18 November 2010

Scotland! (08/11/10-12/11/10)

For reading week, Margaret and I headed up to Scotland, where we did a lot of sightseeing, picture taking, and shopping. (This is a very small portion of the photos I took on the trip.)
the coast of Scotland from the train

We'd been in Edinburgh for about five minutes when we saw a kilt-wearing piper busking on the street.

Edinburgh at night

Tuesday we went for a bike ride around the lowlands, which included a detour down to the beach where we saw a seal in the water. It was really cold and super windy but great fun anyway.

We came across a field of cows. We started talking to them....

...and pretty soon the entire herd was at the fence where we were. When we left, they followed us until the end of their field.


Hamish on my bed in the hostel--Argyle Backpackers.

We stayed in an 8 person dorm room. It was clean and quiet--very nice.

Wednesday we went for a sunrise hike up Arthur's Seat--an extinct volcano in Edinburgh.


Sunrise over Edinburgh.

the summit of Arthur's Seat


Me at Edinburgh Castle

Scottish flag

Me at Edinburgh Castle

Me and Edinburgh

another piper, this one on the Royal Mile

creeping on this guy walking around in a kilt

From the top of the Walter Scott Monument. The higher peak in the back is Arthur's Seat.

me at the top of the Walter Scott Monument

There were 287 steps to the top of the monument. They got VERY narrow towards the top.

The Walter Scott Monument

Blackadder! in a graveyard in Edinburgh

Potter! --the gravestones that inspired Harry Potter

Riddell, which became Riddle

rainbow over Edinburgh

The Elephant House--the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter

We went for a tour in The Scotch Whisky Experience, where we learned all about how Scotch Whisky is made and got a taste of it (bleh). 

the largest collection of Scotch Whisky

me & whisky

Friday we went for a tour of the highlands with an alternative tour group called the Hairy Coo. This is the first rainbow of many. (www.thehairycoo.com - this is a fantastic tour where there is no set price, you go on the tour and tip the driver what you think it was worth at the end)

Stirling Castle--a very important castle in the history of Scotland

Doune Castle--a very important castle in the history of comedy

"Hello? Who is it?"

Donald, our tour guide, was nice enough to provide coconuts, which I clacked around the castle (we couldn't go in because it was closed for winter hours).

We met Hamish, a very famous Hairy Coo--a breed of Scottish cattle


Snow-capped peaks

Loch Earn

the bus--the back says "Honk if you're horny"

me at the loch

Loch Earn is a tidal loch, so there were some pretty crazy waves.

Rainbow up at a glen.

Dam up in the highlands.

Where we were.

the very narrow road we were driving on. the little stuffed hairy coo is named Hector.

As part of the highlands tour, we went for a tour of a whisky distillery, so I got another sample of whisky (the first was much better).

inside the distillery

a barrel of whisky from 1952, they're hoping to keep this one going until 2012 and have a special 60 year old whisky, in honor of the queen, but it's down to 42% alcohol (it has to be 40% to be considered whisky)

casks of whisky maturing

photos from Margaret (that are out of order)--me at the summit of Arthur's Seat

Me looking very disheveled and windblown at the top of Arthur's Seat

the Harry Potter themed toilet in the Elephant House

Margaret and me

me photographing the rainbow

me, water, mountain, and rainbow

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