Monday, April 22, 2019

Last day in Scotland

Today was our last day in Scotland. We had a little time before our plane left, so we made two stops. The first was the Midhope Castle. It is a main filming site for Outlander. (Lallybroch in the show). Sidebar: it isn’t me who is an Outlander fan. 🤪. Our last stop was the Vet school campus for Edinburgh University. Arlington wants to go to vet school but that campus was not in the city when we toured the main school the other day. We are now at the airport. We had a great trip! The kids are still off from school this whole week, so at least we have rest still ahead.

Midhope Castle.  There is an entrance fee to visit this place (and they only take cash) and I need to tell you it isn't worth it.  Unless you are a hard core fan of the show, you cannot go into the castle - you can only walk around the outside and it cose 3.50 pounds a person.  I would say skip it.

 The three bridges
 The vet campus. This is the Roslin Institute and where Dolly the sheep was made

 We don't collect many souveniers on our trips, but we always bring back a few magnets.  Here is our current FULL collections from all of our trips since 2001.  We love looking at them and reliving the memories.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Harry Potter Train ride through the Scottish Highlands

Happy Easter! Today we took our long anticipated train ride through the Scottish Highlands. We booked these tickets last November so that we could sit in the Harry Potter themed coach. Cainan was so excited. The train ride was beautiful. Pictures do not do the Highlands justice. This is the train they use in the Harry Potter movies when the kids travel to Hogwarts. We went over the famous viaduct you see in the films. We stopped at two small towns on the round trip ride. It was a 6 hour trip and so much fun. We then drove back to Glasgow this evening. We drove back through the Highlands- big mountains, large lakes and deep valleys. Incredible. Great day.

The train.  It is called The Jacobite and it takes this route during Easter weekend and then all summer.  The engine was really cool
 Finley wore her Ravenclaw sweatshirt for the occasion
 Sitting in our coach. They used to be the benches like in the films but I guess people complained they were uncomfortable so they replaced them with fancy seats

 Arlington pretending that she is Hermonie 
Views from the train

 There it is! That is what you see in the films. It was fun to cross. And the people that were waiting below it to take the train picture was incredible

 I did open the small window and take a picture of the train traveling along

 Finley pretending to be Luna Lovegood and reading the menu upside down

 Our train treats
 We had a solid 2 hour trip back and so we played the Lake Norman card game (family game)

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Scottish Highlands

Today we took a driving trip to the Highlands. We looked at tours but couldn’t find one that did what we wanted so we decided to tackle it on our own. That way we could stop where we wanted. We went to Loch Lomond and Glen Etive, and Glencoe and then we just drove. We saw incredible mountains and wide lakes. We took a slow drive down a very windy one car width road to see some incredible views. Unfortunately slow driving did stop us from hitting all the things on our list today (plus a turn in the weather to rain this afternoon didn’t help) so we called it quits around dinner time. We are spending the night in Fort William in the Highlands because tomorrow we ride the Jacobite/Harry Potter train and it leaves early morning.

Loch Lomond is the largest expanse if fresh water in Britain. It is also deeper than the North Sea


 Glen Etive

 Loch in Glen Etive

 We saw a few Highland Cows (Helian Coos), but not as many as we thought.  They are pretty cute with their long hair.
 So this was a scene in the James Bind movie Skyfall. We are recreating it. 😊. See the comments for the scene from the movie