When we were planning the trip, my dad had only two requests: to visit his land (2 square feet) and to see the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. They had seen it before, but he wanted to see it again. He had other suggestions, but those were the only things that were “We Shall.”
I’ll be honest, I was not expecting much. OK, I knew it would be nice and worth seeing, but, you know, watching military marching bands? Right.
I’m glad I went…
First, the setting is just marvelous. There is something about Edinburgh Castle, it seems almost to be part of the hill, not man made. I am sure Tolkien was thinking of it when he created Minas Tirith.
I have mentioned several times in these posts that this was a family trip. Part of this was a visit to places about the MacDonalds, since that is our history. So I guess I should be excused for thinking that we were going to visit Glencoe for the history, to go and visit the site of the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. I assumed that was what the visitor center was all about.
Imagine my surprise when on our first travel day, after driving through some of the most beautiful mountains I have seen in my life, and I have seen many, that this was Glencoe.
We drove through Glencoe a total of three times. We didn’t get a chance to stop until the last time through. We spent some time, a little over an hour, at the visitor center and another 45 minutes or so at a scenic pull off that was crowded with people looking at the mountains.
Castles rise up in our imaginations as relics of a mythical past, set places for fantasy tales full of Chivalry and Romance. Or at least this seems to be the way most Americans think of castles. Of course the reality is far less romantic. A real castle is a defensive structure, often used as a base for offense, that lorded over a brutal time. Either way, they are fascinating!
A lot of people think of Scotland as a land of castles, and we did see plenty, though our trip wasn’t centered on them. Occasionally we’d catch a glimpse of a ruined tower or a full castle and then back to the typical scenery, which was gorgeous. Of course most of the glimpses were around water, not up in the moors or mountains.
Back when I was in my 20s I traveled with my parents and oldest nephew, who was around 12, to the British Isles. We hit England, Wales and (Republic) Ireland. My parents had been before, so I chose a lot of the sites that we visited. Most of the places I suggested were ancient sites, so we visited chamber tombs, long barrows, standing stones, stone circles, etc. Some were so little visited that we followed narrow cow paths… But it was fun.
That trip was the start of a tradition for my parents. They took all of their grandchildren, and later, great-grandchildren, on an overseas trip when they were 10 to 12.
And I had traveled overseas quite a few times in those years, but never to the British Isles.
I have been to Paris three times and have spent almost 25 days there. My favorite part of the city is the Notre Dame Cathedral. While visiting, sometimes I would just sit in the little garden behind it and read or hang out. Very nice.
I am sure you have all been watching/reading the news. Such a terrible tragedy.
Here are just a few posts I have done on the city (I had over a half a dozen posts in 2015 alone):
I’m sorry this is so late. I was supposed to get in mid-afternoon yesterday but got home after midnight. Oh well, so it goes. In case you didn’t see my other posts, I was away for most of the last week. Where was I? Colorado.
If you follow my blog you will see more about this trip in a later post. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go through all of the photos, but you can be sue I’ll have a photo post. I did send a few phone-photos to social media before I broke my phone (another story for another day ;) ), like this one: Continue reading →
This week is difficult. It’s not because I can’t think of anything to smile about, it’s that there are too many smiles.
Last week I flew into Cleveland to visit family in Ohio. So there is family as a smile. And then I could go through the different individual family members and add smiles. Like a nephew you just graduated college and has a great job lined up. Or a niece who just completed a great Freshman year at college. On and on, I can add many such smiles, digging down deeper and deeper. Hundreds, no, thousands of smiles. A “niece” from China also graduated from college and her parents were visiting from China (she will stay here to work and go back to graduate school). More and more. A niece with a new house. etc. Continue reading →
I’m back home form going back home. Yeah. Did you get that? So, over a long weekend I visited my parents who live in the town that I grew up in: “Home”. Right now I am back int he town where I’ve spend almost half of my life, and the majority of my adult life: “Home”. back from the house I grew up in to the house I built.
Anyway, in the next few days you might start seeing me again :)