Saturday, July 26, 2008

A wee bit of Scotland

While I thoroughly enjoyed everywhere we stopped, there were certain places that were very difficult to leave. Where I just did not want to get back on that ship. Pretty much anyplace in Scotland fits that description--and I felt the exact same way when I was there 2 summers ago.

What I could not get over was the number of people, and I'm sorry, but it was mostly women, American women, who complained endlessly about the weather. Here's an idea: if you want a vacation filled with sunshine and heat, avoid the British Isles.

There were only 2 days out of 14 that had no rain...but only one day when I really felt I needed to use an umbrella. That was the day we were in Edinburgh--which is a city I'd love to go back and explore. The castle was amazing--museums aren't really my thing, but the view of the ancient city, even in the rain, was incredible.

And there are always beautiful flowers and lush greenery to be found pretty much everywhere...even in car parks.

The only disappointment was the fact that I was unable to make it to the Cath Kidston shop there. We went past it on the tour bus, but the shuttle buses that were supposed to be at the dock to take people into and out of town never showed up and we were warned that cabs aren't always easy to come by on a Sunday.

The disappointment soon faded as we cruised up to the highlands. As a kid I loved poring over maps and atlases...I remember seeing the Firth of Forth and finding that name particularly amusing. Well, here we are on the firth and that's the famous Forth bridge.
Later we got on a bus and drove through the countryside and saw the gorgeous just-blooming heather...and hills and mist and water...

Next we went to the town of Dornoch. Normally any place that meets with Madonna's approval might cause me to roll my eyes, but I can certainly see why she chose the Dornoch cathedral for the baptism of her son. Here's the side of it--couldn't get a pic of the front without including a bunch of tourists in the shot, and I prefer my photos tourist-free.

The town is so charming--like something out of a movie.

Next to the cathedral I found this wonderful bed and breakfast (pictured at the top of this post).I took a pic of the sign in case any of you want to make a reservation--not sure if you need to be fluent in Gaelic or not.

I was told the house is about 200 years old. Sigh...

The shopping was nice in Dornoch as well. I got a cute wool tartan/leather bag at a shop called Jail--you know, it used to be the jail?

My dad insisted I get back on the bus and then back on the ship...which is probably for the best, but I can pretty much guarantee that if my father hadn't been there to make me, I'd still be there today.


Blogger Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I've always been fairly obsessed with reading about the history of Great Britain including all the isles. Over the years I've read many great books. Its one place I'd love to travel some day. Your pictures are lovely. I especially love the cathedrals and castles of course. My favorite book is Pillars of the Earth, I've read it several times. I'm now reading the sequel World without End. I love it. I'm glad you had a nice time with your dad. You'll always remember this time together. I also agree about tourists. When in Rome people!!!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

My parents were in Scotland for 18 months for a mission for the LDS Church. They said it was pretty green (and it must have been impressive because they live in Oregon) and the people were nice. Although, after a while they do get tired of Americans.
Something about the old cottages, with the thatched roofs that are nice aren't they?
My DH and I lived in Japan for a while (we met there in the military) and they have some thatched roofs and also tile ones. Just nice to drive around and look and enjoy.
Nice you got to go with your dad. What a wonderful experience for you both.

4:16 PM  
Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

Its so green and lush there. I love the idea of some place cool..and not ac cool. Its like you can't take a bad picture of Scotland.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Lynne in Hawaii said...

I love, love, love the pictures of Scotland. My husband and I teach Scottish and clan (family) history at Scottish festivals yet we've never been to Scotland yet. Hawaii has a festival the first weekend of April every year (Kapiolani Park in Waikiki). Now there is a sight..kilts and flip flops! LOL

5:38 PM  
Blogger rachelgriffith said...

oh my how i loved this post!!!
thank you.

lucky you that you went with your dad. i think that that is awesome.

your pics were great, and i hung on every word...even the complaint.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

We were in Scotland a few years ago, the weather was not great but then we knew that before going and we didn't complain. I'd love to go back again. Seeing your pictures brings back so many wonderful memories.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

I want to go! It looks so beautiful! Do you think that gate in the first picture could be an inspiration for a quilt pattern?

