2022 Scotland Adventure – Part Three

To read about this trip in order, you might want to scroll to Part One first and then Part Two!

Let’s continue with the stories and photos from my awesome adventure in Scotland…..to recap – Part One took us through Days One and Two with castles and traditional highland music, dancing, and song. Part Two took us through Days Three and Four with more castles, cathedrals, battlefields, a visit to St. Andrews golf club, and lots of stunning countryside. We’ll cover Days Five and Six to conclude my time in Scotland in this post.

DAY FIVE: We began the day with a photo stop at the Kyle of Sutherland:

Me with my friend, Loraine at the Kyle of Sutherland

Lots more of the gorgeous Scotland scenery on our drive throughout the day:

We stopped for lunch and shopping time in a quaint fishing village called Ullapool on Loch Broom. I had the most incredible lunch of fresh locally caught langoustine lobster and chips with garlic bread — OMG – heavenly!!! After lunch, I shopped a bit, took some photos, and had some creamy Scottish ice cream – flavor was a Scottish traditional soda flavor – Irn-Bru – delicious….orangey with an aftertaste of berry or root beer or something like that – hard to describe, but it was soooooo good and very different!!!!

That afternoon / evening, we took a boat cruise on Loch Ness to search for Nessie…..no sightings! hahaha But, the cruise was very nice and Loch Ness is beautiful! Loch Ness is the largest fresh water body of water in Great Britain by volume! And it is quite the experience. After the cruise, we went to an exhibit that went through the history and investigations surrounding the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) and had dinner – chicken with potatoes and veggies and a berry crisp with custard….and a 1/2 pint of locally brewed Loch Ness Lager!

Loch Ness

A kilt and cowboy boots……

DAY SIX: Our last day in Scotland was a long day on the coach driving from Strathpeffer back to Glasglow. Lots of wonderful scenery through the highlands – which we were surprised to see was brown in much of the areas. This was mainly because of the season – the mountain heather was not in bloom, in fact, it is burned as a tool to manage the moorland vegetation. The practice is beneficial to sheep, wildlife, moorland ecology, and biodiversity. So, it gave us an unexpected view of the hills throughout the highlands. But, although it was not green and covered in heather, it was still quite stunning!

Loch Carron:

We stopped at the Isle of Skye for coffee and photos….I had a scone with jam and took a banana for later. This was a lovely stop!

The Isle of Skye has the legend of Saucy Mary: a Norwegian princess known as ‘Saucy Mary’ who would charge a toll to any boat using the narrow channel by hanging a chain from the castle to the mainland to prevent unpaid crossings; she would then thank the boat’s crew for paying the toll by flashing her bare breasts at them, hence her nickname ‘Saucy Mary’. LOL

Here is what is left of her castle:

The route back to Glagow involved taking that huge coach onto a ferry across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig – here are a couple photos of some of our group on the upper deck of the ferry — it was a cold, wet, windy day…..I stayed below……these photos are courtesy of a friend:

We stopped for a photo op at Glenfinnan to see the monument to fallen Jacobite clansmen and the famous viaduct well known to “Harry Potter” fans……I got a photo of the train seen in the “Harry Potter” films before we got to the viaduct and a friend got this great photo of the train going over the viaduct…..any “Harry Potter” fans out there find this to be a familiar sight?

We also visited Fort William beneath Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Britain.

Next stop was Glen Coe – known as “The Three Sisters”, where the MacDonald Clan was massacred in 1692.

Me and my friend Pat with two of the three sisters behind us.

The last stop before we returned to the hotel in Glasgow was Loch Lomond…..made famous by the song “On The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond” – see the video in “Part One”. I told you earlier that Loch Ness is the largest fresh water body of water in Great Britain by volume….well, Loch Lomond is the largest body of water in Britain by AREA and it is stunning!

When we returned to our hotel, we had to take a Covid test – the US still requires a negative Covid test to enter (return) to the US. All but two were negative — there was a couple (husband and wife) that was not part of our group, but was on the Cosmos coach with us that tested positive, so they had to stay in Scotland until they test negative. But we were all good to go!

