Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Scotland & Fifty Shades of Gray


Upon leaving the Isle of Skye we came upon Eilean Donan castle. They were flying flags at half mast to honor the victims of the Manchester & London terror attacks. It was a moody day weather wise as well. But the castle was delightful and well presented. A military jet flow low and loud along the waterway doing maneuvers. 


It is always kind of fun to try to interpret the Gaelic road signs unless you were in a roundabout and had to read them very fast and try to decided which version was English! Sometimes we went around the circle twice to get the right turnoff. 


There is lots of Scotch Broom blooming along the roadside and up on the mountains. In England it seemed to be mostly Rhododendrons. 


This is Urquhart castle ruins on Loch Ness.  It's such a tragedy that so many castles and abbeys were destroyed here. They have a relatively new interpretative center & cafe. 

Checked into our hotel which was really an old grand country house. Lovely to meet so many people from many different countries in the lounge there.  We met an older couple, Richard and "Jill-with-a-J" from York who were very sweet & interesting. They met the band -The Who and Freud's grandson Stephan who was "a nut case"......"well they all were really"!  In his retirement Richard tunes organs.  OK...but we find out that he tunes organs for Cambridge and sometimes repairs can take years. 


On Tuesday we woke to a downpour but we had brought clothes for all the British weather!  We both wanted to visit Culloden Moor and that whole Scottish battle & tragedy from 1746.  The red flags above are where the English troops were located and the blue were the Highlander's. In a matter of minutes the battle was over. 


There were headstones erected at a later date to honor all of the clans who fought there. 


The above photo is of Leanoch croft which was used as a military hospital on the field. 

Later we visited Clava Cairns, Fort George & Cawdor Castle.  

Upon returning to our "country home" (where there are real hedgehogs mind you!) we were greeted by a warm fire & drinks in the lounge overlooking the gardens. It was still pouring outside but a fun group of people began pouring in (no pun intended) and as we began sharing our funny-sometimes dangerous- tales about driving on the left, everyone in the room began to share their own experiences.  There were people, from Massachusetts, Berlin, Palo Alto, Switzerland (who spoke Italian), Spain & Aberdeen who had just returned from 7 years in Paris.  

Word of the Day - Haggis, Neeps & Tatties - a menu item found everywhere in the Highlands that consists of a savory pudding containing sheep heart, liver & lungs encased in the stomach lining, turnips & potatoes.  Yum.  I will truly miss this food item when I return home! Sorry mom but you will have to learn to make haggis instead of spaghetti!!!

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