8:42 AM  
Blogger Happy Zombie said...

What a wonderful trip, E! For me! Pretending I'm there through your photos and words. So lovely. Sigh. Bummer though about the crabby American's. And bigger bummer about not getting to the CK shop!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

Oh, what a beautiful building. I love it. You are so lucky to have those nice trips & memory making with your dad.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Elizabeth, your photos are breathtaking! Bummer on the CK, but hey, at least you got to see some other gorgeous places. (I would have been hugely bummed, too.)

You got to go to where I have always dreamt of going. Someday...

Anymore photos? If so, please share. Love them!


1:43 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your vacation, especially since I'm not too sure I'll ever make it there myself. It is too bad that Americans tend to make a bad impression in other countries. My husband noticed that when he was in Germany, too. The people he met there were surprised because my husband was so interested in their ways, their food, etc. That wasn't their usual experience with Americans. I guess some people would benefit from 'tourist training' before they get a passport!

5:20 PM  
Blogger Miss Jean said...

Oh, you lucky ducky! I have always wanted to go to Scotland so thanks for sharing your pictures. The first time we went to Vancouver Island it was in March. The winds were tremendous,it rained and there were no flowers at Buschart Gardens. But I didn't care - I was in Victoria!!!!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Mar said...

you took the trip of my dreams, thanks for sharing, love those top pictures. So beautiful!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Mary's Cottage Quilts said...

Oh Elizabeth,
What beautiful photos! I feel like I went on vacation with you! Everything is so green and lush and the FLOWERS, just fantastic!(I guess we found out why... rain). Thanks for sharing, sounds like you had a great time!
Welcome Home

9:15 AM  
Blogger Tami said...

Isn't Scotland beautiful?! My husband and I have been to Ireland, Scotland and England many times in the past 6 years. Of course it rains, that's why it's so green. We usually come prepared with hats and rain-proof jackets and have no problems with it. Then again we also had a lot of luck and didn't often get many heavy rain days. :-)

10:07 AM  
Blogger Vintage Rose Collection said...

Your blog and photos are beautiful!!! Thank you for taking us along on your vacation!
Thanks sweetly for your nice comment today too :)

7:43 PM  
Blogger Angelina said...

You probably don't know this but Scotland is my favorite place on earth besides Oregon. I LOVE IT. The first time I went it took every ounce of my will power (and the possibility of jail time) to get myself to leave.

Yeah, I don't get it about the weather complaining. I go there for the very weather they have...there are lots of warm places one can vacation if what one really wants is sunshine. That's what they made the tropics for. I don't go to the tropics because I'd sit around complaining about the sunshine.

Apparently I don't feel I must limit the length of my complaints.

I love the pictures of the Inn. Wouldn't that be a great place to actually live?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Red Geranium Cottage said...

Looks like you had a great time. the flower and scenery photos are beautiful. How can those women complain about going there??

7:36 PM  
Blogger Anne Sutton said...

I am living this thorugh you! I am enjoying your pictures and stories so much! It's the rain that makes the country so lush and green, and even peaceful. And the old buildings. I'll go back with you anytime and so will Bren. More photos please!

6:30 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Ooooohhhhh. I love the gardens! :-)

One of the things I'm learning to love about North Carolina is how serious they are about colorful landscaping. Along the highways, in parking lots, around gas stations, everywhere! Really nice. Part of the Southern hospitality thing? I don't know.

(still doesn't quite compare to a British garden though!)

6:20 AM  
Blogger The Chicken Lady said...

I could live there. Cold, rainy, that's my kind of climate! Glad you had such a wonderful trip.

2:19 PM  

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