Where We Went

Our trip through Scotland started and finished in Edinburgh. Janette very kindly lent us her Saab convertible which performed beautifully. Given the normal Scottish weather, and that we would be travelling a little further north than Juneau Alaska, we were not too sure about using the convertible, but it turned out to have been a wonderful decision because it was warm and sunny almost the whole time - most unusual. In fact, we even had a little problem with the sun being in our eyes which we were able to solve very effectively. Note the hat.

We made three side trips from Edinburgh as well as our main journey.


North Berwick and Bass Rock

North Berwick is 30 miles east of Edinburgh, downriver. It's a sleepy little town that is home to the Scottish Seabird Center. Bass Rock is a steep sided island totally covered with guano so it looks white. Lots of boat trips are available to look at the Puffins and other sea birds It's visible from all over the area. Getting there and back can be a hassle even in the middle of the day as seen in the last picture.


Falkirk Wheel and Stirling

The Falkirk wheel is an ingenious modern invention. Glasgow and Edinburgh are each on a large estuary, called a "Firth" in Scotland, but are separated by a low range of hills. A canal was cut across the hills in the 19th century but required a whole set of locks to step the boats up from sea-level to the canal which was at a higher level and another set of locks to get them back down. This made it a two-day journey to go eighty miles.
Some bright Scot figured out that two very large half-barrels of water each holding a boat would be balanced if they were put on the rim of a wheel. When the wheel turned, the boats would rotate on the rim, the top boat would be lowered and the bottom boat would be raised with very little energy needed since they were the same weight. It works!

The two round holes hold the boats in their half-barrels. The arch at the top is where the upper canal stops. The lower canal is at the level of the water shown. Naturally, there were lots of questions...

Stirling is a wonderful old town. There is an impressive house at the couthern entrance to the town, a very old merchant's house built in the 1600s, now a ruin, and the castle itself complete with an archer on the battlements. Finally, the Wallace memorial built to honor BraveHeart himself.



No, we didn't go to play golf but it's a wonderful place anyway. The hotel is magnificent, the lawns are impeccable and the flowerbeds are beautiful


Leaving Edinburgh to go North

We spent five nights on the road as indicated on the map below:
1. Home in Edinburgh
2. North to Braemar where the biggest Highland Games are held
3. North again to Loch Ness
4. Northwest to AltBea
5. West to Uig (pronounced Ewe-ig) on the outermost tip of the Isle of Skye
6. South to Tobermory on Isle of Mull
And back home to Edinburg.

We feared that the vertical white-grey line on the picture would be an impassable chasm created by a fearsome earthquake, but when we got there we were very relieved to find that it was only a crease in the map.

The whole population of Scotland is just over five million with more than a quarter living in Glasgow. This leaves lots of room for heather and sheep as you will see in the pictures.

Start the journey.

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