Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Trip to Scotland: All the Weather

I'm sitting in a Bed and Breakfast in Luib, on the Isle of Skye, while pea sized hail pelts the roof-line window in our upstairs bedroom as I compose this update.

Our hostess, Marilyn, says we have free wifi but only for email and information. No uploading or the rest of the guests' wifi will slow down. So I will write now and post pictures later.

We woke to bright sun and blue skies at Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness. The hotel was pretty nice and we all slept like logs. Especially those who were waiting for the bathroom to brush teeth, etc. They found they couldn't wait the 2 minutes and promptly fell asleep in their clothes and were nearly impossible to wake up.

We had a really lovely breakfast buffet and did NOT try the haggis. I will admit I chickened out. I would have tried a bite, but the pieces were huge (huge for haggis, which I suppose isn't that big, but still . . .) and no one else wanted to share a piece with me.

We headed over to Culloden Battlefield and by the time we got there, the weather was cold, windy and starting to rain. Most of the exhibit was inside and I was worried that Jonah and Isaac would be bored, until we found them at the feet of one of a costumed volunteer explaining every kind of weapon available to the British and Scottish in 1745. They were entranced, especially when he showed them how one could hold a leather covered targe and an dirk in one hand to handily disembowel a person.

We then headed out to the battlefield in the freezing wind and rain. It was miserable, and we didn't really get the full benefit of the audio tour because of frostbite potential. The whole time I kept thinking that the highland clans fought in this weather wearing SKIRTS!

We headed into downtown Inverness for some lunch and ended up at a mall. We tried to go somewhere else, but it was the only parking we could find. After lunch we walked around a bit. The skies were blue again and I snapped this picture of a lovely unicorn statue. (unicorn statue not pictured).

A few minutes later it was hailing.

Luckily, we were in our car and on the way to Loch Ness.

We pulled into the parking lot of the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, but because a) we didn't have a lot of time and b) the place looked a little bit groovy, we decided instead to give the gift shop a quick look around and head to Urquhart Castle.

Isaac got this darling hat for his birthday. Which was today.

Urquhart Castle was awesome and, pro tip, we got a 3-day pass for £48 which will allow us entrance into Sterling and Edinburgh Castles, too. Family entrance to just Urquhart would have been £27 for our family.

The castle was a hit with the boys, but at dinner tonight when I asked them the highlight of their day, it was that costumed guy at Culloden with the guns and dirks and swords.

We drove from Urquhart Castle as fast as we could to the Isle of Skye. Still, cars were passing us on the narrow, winding road. Also, it was snowing. Today's driving was less hair raising. I only had to shout, "Left side!" once in the morning and the rest of the day Robert was fantastic. Blood pressure level: rollercoaster. (Yesterday's was heart attack with a side of stroke).

We had planned to tour Eilean Donan castle on our way to Skye, but it was closed and we were in a hurry to get to our B&B before check in time expired at 7pm. Or as they say here in Scotland, 19:00. We had clearly planned too many activities for one day. Do you know how hard it is to pick things to do in Scotland for 7 days? It feels more like you are instead choosing all the things you CAN'T do. Still it was okay. We stopped to see Eilean Donan and Robert and Jonah ran up for a few pictures and ran back. I got this picture from the car. (Picture of Eilean Donan will be forthcoming).

We checked in to the Luib House and ran out for some dinner. Isaac got a baked Alaska for dessert and we quietly, and not annoyingly, sang Happy Birthday to him while he dug in.

Tomorrow: The Trotternish Loop for some beautiful hikes. Lunch at the Pie in the Skye (hopefully!) and then a ferry to some other island for our next night's accommodations.


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