Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My trip to Scotland, Part 2

Here's Part 2 of our adventures in Scotland.

Day 2 (Sunday, July 1)

This was the first official day of our tour.  (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)



The bus, or "coach" as they call it in Scotland, was roomy and pretty comfortable.  My scooter fit easily in a compartment on the side.  (You can see the compartment, directly under the word COACH.)  As we drove along, our tour guide, Alison, described various sights along the way, interspersed with occasional quotes from the books (chosen by Judy) that fit the places we were driving through.

First stop today:  Luss, a quaint little village bordering Loch Lomond.  The loch is gorgeous! It's a very peaceful place.



Everywhere we went, all week long, the gardens in front of people's homes were lovely, immaculate and well-kept.  The photo below was taken in Luss.



We saw these large white waterfowl on Loch Lomond and weren't quite sure what they were, but when I posted this photo on Compuserve, Diana said they were swans.



Here's my sister Alice, my mom, and me, at Loch Lomond:



We continued on to Glencoe, site of the infamous Glencoe Massacre of 1692.  This was one of my favorite places on the whole tour, because it's so beautiful, and so totally different from the area where I live. 



It's basically a valley with mountains on all sides.  I'd seen pictures of this area many times, but seeing it in "3-D", so to speak, was much more impressive, because you really get the sense of being surrounded by these steep hills.  It's difficult to do justice to it with still photographs.  The photo above is my favorite because of the mist on the mountains, and because I can very easily imagine Jamie and Claire making their way on horseback down these steep slopes.

We stopped for lunch at a very nice restaurant, where I had cullen skink and haggis, neeps, and tatties.  "Tatties", of course, are potatoes, and "neeps" are turnips.  "Cullen skink" is a sort of fish chowder with potatoes.  I enjoyed that meal very much! 



In the afternoon we drove to Ft. William, but I opted not to go and see it, due to accessibility issues.  My sister went and took pictures for me.  (Many, many thanks to Alice for her help with logistics, scouting out the terrain, and taking photos of places I couldn't get to myself.  We truly couldn't have managed without you!)



There's not much left of the original fort, but here's the one remaining wall.  Can't you just imagine a 19-year-old Jamie scaling that wall to escape?  Or Jamie and Claire shimmying down a rope thrown over the wall, fleeing from the redcoat soldiers after he rescues her from BJR?



Next stop: Glenfinnan monument, marking the spot where Charles Stuart landed in 1745.  It's not as big as I expected, somehow, but it's still pretty impressive.



The photo below was taken in the gift shop at Glenfinnan Monument. I was impressed that a relatively small shop had all seven of the OUTLANDER books on display. <g>



After dinner at the Glenspean Lodge hotel, we had an OUTLANDER book discussion for about an hour and a half.  I thoroughly enjoyed that.  It turned into the sort of wide-ranging discussion that we love to get into on Compuserve.  And just as with the people on the forum, our tour group had a variety of different backgrounds and levels of OUTLANDER reading experience, from first-time readers like my mom to total addicts. It was a great way to start to get to know the other people on the tour.

Here are the other blog posts in this series:

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

7 comments:

lady blair said...

Lovely pictures,will be following in your footsteps in September. So nice to see the "play by play."

Courtney said...

Beautiful pictures. I made my first trip to Scotland last May and I don't think I ever had my camera out of reach. When I saw your pic of the DG books, it reminded me of when I was in the Culloden Visitors Centre and saw Cross Stitch and just had to buy a copy. I can't wait to go back to Scotlamd and even got emotional was the plane was taking off to come back state side.

-Courtney

CraftyJo said...

I've just spent several days in Scotland and rode through Glencoe many times on our GoldWing. It is such a fantastic, dramatic place, totally awe-inspiring. Pity the weather has been so bad for the past few weeks, we spent most of our time in our 'wet gear' but it didn't stop the enjoyment. I was picturing travelling in Jamie's time......so very different to how we were getting about :)

Anonymous said...

Karen - have you truly never seen a swan before?

Do they not have swans in the US?

It never occured to me that a swan might be a bit exotic :)

Loving reading these posts about your trip. I've only been to Scotland once and would love to go back.

- Debbie

Karen Henry said...

Well, I live in the suburbs. :-) We don't have a lot of water fowl where I live. And I don't think I've ever seen swans before, except in pictures.

Karen

Nenya said...

I guess you would have loved the beach where I spent my last holidays. They have many swans there which are living on the beach. :)

Arnel said...

Lovely pics--especially the swans--they are my favorite bird. You mentioned the green of Scotland in the last post and I wanted to say I agree--I felt like I couldn't stop staring at it!