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    • Day 27

      Goodbye Camper Van

      October 3, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ 🌬 14 °C

      We returned the camper this morning. It was a great 15 days, but Randy is definitely ready to sit back and let someone else do the driving. This may be a long post as I will cover our last few days out. We had a great night in Fort William, and before leaving the area, we checked out Neptune Staircase, which is a set of eight locks. We wandered along the tow path and watched a small cruise ship finish the last of the locks. We also saw some really cool small tour boats that take around 10 to 12 people out to the islands. Paddle boards, kayaks, and one even had sailing dingys. We spoke to the captain, and it sounds like a cool adventure trip. After that, we headed to The Ben Nevis Visitor Center and Trail Head. Very informative displays and lots of serious climbers getting ready to head out. There were a variety of climbs from a three or four hour slightly challenging hike to full-on rock climbing and multi day climbs. There is also ice climbing, and the photos were amazing. We took a 30-minute hike just to say we did and chatted with a few people coming down from the first summit. Very beautiful stop. We then headed to Glencoe. The roads were better, two lanes for the most part, but the scenery was still so beautiful. This area of the Highlands felt more welcoming. So lush and green, still lots of drama but a little softer. Glencoe Village was small and so cute. We wandered around and found the MacDonald Memorial. Even though the massacre took place in 1692, we found references to it several times. We stopped at the village store, and the owner said that they still didn't welcome the Campbell's, but there was only one MacDonald left in town. We found an amazing place to park for the night, outside of town, but still in the valley. It was a parking lot for a forest walk, and although just off the road, it felt very secluded. There were about 12 other campers there. We went on a fabulous forest walk and came out at a country inn with the best ever pub. Boots, it was called, and there seemed to be more dogs than people. They were having music that night, but I was too chicken to walk through the woods after dark. We met a lovely couple who were in the same car park who gave us all kinds of information on the area. They were staying for music, but they had a flashlight and a dog to get them home safe. We went back to the camper before dark and had a quiet Saturday night. We weren't sure where we were heading Sunday, so we just started driving. We drove along Loch Lomond, and the sun came out. It's probably the best weather we have had in our time in Scotland. We checked out Luss, and it was very pretty, but it was too early to stop, and we couldn't find a good place to park. We ended up driving all the way to Falkirk, which was going to be our last stop before turning the camper in. We are a day early. We paid for overnight parking at the Falkirk Wheel. This is a pretty amazing piece of technology that uses gravity to lift boats who are traveling the canal system. I believe they said the wheel replaced 11 locks. We watched a narrowboat come down the wheel, and later, a group of paddleboarders went up the wheel and headed down the canal. Very cool. We took a walk along the towpath and found a small pub called Lock 16. It was very old and very quaint. We sat on tiny stools and watched the locals enjoy their Sunday afternoon visiting. Back at the car park, we met a really nice couple from BC who are taking a gap year and shipped their custom-built van from Halifax to Liverpool. They have a year to see as much as they can. The next morning, we experienced our first real challenge with the camper. When Randy tried to start it, nothing happened. The battery was dead. It was strange, though, because the battery monitor was showing it had power. Challenge two was my sim card hasn't been working for calls or texts, just data. I sent an email to Bunk Campers, and we waited for a response. While we were waiting we went to the visitors center to charge my phone and Randy met a lovely couple who lent us their phone. After a number of attempts, we finally connected, and the rental company said they would send someone to give us a boost. I also tried unsuccessfully to get the issues with my sim card fixed. What a frustrating waste of time that was. The couple who lent us their phone insisted on waiting until the camper was running, so we had a lovely visit. They had just completed the NC 500 in their large motorhome and were heading to the Lake District in England. Once we were back running thanks to Kenny from Bunk Campers, we stopped at The Kelpies. These huge metal sculptures honor the role horses played in the development of the area. They are very beautiful and they along with the Falkirk Wheel draw hordes of visitors to the area. We found a lovely county park to spend our last night out and really enjoyed the facilities. For the first time in a week we have had electricity. We definitely wanted it after experiencing battery issues. There was a working farm in the park, so we had a beautiful walk through the fields. Unfortunately, the hairy coos weren't around, but there were lots of sheep to provide entertainment. We cobbled together dinner from all our leftovers and played a few games of cards. All in all, we have really enjoyed our campervan and the freedom it has given us. We had plenty of space, and if anything, we would have gone smaller because of the crazy roads.Read more

    • Day 3

      Signing on from Bonnie Scotland

      September 1, 2022 in Scotland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Hello everyone,

      MIke and I hit the road again on Tuesday. This time we’re off to Europe for the trip that we planned but canceled in 2020 due to COVID. And, although it feels like we just unpacked our suitcases from our last overseas adventure, the timing of this trip was mostly driven by some cycling buddies who we are meeting in Bordeaux mid-September. The first part of our trip will be in the UK and include family visits and some walking. The second part will centre around the Bordeaux area of France.

