself in Scotland, you must try it…..just find the right place to have it and enjoy!

So I got a kilt and all the accessories to go with it.  Since there was no Farias tartan I went with the tartan from the Stirling area (figured I liked the castle so I'd go with their tartan).  It's colorful and very sharp looking.  I'll get to use it for the opera on Saturday night (going to see Faust).  I might just post a photo of that as I know you'll be curious to see how it looks.....but you'll have to wait til next week.

When we flew out on Friday, it was a pretty pleasant day with just some puffy clouds to make the view quite impressive.  We flew over alot of the northern area we covered and it was a sight to behold.  Amazing how you can cover the area in a space of 15 minutes in a plane that took us hours to maneuver.  When you see that it is 50 miles from the town you are in to get to the town you want to go to, one figures (by our standards) that it would take an hour to drive.  But the roads being as exciting as they are with curves and twists and mountains and could easily take 2 hrs.  We did spend more time getting from one place to another than we had anticipated.  If I were to share a piece of advise it would be not to underestimate the time it will take to get places (especially in the Highlands and especially if you factor in trying to wrap your brain (and eye-hand coordination for stick shift) around driving on the left hand side.  Whew!

Well, these weary travelers are finally sleeping in their own beds and quite happy to be back home.  We had a wonderful time and hope to return to Scotland in the near future (next year?).  For now, we rest and work and settle in--in preparation for our next adventure in Nov-Dec.  Stay tuned!

Peace out--
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