I’ve one more full day in Scotland to report on and am days behind in updating my blog. What a combo…

Ullapool to Fort Augustus

More beautiful scenery and history. That was true every day of the trip to the point that it becomes hard to really describe it.

Among other places, we stopped in at Clava Cairns, a prehistoric site which is the remains of circular tombs built thousands of years ago. Really an amazing site. It also contains standing stones, though nothing as elaborate as stone henge. But still amazing when you consider the tools that people had to build these with at the time.

Afterwards, we visited Culloden battlefield, the site of the last uprising between the Scots and the English. The Scots under Bonnie Prince Charlie had very nearly won all of Britain in their battle in 1745. By 1746, the tide had turned and the last few Clansmen fought a much larger force in the open and everything fell apart. The highland clearances began after that. The people were removed from their lands and their customs and ways were banned. The culture was very nearly extinguished.

Lunch was in Inverness. Just enough time to explore a small part of downtown before back on the bus. Good old fish and chips shop. Granted I had chicken instead of fish. Sorry but yuck! Inverness was a lot like other Scots cities I’ve visited. An old core surrounded by newer development.

That evening we moved on to Fort Augustus, where we visited a little museum dedicated to preserving the ways of the highlands, the true kilts (not the ones we are used to today) and as much of the way of life as is possible. It was really an interesting experience and well worth it.

Afterward, we retired to Morag’s Lodge, a hostel in Fort Augustus, probably the nicests I’ve stayed in outside of London. There was karoke and movies. At the end of the night, a few of us were watching Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness monster before bed at 2:30am… ouch…

Fort Augustus Back to Edinburgh

Morning came much too fast on the last day. I don’t think anyone on the bus was particularly awake. We got an hour out when someone realized they’d left their camera behind and we had to double back. We made a couple of scenic stops along the way, but I was half asleep and mainly was just getting off the bus and taking pictures and then sleeping. We had lunch in some small pub, where I had a Scottish Venison burger. I also sampled some haggis off another plate and can report that it was okay. I don’t know if I’d want the full meal deal, but it wasn’t all that bad, reminded me somewhat of meat loaf.

Came into Edinburgh and it was, of course, raining. Said farewells to most of the group and trudged down to the my hotel and checked in. Near collapse. I can report that it is at least a nice place which a view! I’m not paying near their regular rates since it’s off season and I booked in advance.

More to come…

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