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Belated travel report: Scotland

The new year is 5 days old and I've already had one fangirl meetup: beadslut for a lovely brunch in St. Paul. The company as well as the biscuits and gravy were awesome; the subzero temps were not so awesome. Can't wait till tomorrow, when it's forecast to be colder here than it is on Mars. (No, I'm not kidding.)

For the first week of my post-every-week-all-year meme (which still needs a lot more blanks filled in--lurkers are particularly welcome!), wendy asked to see those pics of Scotland I teased about but never showed you. Not wanting to be accused of being a tease who doesn't put out deliver as promised, here they are!

I flew over last September to attend a conference in Lancaster in northern England. Plane to Manchester, train to Lancaster, taxi to my hotel, which was a converted inn on a historic canal. I took one look out the window and thought, "I traveled 3000 miles to end up in Wisconsin!"


The canal was very pretty, though, and there was a family of swans I saw a couple of times. One day, I walked into campus along the canal and the roadway, which took an hour, but I took the bus the other two days.


After the conference, I took the train north to Scotland, where the lovely akadougal was the best tour guide anyone could ask for. She knew a ton about local history, rode the Falkirk Wheel with me (which made my transportation geek self very happy), took me through a castle, and helped me check off all of the essentials from the "See Scotland" list: guys in kilts, bagpipes, a loch, Highland cattle, heather, and a castle. She was a big reason why I enjoyed the trip as much as I did. :D

The boat goes into the bottom gondola, and then the whole thing rotates around that cylinder in the middle, so the boat ends up on the top. It connects two canals at the top and bottom of a pretty substantial hill; otherwise, boats would have to go through something like 16 locks.

Part of akadougal's awesomeness is that she made sure I was well fed with cake. :D

Edinburgh was everything I had expected, from the castle high on the hill to the old stone buildings everywhere. I would have loved to have more than an afternoon there, but I guess I'll have to go back!

We stopped in to see the brand new Scottish Parliament building, and this absolutely amazing, hand-made tapestry happened to be hanging up on display. There were a couple of hundred panels depicting various aspect of Scottish history, and the detail and craftsmanship were amazing. We both really enjoyed this, being crafty people. :)
Graffiti picture taken for cherie_morte reasons.

I love bridges, and this one was amazing. It doesn't really show in the picture, but it's a shade or two darker than the Golden Gate, this lovely red-orange color.

Z with cannon.

Up in the mountains. SO PRETTY. I would love to come back here and go hiking for days.

This one kind of sums up Scotland for me.

I also spent a day and a half in Glasgow. I would sum up the difference between the two cities as this: Glasgow is over twice as large, but when you go to a Starbucks in Glasgow, they sell souvenir mugs for Edinburgh. It's definitely not as popular a tourist destination, though I greatly enjoyed their transport museum. :D

Thanks to Wendy for the question, and Wendy for the hospitality!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, so much fun! Everything is beautiful and I'm oddly enamored with the swans. Also, with that cake. YUM.
Jan. 11th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! Thanks for the push to get me to do this. :)

The cake was very yum.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 11th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 6th, 2014 01:15 am (UTC)
Jan. 11th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)
Best graffiti ever.
Jan. 6th, 2014 01:38 am (UTC)
The tapestry is amazing. The scottish canals is a technological wonder. Lucky you to be here in the Twin Cities just for this colder than cold cold. Tomorrow will be brutal from all accounts. If you're still here, stay warm. 8-)
Jan. 11th, 2014 04:12 am (UTC)
I could post pages and pages of pics of the tapestry. It was so amazing.

I want a t-shirt now that says "I survived the Polar Vortex." :D
Jan. 7th, 2014 08:19 am (UTC)
I have only been in Scotland once, but loved it. Want to go back and visit the Highlands.

Loved the pictures and the commentary. Thanks for sharing.
Jan. 11th, 2014 04:12 am (UTC)
I would love to do that!

Glad you found them interesting. :)
Feb. 23rd, 2014 05:19 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip to my little part of the world.

If you ever get the chance to come back to Glasgow I recommend that you visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

The transport museum is good,but Kelvingrove is simply out of this world.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )