Thursday, February 14, 2013

Southern Highlands

Last post about Scotland! For now at least.... there is something that i'm pretty sure i'll go back and see in May. It's called Alnwick Castle and it is where some of the Harry Potter films were made. So of course I have to see it! We shall see how that plan goes ..... :)

On our last day in Scotland we took a bus tour that showed us some country side (I was quite happy to see some fields and horses and cows!) and eventually took us to the southern part of the highlands. On the way I learned some fun facts from the driver (yes, I was the only one taking notes). 

First he claims that Edinburgh is the smart city in the world, because most of the famous inventions/inventors came from people who lived or were born in Edinburgh. 
Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, but his family soon moved to Canada. We all know he invented the telephone, but what I didn't know was that he was originally trying to invent a hearing aid because both his father and mother were deaf. I was quite interested in that fact, because for those of you who don't know.. I am learning American Sign Language and want to work with people or kids who are deaf and possibly want cochlear implants. 

Our first stop was the Wallace Monument 

 I really quite liked the big stone rope going around the monument (above), and loved the key holes in the side of the monument (below).

If you like the movie Brave Heart, then you should be familiar with Wallace. I have not seen the movie! So, I don't know much about the whole battles. I know that the monument is 237 feet tall making it the largest monument "ever erected" or at least in Britain. Haha the tour guide was really really great, but loved Edinburgh that he bragged it up a bit. 

After we saw the monument it was back on the bus... As we were driving I was staring out the windows, and absolutely love love love love love love the moment you start to see faint outline of the mountains. 
  Look really hard!! You can see them! This was taken while we were driving, so it's not the best picture in the world. But it took me down memory lane in an instant. 

We used to make yearly skiing trips in Colorado, but a few years it was the Foutch, Troshynski, Hansen trip! We would gas up the Foutch van and the Troshynski van and pile in Mike, Shelley,  Bill, Shannon, Lance, Lisa, Jake, Nick, Ryan, Nathan, Whitney, Taylor, Emily, (sometimes a friend of hers), Me, Rachie, and Lauren. Can you imagine!! But it was always a competition in each van to see who was the first to see the mountains, or who was the first to reach the front of the van to be in Colorado first. I could remember Taylor running up there while Bill was driving and sticking her fingers in the windshield so she was the first one to be in Colorado. 
Those were the thoughts crossing my mind when seeing the outlines of the mountains. Oh what great memories! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!  Just made my day a happy one :) 

The next stop was Loch Lomond. There are 33,000 lochs in Scotland. Wow! On Loch Lomond there are 36 islands. We took a little cruise on the loch, and saw a few of those islands. I also saw some famous golf courses for all you golfers out there! I asked Ryan if he thinks he will be able to golf there someday, and he said that they named the course after him. So you may not have known that fact! 

Can you tell which parts are part of the golf courses? ha! They stuck out like a sore thumb. 
You can tell how our weather wasn't as great as the day we climbed Author's seat in the post before! This is more typical UK weather from my experience. 

After our tour we went to a small town to grab some lunch and then a nice scenic mountain cruise to get to another castle. However, half of this one I was like oooohh pretty, and the other half I was scared that I might not make it back to the US. 

Then we had made it to Doune Castle. If you are a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie you would probably know what I am talking about. Again, I have not seen that movie. I took a few cool pictures, but have nothing else to tell you about the castle because we didn't pay for the headset. Just from walking around I don't know how they went around that thing with no electricity, or how the went up and down those spiral staircases. You want to talk about some steep steps! And they were so tiny that my foot (and I have pretty small feet) were never fully on a step. I was holding on for dear life on the way down. 

See what I mean!?! Maybe it's harder to tell in the picture.... The stair wells were so dark too. Dangerous mix I tell ya! 
And then God lit a tree on fire to end our eventful day. Kind of overly like this picture as well.

That is technically the end of my Scotland trip!! I hope you enjoyed reading the blog posts about it! Since it was Valentines day I will leave you with one more story that took place in Edinburgh. We were standing at the corner of the street waiting to cross when another girl maybe a few years older walked over and also was waiting to cross. A man pursues her and says "Excuse me, hi, (smiles) ha, well, i've never really done this before, but, I just saw you walking, and you are so beautiful, and so I wanted to come say hi and maybe introduce myself" The woman really wasn't interested, and when it was time to cross she sure got her power walk on. The man walked home lonely. So, hopefully your Valentines Day was better than his!! 

Lots of love <3 :) 

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