#1 Scotland, June 27, 1998,

Dear Everybody,

Jeanne and Bob, Judy and Jim, and I flew to London, rented a car and drove to York, an old Viking city. We visited the Jovick Viking Center, walked down the pedestrian streets,

stopping for lunch at the Three Cranes. The York Minster, with its centuries of kings all in a row was dramatic, and old!

We drove on, visiting Hadrian’s

Wall, first at Chester and then, again, at Steel Rigg. The countryside was beautiful English rolling hills; the views were expansive.

By and by we came to Glasgow, where we met our Berlin friends, Gisela and Wolfgang. They were staying with friends of theirs, Ian and Marelin, who helped us get settled in a nearby Bed and Breakfast.

Ian toured us around Glasgow, which has made great strides in revitalizing and cleaning up the old industrial town.

We took tea at a renovated multi-storeyed shopping mall. –

We visited Charles Rennie MacIntosh’s work, which is encountered all around Glasgow. He died in 1928, but became a leading figure in the Art Nouveau Movement.

We toured the University of Glasgow, Ian’s alma mater.

Other sites we visited were the Glasgow Museum and the Cathedral, noting the lamppost in front of it bearing the city’s emblem. Later we toured the Burrell Collection where I photographed the group among the beautiful grounds.

Saying goodbye to Ian and Marelin, we drove to Fort William via beautiful Loch Lomond.

We boarded a ferryboat across our ‘own’ Loch Eil,

arriving at Mrs. Cox’s cottages in Duisky.

Here we had two lovely housekeeping cottages set amid wonderful flowers. We could look across Loch Eil to the town of Fort William.

We enjoyed visiting Fort William, with its statue of, who else, but William.

The beautiful green with its prominent churches looked stolid and secure. We bought our provisions for cooking in Fort William and visited the library where there were computers donated my the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation!

Driving and hiking around Loch Eil and Glenfinnan provided gorgeous views at every turn.

The Glenfinnan Monument commemorates those who rose in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

Dinner at Glenfinnan started with the bagpiper piping us in to dinner. It was the first time I had tasted haggis, a dish that contains sheep heart, liver, lung and stomach.

We did run into a little rain now and then, and one day took a drive past Loch Lochy and Loch Ashaig where we stopped for a picnic lunch, which we ate inside our van! Nevertheless, since the rain made the flowers grow, and they were beautiful at every turn, we didn’t complain.

–A trip to Malaig took us past beautiful rhododentron, a war-plaque, and a moss-covered wall of rocks. In Malaig we lunched on fish, fresh-caught. We could see the Isle of Skye from the Malaig Harbor.

-We hiked to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. There we had these birds literally eating out of our hands.

A pair of beautiful waterfalls were our reward for the exertion of the hike.

-Near Strontian, we mailed our postcards with a ‘mail-person’ and spent part of an idyllic afternoon in a pub.

Loch Ness—NO, we didn’t! Still the ambience with the ruined Erquart Castle and the piper playing to us from the wall evoked a wonderful mood. It turned out that the piper was

Murdock the Bagpiper who had visited Berlin some time ago, giving instruction to Gisela and Wolfgang’s son regarding his bagpipe.

–We continued on our way, stopping briefly at Inverness so Gisela and Wolfgang could buy a ‘sporon’ for their son, part of the proper bagpiper’s costume.

I’ll leave you here, though we will continue on our way east across Scotland for our second week, to be spent at Craigivar Castle.


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