      As our trip approached this summer we had an increasing sense of dread from all of the reported chaos at airports. Even Mike, who rarely stresses, was visibly agitated about our planned connection in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport after a report of 16,000 undelivered bags in one day. Aberration or not, Schiphol sounded like a very bad place to be connecting. Adding to our concern, KLM canceled the flight we had booked to Edinburgh so we scrambled to rebook on Easyjet - an airline almost guaranteed not to arrive on time. Mike does love to solve problems so he took to watching Youtube videos of people trying to get through Schiphol. This only increased his anxiety and he pleaded with me to consider carry-on only. I never thought that the words Heather Parry and “ carry-on luggage” would appear together in the same paragraph but now I am rocking my black on black on black capsule wardrobe.
      The actual trip over went without a hitch. Sharon dropped us off early Tuesday and we whipped through security. The Vancouver to Amsterdam flight was business class on KLM and that was a mini-vacation all on its own. Fully reclining seats, a fancy headset, champagne before my bum touched the seat, wine menu, a smiling KLM attendant who gently placed a linen cloth over my tray. It will be hard to go back to cattle class! Because we had only carry-on we didn’t have to leave security or clear customs in Amsterdam avoiding all of the dreaded line-ups that Mike had been streaming on Youtube.
      We arrived in Edinburgh at about 7 Wed. night. Mike thought the pilot had taken a wrong turn because it was a cloudless, sunny day when we landed. My cousin Isobel and her husband Derek Graham welcomed us warmly and we are now in the very pretty town of Linthithgow - about 30km west of Edinburgh. Isobel and I are actually second cousins as our Grannys (Helen and Isobel Sutherland )were sisters. Her Grandmother Isa - for Isabel - married a Baillie and if any of our family come to Scotland , we are most often hosted by one of the Baillie clan. And hospitable they are! I recall on one of my first visits here with my sister Helen we were passed around the family like parcels and everyone enjoyed feeding us as much as possible. We were too polite or shy to refuse any food on offer and we rolled off of the plane when we got home. I’ll try to show more restraint on this visit.
      Yesterday morning we ventured into the city by train. Mike and I were here not too many years back so we decided to forgo visiting the Edinburgh castle , Holyrood Palace etc and instead did a nice long walk. We went to see George Heriot’s where my Dad went to school. The school was founded in 1628 by George Heriot who was the goldsmith to James VI. He bequeathed his estate to the city for the education of “fatherless bairns of the toune of Edinburgh”. Besides it’s beautiful buildings and interesting history, my Dad always said it was a formative part of his education and life. Much like his father and grandfather before him, Dad was a life-long learner and , like many immigrants, had an unwavering conviction that education was the key to success. My siblings and I can attest to the fact that we could get away with quite a bit of shenanigans but we were always expected to make every effort at school.
      But I digress. Edinburgh has been sunny- a remarkable occurence. The festival is over and the city looks a wee bit hungover with a lot of garbage needing picked up. There was a notable lack of buskers such as pipers and men dressed as Braveheart on the streets. The shops were quiet and we were able to pick up a few supplies for our coming walk on the Fife Coastal Path. They say that in Scotland there are 5.4 million people, 6500 Highland Coos (cows), 1 monster (Lochness) and 180 million gazillion midgies. So, on the advice of the shopkeeper of the local outdoor adventure shop we bought a book about the Fife Coastal Path and a can of Smidge to ward of the midgies.
      One very unexpected but happy wrinkle in our visit here is the fact that Isobel and Derek’s youngest daughter Mairie is having her first baby as I write this. When they invited us to stay it was assumed Mairie’s wee bairn would be born mid-August, but babies pick their own dates and Mairie is 3 weeks overdue. She has now been in labour for a full day and Isobel is with her to attend the birth. We are trying to stay out of the way with long walks and efforts to keep the Grandfather Derek calm and distracted. Hopefully baby will arrive in the next few hours. I believe there were plans for a home birth but the whole gang are now at the local hospital. Best laid plans…….
      We took a long walk about the town of Linlithgow today. Very pretty with friendly people, lots of cafes and green spaces.The Linlithgow Palace is at the heart of the town . Mary Queen of Scots and King James V were born at this castle as it was a main stronghold of the Stewarts. I won’t even try to connect the dots from Mary Queen of Scots to today’s monarchy. This afternoon the cousins came round to stare at their curious Canadian relatives. We shared stories and tried to sort out the family tree on my Grandma’s side. Lots of repeated names like Isobel(Isa), Alexandrina(Ina), Ruby, Helen, Fiona, Archie, May, James and Tommy.
      Tomorrow we start the next phase of our trip. Derek will drop us on the north side of the Firth of Forth and we will walk the Fife Coastal Path for 3 days towards St. Andrews.
      That’s the news for now.
      Hope all is well where you are.
      Heather/ Mom xx
      Footnote: Baby boy Archie finally arrived this afternoon.
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    • Day 9

