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Last updated : Nov 2009
Wild in Scotland
Rating : ( 4.8 ) ( 34 votes )

Edinburgh, Scotland
March 01, 2004

Pros: Great for photographs
Cons: none

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 castle.

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 Distillery.

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.