S: Scotland 2012
FC: SCOTLAND 2012
1: LeeAnn & I had a fantastic time discovering Scotland. We spent one week touring from Edinburgh, which is on the East coast, to the Isle of Skye, which is on the West coast, and back again. It only takes 4 hours, by train, to get from one side of the country to the other! We used almost every mode of transportation (planes, trains, cars, boats, buses and our own feet) in our quest to discover Scotland. Even the almost continuous drizzle with the occasional hard, driving down pour couldn't put a damper on our fun. It was all part of the experience. There was so much to see and so little time to see it in, but we fit in as much as we could. We left enough unseen to warrant another trip, though when that will happen, who knows. | One of our tour guides, Allan, taught us the meanings of the more oft used words like: "Loch" which means "Lake" - for example, LochNess means Lake Ness "Glen" which means a "narrow and deep mountain valley" - for example Loch Garry is nestled in Glen Garry. "Kyle" which means "narrow", so Kyle of Lochalsh is the "narrows or straits of Loch Alsh "Dun" which means a hill or mound and also a fort or castle, it was modified & often appears as "Dum", as in Dumbarton - "the hill-fort of the Britons". "Inver" which means "at the mouth of" and is usually associated with a river name like Inverness
2: Loch Garry is much photographed for its romantic setting and also because a quirk of perspective makes it appear like a map of Scotland.
4: Saskatoon Airport Aug. 24th, 2012 Anxious to be off
5: Looking a bit worse for wear after 11 hours of flight. We had a 5 hour layover in Düsseldorf, Germany. It was a very quiet 5 hours. There was only one shop in the entire airport and it was a small café
6: Our 1st hotel of many Holiday Inn in Edinburgh
7: To start, Lee had the Freshly prepared soup of the day - Roasted red Pepper & Lentil soup. I had the Char grilled, Parma ham wrapped nectarine wedges with balsamic and feta cheese. To follow, we both had the Spicy, crispy, skinned Chicken supreme with mushrooms and pea bhaji, coriander & crispy onions To finish, Lee had the Mango and Pineapple Pavlova with vanilla ice cream & bitter chocolate sauce. I had the Dark Belgium chocolate brownie with creme fraiche & summer berries
8: The Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle The castle changed colors and themes with every performance
11: About 500 regiments from all over Europe participated in the Royal Military Tattoo Words can't adequately describe the experience of this event
12: We spent one day exploring Edinburgh before joining up with our tour to the Isle of Skye. These two pages are of the building at the entrance to Parliament Square.
15: Some of the sights in and around Parliament Square.
16: A few of the gorgeous buildings along The Royal Mile in Edinburgh
17: above: a statue of Hume, a Scottish philosopher & James Braidwood, the founder of the world's first municipal fire service. Below: a living statue & a Piper, both street performers
18: And so it begins, our wet & soggy three day bus tour to the Isle of Skye | Ben Nevis Mountain just outside of Fort William
19: Erected in 1952, it commemorates those commandos who fell in World War II. Many of whom trained in this area when based at the commandos' basic training center at Achnacarry | The Commando Memorial North of Fort William
20: Above: The bridge to the Isle of Skye Top Left: Welcome sign Middle Left: the bridge leading into Kyleakin from Kyle of Lochalsh Bottom Left: Some houses in Kyleakin
21: "Ceud mile failte" - pronounced "kaid meel-aa fall-cha" - means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" We stayed in a little hotel in Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye Our room was located in the guest house behind the main hotel.
23: Scotland had the driest summer on record, no rain for close to 2 months. The waterfalls that were normally cascading down the mountains had all dried up. Lucky for us, it rained the entire time we were in Scotland, which means, we got to see the waterfalls return. As we drove along the coast we could see the waterfalls starting at the tops of the mountains, making their way down to the base of the mountains where we could see the water gushing out of rocks & crevasses alongside the road.
24: The Old Man of Storr The rock pinnacle that is The Old Man of Storr is one of Skye's most famous landmarks, visible from miles around. | The Old Man of Storr is featured in the opening scene of the 2012 movie "Prometheus"
25: One legend says that when an old man and his wife were searching for a lost cow, they met some giants and while fleeing, looked back and were turned to stone. The old man remains to this day, but his wife fell over some years ago.
26: The Skye Museum of Island Life at Kilmuir, The aim was to preserve a township of thatched cottages, each one depicting, as closely as possible, the conditions prevailing on the island at the close of the nineteenth century...
27: This museum was very interesting. Their way of life centuries ago wasn't that different than ours was.
28: Eilean Donan Castle Eilean Donan (which means simply "island of Donnán") is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617
31: The Grandeur of the courtyard inside the walls of Eilean Donan Castle
32: To this day the portcullis (picture on the opposite page) above the entrance door still works. The castle & the portcullis were used in the1999 James Bond movie "The World is not Enough"
34: The famous Kilt Rock is a sea cliff in north east Trotternish. It is said to resemble a kilt, with vertical basalt columns to form the pleats and intruded sills of dolerite forming the pattern.