      Linlithgow Palace

      May 17 in Scotland ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Linlithgow Palace ist eine Schlossruine in der schottischen Stadt Linlithgow etwa 25 Kilometer westlich von Edinburgh. Die Anlage war lange Zeit bevorzugter Wohnsitz der schottischen Könige und ist die älteste ihrer noch erhaltenen Residenzen.

      Sowohl Jakob V. als auch Maria Stuart kamen dort zur Welt. Viele schottische Königinnen zogen dieses Schloss auf dem Land den anderen großen Residenzen vor, um dort ihre Kinder aufzuziehen. Ein Feuer im Jahr 1746 beschädigte den Palaststark und machte ihn zu einer Ruine.

      Eine schöne Ruine, die eigentlich nur von dem neuen „goldenen Dach“ verschandelte wird…
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    • Day 15

      Linithgow Palace

      May 19, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Geburtsstätte von James I und Mary Queen von Scotts 1542.....wenn man sich vorstellt ....
      600 Jahre her....danach zum ""Ship that never sailed""》》Blackcastle..Dort auch für Outlander Fans..Dort wurde Jamie gefangen gehalten und im Hof ausgepeitscht...muss ich mir doch glatt nochmal angucken🙈Read more

    • Day 2

      Lunchstop Linlithgow

      September 30, 2017 in Scotland ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Na ruim een uur vertraging vanwege een kapot vliegtuig dat vervangen moest worden komen we aan in Edinburgh. Dedame van Europcars probeert ons met het valse voordeel van een navigatiesysteem een auto voor de helft van de prijs aan te smeren. We kiezen voorde oorspronkelijke auto die ook een navigatiesysteem blijkt te hebben.

      We rijden vlot de M9 naar Stirling op maar de lunch lonkt Dus even gestopt voor een hartige snack. De gemiddelde leeftijd binnen werd stevig verlaagd bij onze binnenkomst.

      Op deze zonnige dag toch maar even binnen in de authentieke Schotse borders sfeer gegeten.
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    • Day 16

      Bye Edinburgh 💞👋

      March 27, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

      Headed to Inverness via Scotrail

    • Day 41

      LEJOG day 41 Auchinstarry

      May 17, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      21.9m 758.2miles

      A day on 2 canals. Union then Forth and Clyde via the Falkirk Wheel. Saw ducks and ducklings, swans and signets, and a cormorant. A few chats with folk including a man we saw near Jedburgh. Followed the Antonine wall for some time , with little evidence. Only other excitement is I’ve now joined Helen with shin splints🙁.Read more

    • Day 5

      Linlithgow Palace

      August 10, 2014 in Scotland ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      Mein nächstes Ziel war Linlithgow Palace, einem Sitz vieler schottischer Könige. Dieses nette Schloss ist an vielen Stellen schon eingefallen, besonders bemerkbar macht sich dies durch das fehlende Dach. Nett fand ich hier aber, dass die Führungen nicht etwa Erwachsene vornehmen, sondern zwei junge Mädchen im Alter von ca. 14 Jahren, welche auch noch in altertümliche Kostüme gekleidet waren - eine nette Idee, Nachwuchs für Historic Scotland? :-)

      Die Schlossruine in der schottischen Stadt Linlithgow liegt etwa 25 Kilometer westlich von Edinburgh. Die Anlage wurde in fünf Bauphasen errichtet und war lange Zeit bevorzugter Wohnsitz der schottischen Könige und ist die älteste ihrer noch erhaltenen Residenzen. Sowohl Jakob V. als auch Maria Stuart kamen hier zur Welt. Viele schottische Königinnen zogen dieses Schloss auf dem Land den anderen großen Residenzen in den Städten wie Stirling oder Edinburgh vor, um dort ihre Kinder aufzuziehen. So wuchs neben Jakob V. auch die als "Winterkönigin“ bekannte Prinzessin Elisabeth in Linlithgow auf. Andere Königinnen wiederum nutzten den Palast als Witwensitz, darunter Margaret Tudor und Anna von Dänemark. Ein Feuer im Jahr 1746 beschädigte den Palast stark und machte ihn zu einer Ruine.
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Linlithgow, Gleann Iucha, लिन्लिथगो, リンリスゴー, Линлитгоу, Lithgae, Лінлітгоу, 林利斯哥

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