Sunday, 25 August 2013

Scotland ahoy! (heavy on the pics tho...)

I've just got back from my break in Scotland with my sister - we went on a Lochs and Glens coach trip and stayed at the Inversnaid Hotel on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond - and very bonnie they are too! The main reason for the trip was to visit the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo which we have both wanted to do for ages - and boy it is so worth it if you get the chance to go... I love the sound of the pipes and drums, and watching the precision marching and inter-weaving and entwining they do - absolutely stunning.

As well as Scottish and English bands they have bands from abroad - this year there were bands from North Korea, Mongolia, Mexico and New Zealand - the latter keeping everybody well entertained with their singing, dancing "Gangnam Style" (yes - honestly!) and finishing off with the Haka...

The Imps junior motorcycle display team were also there, whizzing around the auditorium and doing fast crossover passes - whilst riding their bikes standing facing backwards - heart in mouth time but their timing was perfect. So too was the marching from the girls from New Zealand - they also did a routine which included perfect crossovers whilst marching backwards!

As well as the tattoo, we visited Stirling and the Wallace Monument, the Glengoyne Distillery and Callendar, as well as driving through some stunning scenery over The Dukes Pass. We also had a short cruise on Loch Lomond itself which was very informative, all about Rob Roy and the Duke of Montrose. All in all a very busy and packed 3 days, with a day each side for the journey up.

It was a nice break and very good value for money, its now the third time I've been away with Lochs and Glens and certainly intend going again - but next time I'll be a devil and go for longer - 3 days just isn't long enough to get over the 12-hour or more journey on the coach up there (especially when the selfish cow in the seat in front of you fully reclines her seat into my knees without warning and gives me zero legroom for the whole holiday grrr)

So - pictures...

To get you in the mood, here's the piper at Gretna Green

Inversnaid Hotel

The Arklet Falls - right next to the hotel

Reflections of me and my sister in the waterfall!

The Scot Monument, Edinburgh

Greyfriars Bobby and his pub


Massed bands at the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo

Me and my sister at the Wallace Monument, Stirling
The Glengoyne Distillery

Reflections on one of the many lochs we passed

Lily pads on Loch Achray

The Haggis Farm on Loch Lomond
Oh ok, so the last picture isn't really a haggis farm - but that's how the tour guides describe it... it's actually the hydro-electric power station feeding from Loch Sloy way up at the top of the mountain - but according to the tour guide it's the haggis factory... Haggis's - or more properly Haggi - are a wild 3-legged creature that roams the mountainsides of Scotland, feeding on the heather, and they are chased and caught and sent to the building at the top of the pipes which is the slaughter-house... they are then prepared and rolled down the pipes (which gives the haggis the traditional round shape) and then arrive at the bottom building which is the packing station... where they are packed and sent to Tesco's...
Believe that and you'll believe anything... :-)


misteejay said...

Fab photos Suzie - glad to see you managed to get the Greyfriars pic that you wanted.

The 3-legged haggi must be native to that part of Scotland because I'm sure the ones from Dundee only have 2 (although I'm told they do drop down onto all 4's to get a bit of speed when running away LOL).

Glad you had such a great time.
Toni xx

susibee said...

Great photos - looks like you had an amazing time. We are off to Scotland in our camper van in a couple of weeks and I can hardly wait!