35: You have to look north up the coast to see the Kilt Rock. Closer by is the Mealt Waterfall, which free falls off the cliff for 170ft into the Sound of Raasay below. Sometimes, when the wind is strong, the water is blown away and it doesn't reach the bottom at all.
36: tTT | The Inn we stayed was a quaint little place called the LochNess Inn We were taken down to The LochNess Centre & Exhibition where we met up with our tour guide & headed down to LochNess.
37: We took an hour long boat ride on LochNess looking for Nessie. Lucky us, the rain stopped & we were able to sit outside of the boat's cabin. Our guide was part of the crew that went on the first expedition to look for the LochNess Monster.
38: Urquhart Castle Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, overlooking LochNess.
39: These fields were on the hillsides surrounding LochNess.
40: The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The battle on Culloden Moor was both quick and bloody, taking place within an hour. | The monument on the left is a mass tribute to all the Scots who died. There is a plaque on it that reads as follows: "The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor 16th April 1746 The graves of the gallant Highlanders who fought for Scotland & Prince Charlie are marked by the names of their clans.
41: In less than an hour, between 1500 - 2000 Jacobites were killed or wounded The bricks sticking out on this portion of wall represents those loses | The British governments losses were considerable less with 50 killed and 249 wounded. This short section of wall represents those losses.
42: Always beautiful scenery as we drove from one side of Scotland to the other & back again.
43: Some of the villages and towns we passed through
45: Views out of the bus window as we drove along coast lines, through small villages, towns and charming country sides. r
46: The Writers Museum that was down a "close" or alley off the Royal Mile.
47: Some of the quotes by famous authors that were "stepping stones" along the path to the Writers Museum.
48: Our hotel and the view from the window; all the brightly colored doors are pubs. The last two pictures were taken looking down the Royal Mile
49: Pictures on this page were taken on our walk to Princes street, the starting point for our hop on/hop off bus tour.
50: We did a hop on/hop off bus tour of Edinburgh. These are some of the different types of housing we saw. A lot of the apartments had colored doors to decipher whose entrance was whose.
51: A lot of homes and businesses had darker bricks. This was from the time of coal heating. The soot would run down the buildings when it rained, blackening the facades.
52: Peaks, spires and statues could always be seen towering above the trees all over Edinburgh.
53: There were no lack of churches in Edinburgh. There seemed to be one on every street. The church on the bottom left is round because the devil hides in the corners.
54: Approaching the H.M.Y BRITANNIA | The H.M.Y Britannia is the Queen's Royal Yacht. It was decommissioned in 1996 and has become a permanent floating museum. Everything on board is exactly how it was when the Queen disembarked for the last time.
55: Viewed from the deck of the H.M.Y Britannia
56: One of the officer's lounges. This lounge was for junior officers. Every lounge had Fosters, Special Vat and Courage CSB on tap. | The officers' quarters were right off the lounge. If you were a higher ranking officer, your quarters were a little larger & your lounge a bit nicer.
57: Above & Left: the mail room Right: The Infirmary, Note the bed positions. Below: The Operating room
58: Her Royal Highnesses official pattern. It was used through out the Queen's Bedroom | Left:The Queen's Bedroom Below: the guest room across the hall from the Queen. This is the only double bed on the yacht; it was brought in by Prince Charles for his honeymoon with Princess Diana
59: Right: The living room Below: fresh floral arrangement at the entrance to the living room | Right: Baby Grand piano in the living room - it was bolted to the floor. Below left: The official royal dining room . Below right: a small seating area
60: Washing machines | Dryers | Shirt collar & cuff press General purpose press | Hat press | The Laundry Room
61: Low pressure turbine | High pressure turbine | The massive Gear Box | Sign explaining how a steam engine works | The Engine Room
62: HollyRood House The Queen's Official Residence The front & side gates
63: The walk up to the side entrance of HollyRood House.
64: The outer courtyard. The fountain is in the middle of the square & the statue is opposite the house .
65: The inner courtyard and outer view of the Abby Ruins on the grounds. | Above: entrance to the inner courtyard. Below: Crest above the entrance
66: The inside of the Abby Ruins at HollyRood House. | You get a sense of reverence just being there & to imagine what it would've looked like in its prime.
68: Sitting on top of an extinct volcano, with stunning views of the City of Edinburgh, this castle has witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history.
69: Welcome to Edinburgh Castle
70: Upon entering the castle, you look up at the towering walls & gradually you make your way through another archway
71: Continue on through the archway & you see a small village
74: The cannons and the Fore Well. For 500 years, up to the 19th century, the fore well was the castle's main water supply. It is 34 meters deep but the water level was never enough to meet the demand.
75: The clock tower & a door to the right of the clock tower & a view from the top of the castle.