#2 Scotland, July 5, 1998

#2  Scotland, July 5, 1998,

Dear Everybody,

Even though it was often overcast or hazy, we had our own ‘sunshine’—gorse, which grew abundantly along the roadsides. Soon we came to heather-covered hills, which were beautiful, too. On our way to Craigievar Castle, where we were going to stay another week, we encountered Hyland Cows (pronounded “hee’land coos”).

Then, CRAIGIVAR CASTLE! Craigivar Castle is owned by the Scottish Trust, which will rent cottages to their members, which include Gisela and Wolfgang.

Our cottages were Steading Cottage, used in former times by the caretaker,

and Kennel Cottage, used by the dog handler.

The view from Craigivar Castle was beautiful and inspiring. Criagivar Castle had never been conquered so it had never been razed. It still had furniture from the 19th century on display when we toured the castle.

The owners had planted over a hundred kinds of exotic trees on the grounds over a hundred years ago, including California sequoia and monkey-pod trees.

-We toured around the area, visiting Crathes Castle, with its beautiful gardens

and also Balmoral Castle and its gardens. No, we didn’t see the queen. Since her flag wasn’t flying, we gathered that she wasn’t there.

We really did see a real Scottish pony—so fluffy and cute, and the national flower, the Canadian Thistle. Why would Scotland have a national flower of a Canadian name?

Scotland has many ancient stone circles like Tomnaverie Circle, and the Loanhead of Daviot.

-We visited Culsh Earth House, an underground stone chamber used by the Romans for food storage. More lovely ruins were an ancient carved rock and the ruins of Auchindoun Castle.

-Driving on to the city of Elgin we enjoyed seeing its ruined church, so old and dramatic.

-Nearby was a traditional red British telephone booth, being used by two young men.

A special day was spent touring the Glenfiddich Distillery, sampling wonderful Scotch whiskey.

And then we moved on to South Haven, a Scottish seaport town.

Another castle –Drum Castle with its beautiful gardens, was encountered on the way to arriving in beautiful Edinburgh, where we spent the last two days of our trip.

We walked the Royal Mile, viewing Jackson’s Close, one of the many closes—little streets or alleys ending in steps.

The close next to a sandwich shop gives an example of these.

We lunched at the famous Deacon Brodie’s Tavern where the faithful dog, “Bobby,” kept watch over his master’s grave for fourteen years!

We climbed up to Edinburgh Castle where we got a wonderful view of Edinburgh.

A guard was on duty guarding the castle.

We drove back to London from which Jeanne, Bob, Judy and Jim flew home, and I flew on to Amsterdam to meet my friend, Jean. From there we traveled to Mumbai, India and then Bangalore, where I was living.

Scotland is really beautiful!  You would love it!

Carol

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