That night, we had our final dinner together – I chose the spring rolls, bangers (sausage) and mash, and ice cream……I was a little leery of the sausage and mashed potatoes because it was covered in gravy — I thought, gravy on sausage???? But, I decided to try it…..one more traditional Scottish / British meal…..and I am so glad I did – it was delicious!!!

We got up the next morning and took this group photo before getting on the coach to the airport….but, there were several of the 19 of us that weren’t down in the lobby, yet, so we took another one at the airport to be sure we had the entire group in the photo:

BUT…..our adventure didn’t end there!!! We got to the airport and discovered that our flight from Glasgow was delayed and it resulted in us missing our connection in Amsterdam…..several hours and much drama later (I won’t go into it all here), we were able to get all 17 of us rebooked for the next day (only 17 at that point needed to be rebooked – one was staying in London with friends for an extra week and one had a family funeral to attend, so got them to separate her and get her on a flight that evening). The rest of us spent the night at a GREAT hotel in Amsterdam – the Moxy! WE wished we could have had time to see a bit of Amsterdam, since we got stuck there overnight, but it didn’t work out – we didn’t get to the hotel till just about bed time and had to get back to the airport after breakfast the next morning…..so, I guess I still need to see Amsterdam, some day, and I already know a great hotel there! hehehe

They split us up into four smaller groups – try to rebook 17 people on the same plane on short notice…..some had connections through Detroit (I was one of 6 in that group), some had connections through Atlanta and DC. But, we discovered we were confirmed on the first leg of the trip, but couldn’t get confirmation that we had seats on the planes from our connection cities to Buffalo…..had to wait till we got to Detroit, Atlanta, or DC to find out…..but, my thought was “just get me to Detroit, I can get home from there somehow”. But, when we got there, we got on the next flight — all except three who ended up having to spend the night in Atlanta and got out to Buffalo the next day. Some luggage didn’t travel with the owners, but I believe everyone who’s luggage got delayed received it the next day. So…..some definite drama getting home, but we all made it….eventually…..and it was an amazing trip and I refuse to let the last part overshadow the rest of it.

Dinner at an Asian restaurant in the airport while waiting for our new bookings (above) and my room at the Moxy (below)

This was at the Moxy in Amsterdam — we decided to take it as our motto!

My last meal on the trip was a burger and fries at the Long Horn Steakhouse in the Detroit airport!

Before I leave you, here are some interesting facts about Scotland:

  • The Patron Saint of Scotland is St. Andrew
  • The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian
  • The official language of Scotland is Gaelic, but English is their second language and most people do speak English – of course with that lovely Scottish brogue.
  • Much of Scotland was originally settled by the Irish.
  • I used the term “coach” instead of “bus” throughout the three parts because they refer to a large tour bus as “coach” – a “bus” is used for public transportation
  • The Thistle is considered the “defender of the nation” because of a legend from the time of Alexander III (1249-1286). Legend has it that an army of King Haakon of Norway, intent on conquering the Scots, landed at the Coast of Largs at night to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more stealthily under the cover of darkness, the Norsemen removed their foot wear. But as they crept barefoot they came across an area of ground covered in thistles and one of Haakon’s men unfortunately stood on one and shrieked out in pain, thus alerting the Clansmen to the advancing Norsemen. His shout warned the Scots who rose up and engaged the enemy, thus saving Scotland from invasion. Needless to say, the Scots won the day and the Thistle was named “defender of the nation”. While no proof backs up the legend, it stands to this day!

With that, I bid you adieu until my next adventure…..wonder where I’ll go next…..hhhmmm……I have some ideas, but you’ll have to wait and see!

3 Comments on “2022 Scotland Adventure – Part Three

  1. You got great photos Kim. I wondered if I could get copies of some to go with mine for a scrap book. Also you have so much more info about places. I had a great time. Just wish we could have spent more time OFF the coach.

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