Saturday, April 26, 2014

Scotland

Since returning from our trip to Scotland and Ireland, I have repeatedly heard, "Tell me all about your trip." 


  It is difficult to know where to begin with a command like that.  I truly doubt that anyone - other than my sweet neighbor, Gail- really wants to see our 1500+ photos, much less hear all about them.

Some of you have indicted a desire to 'live vicariously' through the photos of my trip.  I have tried to hit the highlights.  If you want to know more about any of the locations that I mention, Google will be your guide.  Many of these places would make interesting research for students.

We left Dallas on a Thursday and arrived in Glasgow Friday morning.  While waiting for my daughter and her husband to arrive, we spent some time at the Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis.

Glasgow Cathedral
 I have enhanced this photo a bit, but it is a fine example of Gothic architecture.

Services are still held in this cathedral.  

Necropolis

The Necroplis is across the street from the Cathedral and is accessed by a bridge over the street.  While we were there it appeared a funeral was in process.  There are many, many tombstones here.  These photos don't really do it justice.











We left Glasgow and began our driving adventure to our lodgings. 
We stopped in Inverary to eat dinner and buy groceries.  Inverary is small town, but it has charm and many places to visit.  I really liked Inverary.

We stayed at the Ardbrecknish House self-catering and B & B on Loch Awe.  We were in a small house detached from the main house.  Ardbrecknish is hard to say, so we mostly referred to it as "our breakfast house".  I wish I had a photo of the road we travelled to get here.  It was more narrow than what I am used to, with an occasional turn-out so cars could pass each other.

Ardbrecknish House

Ardbrecknish House
The lake and the grounds at Ardbrecknish.



 The next day we returned to Inverary to explore the town and visit Inverary Castle. The first thing we did, though, was visit the Woolen Mill and buy scarves for protection from the wind.

 The Castle was not open for the season, yet, but we were able to explore the grounds.  We also crossed a bridge and discovered the remains of what must have been a village for the serfs.
Inverary
Inverary Castle
The castle, the bridge, and remains of a 'village'.  You can see what must have house foundations.
 From Inverary, we drove south to Kilmartin, which is best known for being one of Scotland's richest prehistoric landscapes.  We ate lunch at the Kilmartin House Museum then explored the adjacent Kilmartin Church and cemetery.  Nearby were Standing Stones, Temple Wood, and Nether Largie.  We also visited the remains of Dunadd Fort, high on a hill.



Kilmartin




Kilmartin


Dunadd Fort
Remains of Ft. Dunadd, from the Iron Age
Dunadd Fort footprint
The footprint is thought to be the king's footprint after the fort was later used as a royal power center for Gaelic Kings.  Look, my foot fits perfectly!  Draw your own conclusions...
Even though it looks like I am wearing a 'puffy' jacket, that is actually wind filling my jacket.  This is the wind I mentioned in my first post about our trip.

Our lodging location was centrally located to many places we wanted to visit.  The next day we went west to Oban, on the coast, and to the Isle of Seil.  Seil Island is accessible by car via the humpback Bridge over the Atlantic.  It is not a very long bridge, as you can see from the photo (below), but it is narrow, as are all the roads on the island.


Oban
Oban is a coastal town.  I am not sure what the coliseum-like structure is.
Isle of Seil
Just over the bridge is the Inn shown in the photo.  The Inn has an interesting history connected with the Jacobite Rebellion, which would make for an interesting study.
 The Isle of Seil was a slate mining community.  The top right photo is a slate wall. The other island you can see in the left photo is reached by ferry.  I imagine Seil is a busy holiday destination during the summer.

If you are still reading, I hope you won't object if I go more quickly through the rest of our week in Scotland.  No objections?  Thought not.
The following pictures are in order of our trip. I will add commentary to the photos.


St. Conan's Kirk- an impromptu visit, but worth the time.

Kilchurn Castle has a very interesting history.  Like many of the places we visited, it is linked with Clan Campbell, which my husband can trace his ancestors to.

dunstaffnage castle
Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel


Glencoe
Glencoe- where you should always come prepared with your hiking boots and dancing shoes.  The top middle picture is marble.  The abundance of marble like this explained to me why so many sculptors in Europe use marble.
Dounne Castle
Doune Castle if full of narrow spiral stairs and hidden rooms.  Scenes from Monty Python are filmed here, too.  We did buy an Explorer Pass that saved us quite a bit of money on entrance fees to the castles.
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle had unicorns everywhere!  Tapestries tell the story of the Hunt of the Unicorn.  Have you ever heard this story?
Argyll Lodgings
Argyll Lodgings- a fine example of a 17th century townhouse.  See the purple bedroom on the far right?  It had a matching bathroom with a purple upholstered toilet.  I am not kidding!
Edinburgh Castle
We walked 2 miles from our Edinburgh Apartment to Edinurgh Castle.  This was the busiest tourist place we visited.

Royal Mile Tartan Mill
We visited the Royal Mile Tartan Mill just outside the castle.  So many tartans!  We bought Jesse a tie and tam in the Black Watch tartan to match his kilt.
Edinburgh
After walking all day in Edinburgh, we caught a bus back to our apartment and flew to Dublin the next day.
There you have it:  "all about our trip to Scotland".  Very condensed, but you can follow links to read about the places we visited.  Pictures and details from Ireland will come later.
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