( 4.8 ) ( 34 votes )
March 01, 2004
Left York and took the train up to Edinburgh last Tuesday. The "old
town" part of the city is cool with lots of older buildings
and, of course, the castle. I broke down and paid the US$20 to get
in and wander around. Inside there are several exhibits and neat
cobblestone streets. Just across the bridge from old town there's
a hill with various monuments that overlooks the city that I went
to for pics...and later returned at sunset for more pics of the
Wednesday morning I left on the "Wild in Scotland" tour.
The driver, Rory, is a proud Scotsman and knows his history well.
His driving could use some improvement though. :) He never failed
to let us know how much he dislikes McDonald's, Coca-Cola and other
big corporations. He has some sort of deep grudge against sheep
too. That prompted me to get him a stuffed sheep to hang from the
rearview mirror on our last day.
The group I was with was great - 4 South Africans, 2 Kiwis, 1 Aussie,
1 Belgian and a young woman from Poland. Most are actually living
and working in London. Having a fun driver and group that got along
well made it a wonderful experience. Anyway, we went all around
Scotland for 5 days seeing sites like the William Wallace monument
(including a stone slab with Mel Gibson as Braveheart carved into
it - which the real Scots despise... by the way, it was actually
Robert the Bruce who had the nickname "Braveheart"), Isle
of Skye, Stalker Castle (from Monty Python), Eilean Donan Castle,
the Highlands, various battlefields, Loch Ness and Edbradour Scotch
We got to see "airy eeland coos" too (hairy highland cows).
I ate a lot better while on the tour 'cuz we'd usually stop in town
at a pub for lunch and people from the group would cook dinner (while
I'm by myself I often just have a snack for breakfast and lunch
to save money). We got back into Edinburgh last night and said our
goodbyes...hopefully, I'll get to see some of them again in London
in a couple weeks. I'm hoping my tours in Ireland will be as fun
as this one was.