Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland is great city of medium size population (450,000) with a rich culture of intellectual enlightenment. This city has just enough kink in it to be lovable. The Edinburgh castle is a must see and is perched on a rocky mount overlooking the city. It has been a fortress of some kind since 900 B.C.E. All roads leading up to the castle are lined with trinket shops. There are some nice wool jackets and clothes, but most of the stuff is just …stuff and so expensive. I’d move to Edinburgh tomorrow if it just wasn’t so damn cold and rainy most of the year and if I could afford it. In the winter the sun sets by 4:00 p.m but now it is light until almost 11:00. While we were there we had supper with some friends of Anita’s sister and ate at a private whiskey society (OK, it cost $100 to become a member) that serves single malt Scotch whiskey. They wanted me try a glass of Scotch and I wasn’t too keen on the idea. I don’t drink Scotch and have not cultivated the taste for the stuff. Well, after tasting single malt Scotch, not blended, I was stunned by the rich and enjoyable taste of this Scotch whiskey. Wow. The drink was complex, and delicious. The bad news is a bottle of the “good stuff” cost $60 to $120 a bottle. I was tempted.   From Edinburgh we headed to Stirlingto visit the castle before heading up to Glencoe and into the highlands and the raw beauty of rock, sky, lochs and loughs.  Almost all ofScotland is small villages or small cities with a lot of area in-between. Sparsely populated it would take some creative effort to entertain yourself unless you are really into Highland games. Cultural events outside of Edinburgh and Glasgow are, like the country, far and few between. If scenery of loughs, lochs and rocks and natural beauty is your Zen and Muse then this is the place to come. Bring a heavy rain jacket. On this trip most of the majestic beauty was seen from inside a warm dry car. I just can’t imagine how kilts got to be so popular among the guys. Damn, those pleated…uh, pants, sure let up a lot of cold air. And I don’t think the guys wore wool underpants. If they did, what a man! There are many GREAT pictures Anita took of Scotland, We both marveled at the beauty of this land, Descriptions are meaningless, go see the pictures.

 

Inverness, the capitol of the Highlands is located in the north of Scotland. This is a bustling small place with enough car traffic to call it a city. A big river runs through the town and Inverness has a certain vitality to it.  One night we went out to a pub and returned to our B&B around11:00 p.m. and it was still light out. For you Canadians it is at about the same latitude as the Northwest Territories. It was a little hard trying to go to sleep when the room was still light, even with the shades drawn. And then it is light again at 4 am.

 

Portree and the Isle of Skye, Portree is a very quaint village with a small harbor. This is a tourist town and on a warm day could be a pleasant place and great to walk around. Unfortunately we saw a lot of rain. Time has stalled in Portree and Skye, it feels like a step back to an earlier century. Portree is the capital of the absolutely beautiful Isle of Skye. Skye is accessed by a bridge from the mainland and the location for the ferries to the outer islands. It is a geological microcosm of the mainland with varying terrain of lowlands and mountains. If you want to see all the beauty of Scotland in one place, this is it.

 

Edinburgh part II, This is a great city. Driving around (@$10 a gallon gas) the city is laid out in an easy way so you won’t get lost. OK, we got lost twice (Anita, “more than twice”). The street names change about every other block. My fault, I’m a male who won’t ask directions. I should have known better. My wife is right as are all women—men won’t ask direction.  The first rule of all lost women is: Slow down. It doesn’t matter where you are, just slow down. Their logic: the faster you go the more lost you get. There are very few female explorers in history. Name two? No, the Native American Indian with Louis and Clark doesn’t count nor the Aztec chic with Cortez.   Admit it women, there were no famous female explorers, None. Don’t bother looking one up, you won‘t find a she. Understand ladies. You have to be profoundly lost to explore. Exploring means lost. Women explorers kept stopping every few minutes to ask directions and never got to “explore” very far. Don’t get me wrong, my wife can read a map. I call her “map woman.” (Don’t tell her I said so) but women don’t understand that: Men don’t get lost, they just haven’t found where they’re going yet.

Photos of Scotland:

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4 Responses to “”

  1. Su Neuhauser Says:

    You are having amazing travel adventures, and it seems, not a negative incident or illness the whole time…amazing.

  2. Barbara Galan Says:

    Glad to hear that u are enjoying your retirement so thoroughly.. Travel is the best experience a person can have. I believe that Diva keeps in touch with Jaimee once in a while. Happy to hear that she has been so successful with the cakes. Diva just graduated from Rutgers Law and is very busy right now studying for the AZ Bar. She just got accepted to a special program at ASU for her LLM in Biotechnology and Genomics, so she will have another year to go. Bob & I are trying to sell our business so that we can take life easier. Unfortunately, until then still have to endure 8 to 4.

    Thanks for keeping in touch. I am not good on computer.
    Love
    Barbara

  3. Otto Rnad Says:

    What an eloquent description of sites and a great philosophy on getting lost and explorations! I think there was a famous female explorer in history; it’s Helena the mother of Constantin the Great. Unfortunately her identification of the holy sites in the Holy Land were all wrong. But she tried!
    Baruch

  4. Leyla Bentley Says:

    Nice narrative, enjoyed hearing about your delicious adventures!
    I am sure it is very beautiful to see and visit that part of the world.

    Cheers, Leyla

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