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Scotland, September 2005

Scotland, September 2005 |

The Haggis tour left from Edinburgh on Monday morning. The first stop, was the Wallace monument in Stirling – the scene of William Wallace’s massacre of the British. We also managed a fleeting visit of Doune Castle (Monty Python and the Holy Grail).

We then proceeded on through the Trossach region (Rob Roy) to Callander for lunch. We visited one of the highlights of the trip, Glencoe: a beautiful misty glen with streams running down the tussocky mountains. We walked a way up one of the hills in stereotypical Scottish weather. The fresh air was fantastic and noticeable after London.

That night we stayed in the small fishing village of Oban. We had dinner on a pier with a piper playing in the distance. Naturally a visit to the pub was in order, neat whiskey, of course.

We progressed up to Fort William and onto Glenfinnan where we saw the Hogwarts Express (Harry Potter), and the first landing place of Bonnie Prince Charlie. We then climbed part way up Ben Nevis, the highest mountain peak in the UK. Very picturesque as was the majority of the countryside we saw throughout the trip.

We stopped at Eilean Donan Castle (Highlander) for an informative tour and afterwards made our way to Kyleakin on the Isle Skye. A few of us trekked to Saucy Mary’s castle before spending the night in Saucy Mary’s bar with the locals. It is about this point that Steve proceeded to remain drunk for the remainder of the trip (this explains a number of photos).

Wednesday we spent touring the Isle of Skye. The weather was wet and windy, very Scottish and great fun. At the top of the Isle we went to the remains of a castle and enjoyed ‘whiskey club’. We passed through the Isle’s capital, Potree, and again stayed in Kyleakin and drank at Mary’s.

We made our way to Ullapool and spent Thursday night in Carbisdale castle – the best night of the tour. The castle was awesome – fully furnished with paintings and statues and after a fantastic roast dinner we made our way down the pitch black driveway, through the bush, and across a bridge to the local pub. It was a huge night complete with a Scottish band, dancing, and crowd surfing.

The following morning we made our way to the Glenmorange distillery for a tour and a sample of more whiskey. We also went to Culloden battlefield where the English massacred the Jacobite Scots – a sombre place where 1200 Scots lost their lives in a little over an hour.

We also visited the Scottish version of the pyramids/Stonehenge, and then stopped off at Inverness to pick up supplies for our tacky wedding dress karaoke night in Fort Augustus. In keeping with my usual fancy dress theme a leopard skin print dress and hat were the order of the night.

The final day comprised of visiting Loch Ness, and Urquhart Castle. I put my feet in the famous Loch, and even had a taste of the water – no Nessie sightings. We were making good time on our way back (passing though Robertson country), so we stopped in a random village and played a game of soccer with the local 7 year olds – excellent fun! We passed through Kingussie and back down to Edinburgh to end the trip.

We all went out that night in Edinburgh. We had a drink at the Last Drop, and a few other clubs around Old Town – plenty of night life, and the girls…well I thought it was cold, but judging by what they were wearing, they thought it was the middle of summer…at the beach.

Tony and I went to Edinburgh Castle on the Sunday morning where the Scottish crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny were on display. It was then back to London.

In all an awesome trip – highly recommended.

Locations Visited: London, Edinburgh, Oban, Fort William, Kyleakin, Ullapool, Inverness, Fort Augustus, Edinburgh, London

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