Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Lerwick, Shetland Islands

The Shetland Islands are in-the-middle-of-nowhere North Atlantic, placing them directly along the ol’ viking trail. These days the Shetland Islands belong to a different set of barbarians — the Scottish. Even though the islands lie several hundred kilometers north of mainland Scotland, they felt distinctly Scottish. Rugged hills topped with long windswept grasses dropping off into a rocky, often sheer, and intricate coastline, hammered by relentless angry seas. Tiny stone houses dotting the hills, standing stubbornly against the forces of nature. Friendly people wrapped in layers of warm woolen knits. Cozy pubs with scotch and ale. We were immediately reminded of why we loved Scotland so much the first time ’round.

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Reflections on Scotland

Never call a Scotsman “English”. They are British, hailing from the island of Great Britain, but they are definitely not English, a term reserved for those from England only. It’s like calling a Canadian “American”.

The Union Jack is a perfect combination of the English and Scottish flags. Maybe this is a well known fact but I thought Mark was so clever to notice this on his own.

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Bye-bye Britain

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There’s oodles to see and do in the UK, but there are places to go and people to see and so it was time to move on, with or without sampling haggis. It also drains the budget very quickly and was getting a bit chilly outside, which also make for very good reasons to limit our time.

After our Ben Nevis climb, we carried on with our roadtrip past Glen Coe and Loch Lomond; both very lovely areas to explore the great outdoors. However we just drove on through and headed for Gourock which is a ‘wee town’ just to the west of Glasgow.

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Isle of Skye

Scotland is spectacular! I can’t think of a better way to put it. Over the past few days we have driven through some absolutely beautiful countryside. We left St. Andrews and headed north to Inverness, and then on along Loch Ness and over to the Isle of Skye. Tonight we are in Fort William. Check our Breadcrumb page to see our route — we’ve covered quite a bit of the country!

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The Old Course at St. Andrews

We’ve left Edinburgh behind after a very brief stay, and have taken to the open road in a rental car (a Peugeot hatchback) to explore the rest of Scotland. Things I have learned today:

– Shifting a manual transmission with my left hand is unnatural and requires great focus.
– Roundabouts are intimidating and confusing at first, but actually really efficient once you’ve gotten the hang of them.
– It’s really easy to cut left hand turns too close, when you’re not used to sitting on the right hand side of the car.
– Even though you’re driving from the opposite side, the gas pedal is still on the right and the clutch on the left. Whew!

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Life on a Narrowboat

Our narrowboat

We have postponed our African trip until April of next year (thank you Oasis of helping us sort out the swap — more on that later). With no pressure to be in Cairo by October, we have become free to wander slowly again. And for the first time yet, we found ourselves with an unexpected opportunity, and we flew by the seats of our pants.

After the wedding, we had an invitation to join my cousin and her family on their hired narrowboat for a couple of days. We knew we wanted to head up to Scotland after the wedding but since we’re not in a rush we said “YES”! How could we turn down an offer like that? It was a chance to experience a new way of traveling for us.

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