Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scotland - Day 8 - More Great Glen Way

Did probably 16 miles of hiking with 2000 vertical gain today and we are both feeling it!  It was a beautiful hike, though the best view was shrouded in rain and fog.  Thank heavens for waterproofs.  We definitely had a well earned pint at the Loch Ness Inn at the conclusion of the hike.  Most of the photos are not captioned today as they just took place along the hike.  They are all from between Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit along Loch Ness.

Scotland - Day 8 - Great Glen Way Photos

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scotland - Day 7 - Loch Ness

Hiked along the Great Glen Way today from Fort Augustus to Invermoriston. The route followed Loch Ness, but as of yet, we've not spotted the monster. I hold out hope, though. Tomorrow is a 16 mile hike!

Day 7 Photos

Tonight's dinner is in a CAMRA Pub of the Year which means one thing: Real Ale!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Scotland Day 6 - Happy Birthday Kim!

Happy Birthday, Kim!  Today is Day 6 and we went to Culloden Battlefield.  The Highlanders and the Jacobite Rebellion were crushed in 1746.  The weather was perfect and the lighting really dramatic with the sun and clouds!

Day 6 Photos of Culloden

We also visited Clava Cairns, an ancient stone circle and cemetery from 2000-1000BC!

Dinner was tapas and now a bottle of wine and books.  Hope everybody has a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scotland 345

Well sorry for the delay!  We arrived in the Highlands this afternoon.  Did a 3 mile hike r/t to a small distillery, Edradour outside of Pitlochry.  Our B&B tonight faces out onto Inverness Castle with a beautiful view of the Highlands which is veritably relaxing.  Tomorrow we're going to the Colluden Battlefield which ended the Jabobite Revolution over 350 years ago.  Had fish & chips and real ale for dinner.  Getting spoiled having real ale everywhere for certain.  I haven't found the Scottish ales as memorable as the English ales, but we've still plenty of time. 

Botanic Gardens
National Museum of Scotland & Highlands

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Scotland - Day 2

Well today was another packed day of adventure.  A lovely breakfast that included a Scottish pancake left us fueled to take on the day.  We first took the bus to the Brittania, Queen Elizabeth II's yacht for many years.  It was really spectacular in both its beauty and in how it was operated to provide her luxury at sea.  Holyrood Palace saw drama with Mary Queen of Scots and was a lovely palace to tour whilst it rained.  The attached abbey ruins were perfect on a gloomy day.  After stopping for a pint we toured the Museum of Edinburgh and St Gyles Cathedral.  We ended the evening with a literary pub tour that was quite entertaining.  Two of the girls on the tour were NWU theater grads acting in a show at the Fringe.  We spent awhile after chatting with them which was quite fun as they probably enjoyed hearing midwestern accents for a pleasant change.  A stop for a pepper steak meat pie ended a good day. 

Pictures Day 2

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Scotland - Day 1

Departed Amsterdam on a 10:30 flight for Edinburgh.  Got a bus downtown and then a taxi to the B&B.  After unpacking, we set out, found pies for lunch, and then wandered a bit of the Royal Mile.  With a beautiful day, we set out to Holyrood Palace Park with the intention of hiking to Arthur's Seat, but took the route with a bit less climbing, but still had lovely views of the city.  We quickly went through the People's Museum.  Several pints and fish & chips were well earned after all of the walking.  We returned to the B&B, donned warmer clothing, and headed back out to wander the streets, watching all of the street performers in for the Fringe, and finally took a walking tour, Murder & Mystery, that was quite campy, yet quite entertaining.  A quick pint followed and a blissful 8 hours of sleep.  I think I'm over the jetlag and ready to go!  This morning, Monday, I had a lovely Scottish breakfast with a potato scone, which was an interesting addition.

Pictures from Scotland Day 1

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Haarlem, Holland

Landed in Amsterdam and caught a bus to Haarlem.  Haarlem is a great Dutch town with lots of small shops, a lovely church, and plenty to see.  The center-point of the church is the organ that Mozart once played when he was about 10 if I recall the signs.  It has been a long day after getting just a few hours of sleep on the flight.  We found a great little cafe to sit out and watch the people go by!

Pictures from Day 1

Tomorrow morning we fly on to Edinburgh and so begins the real vacation!

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