Internet access is spotty here as I have to go somewhere and carry everything, so I’ll only do a quick London highlight post for now. I took a tour out to Bath (town where the Roman Bath’s are located), the village of Lacock (used for movie sets, Harry Potter, etc), and ending with Stonehenge (where our small group were able to enter the boundary line and walk among the stones). AWESOME!!!!! How else to describe? OMG.
Slughorn’s house in Harry Potter 6
Feel the Power
Stonehenge at Sunset
May 18: I embark on a 2 day tour through the Highlands. After meeting tour guide Bill and the twelve other passengers, the 15 seat bus headed out of Edinburgh. We passed Stirling Castle, but had no time to stop for a tour.
Our first stop was in the Trossachs to meet the living legend, Hamish the Hairy Highland Cow and his young offsping, Honey.
Next, we stopped in Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous Scottish glen. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the Macdonald Clan by the Campbells took place in 1692. The landscape is gorgeous, volcanic mountains carved from thousands of years of glacial ice.
Onward we pressed to Glenfinnan. There we saw the Glenfinnan Viaduct which has been featured and made famous in the Harry Potter movies.
Glenfinnan is historically important as the landing site of Bonnie Prince Charlie in mainland Scotland to begin his 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. (More on this later). Glenfinnan Monument erected in honor of the Bonnie Prince.
Due to the incliment weather, we could not see the whole of Ben Nevin, Britain’s highest mountain. So, we travelled on to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. The castle was attached, but never breached- though the garrision there were determined to keep it from Jacobite forces and eventually tried to burn in to the ground. What remains today is as close as they got to completely leveling this strategic location.
It rained hard for some time while we explored the ruins, then we were treated to a fantasic rainbow over Loch Ness. (There may even be Nessie in the picture somewhere).
We concluded day 1 in Inverness (which translates to: mouth of the river Ness). A great first day in the Highlands.
Where to begin? First off, I took a hop on-hop off bus tour and toured Edinburgh Castle. WOW!! Lots of pictures, this place is a fortress and is still in use today as a military base.
I was there for the firing of the One O’Clock Gun.
The gun or cannon is fired every day Monday through Saturday, except Christmas and Good Friday. The initial reason was for the ship’s captains to be able to synchronize their timepieces before setting sail. Now it has become a tradition. Thankfully, for the citizen’s in Edinburgh the ammunition is not live.
I strolled the Royal Mile and saw where JK Rowling wrote Happy Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
In the evening I attended The Taste of Scotland – Scottish Show. A dinner, wine and 2 hour musical show. Fabulous!! I also enjoyed a bit of haggis.
Tomorrow, I am off early in the morning for a 2 day Magical Highlands Tour, in which I’ll see Stirling Castle, Loch Ness, Inverness, the Culloden Battlefield, and St. Andrew’s.
I’ll post when I return.