Aug. 2012 Scotland Castles,Flowers,Lochs
We arrived in Scotland and spent a month in this wonderful country.Scotland covers just over 30,000 square miles and has a coastline of 2300 miles.It has thousands of lochs which are magnificent.Edinburg is the capital.The worldwide number of people who claim Scottish decent is 25 million.I being one of them.I.2 percent still speak in Gaelic.We started on the western coast of Scotland working our way north all the way to John O' Groats and down the eastern side.We spent time on the Isle of Skye and saw dramatic landscape with miles of beautiful coastline.We spent time going to abbey's, castles and spending a lot of time in very north Highlands. This area is quite remote but what a beautiful place.When we arrived at John O' Groats we stayed a couple of days only because we wanted to go to Orkney Islands.There certainly isn't anything way up north.We took a ferry to Orkney and then did a bus tour for the day.We left the Rv in the campground at John O' Groats. .Orkney has 2 main settlements which we went to both.Small communities began to settle in the islands around 4000 BC and Skara Brae has the best stone age settlements in Europe. We were also taken to a small Italian Chapel that was made of salvaged scraps.It was made by a Italian prisoner of war.This small chapel is painted inside is very nice.It was a nice tour and if anyone makes it to the top of Scotland a trip to Orkney is well worth the time. We spent time in Edinburgh and stopped by the Whiskey center.Just had to have samples of the single malt. We also stopped and saw my cousins in St. Andrews and had a very nice visit.Of course for me a trip to Scotland wouldn't be complete unless we went to find my great grandmothers headstone.It turns out my great grandfathers sister was married to a very important man in Carnwath.They even put a monument to him.We spent time going to several castles where Mary Queen of Scots was born,lived as a child and also where she was imprisoned in Kinross Castle.She also had escaped from there with the help of Willie Douglas.No stop in Scotland would be any good if you didn't go to a few Whiskey Distelleries.One was The Glenlivet and the other Glenfiddich.At Glennfiddich they took us on a nice tour and at the end to us into a dining room set up with for glasses of Malt Whiskey.We tasted 12,15,18,and 21 year old Scotch.Very nice.There is so much more I can tell you about Scotland but time is running short. Our next stop will be back in England.
Moving further north in Ireland we came to Derry. We took a trolley tour around the town and learned some history about Ireland.They still have the Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. It really is strange that this still goes on in Ireland.They have a lot of murals on walls that show about the troubles in Ireland.We went further north and came to a World Heritage site called Giant's Causeway. Layered basalt columns left by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago.After leaving here went stopped at another interesting place.It's called Carrick-a Rede Rope Bridge.You experience the thrill of crossing over the rope bridge that is 30 meters deep and 20 meters wide.This was a real thriller for me as I don't like heights.One way to conquer your fears. On the 9th we will take the ferry to Scotland.