Thursday, April 30, 2009


Okay. I'm just going to get these horrible pics of my broken face out the way right off the bat! This is about 6 hours after The Fall. "Ally" our super-cute James McAvoy-ish tour guide took us to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where I was x-rayed, broken nose affirmed, paper stitched, and my big goose egg forehead bandaged. FUN! The black eye was just starting up at that point.
Ahhhh, here we go! This is actually post-fall day 3! You can't really tell the greatness of the black eyes, but there ya go!

Here's our room! Nice tea making stuff that we utilized every morning and every night! We also went down the street to a little market and bought sleeves of Digestives-grainy/sweet type cookie. YUM!

Just beautiful scenery, and then me, by....THE KEEP! Lol! That's at Alnwick Castle in Northumbria, England, home of Hogwarts and Harry Potter!

This beauty is one I've not visited before until this trip--Bamburgh Castle, also in Northumbria, England. Perched on volcanic rock overlooking the North Sea, it is one seriously amazing castle. The view from the battlements overlooked the ocean, and what an image of knights keeping watch it conjured up!

Here's my travel buddy and daughter, Tyler, standing next to a medieval door at Bamburgh!

Here's me, standing on the battlements. See? Gorgeous North Sea view!

Here's the Forth Bridge, or Forth Railway Bridge, which crosses from Edinburgh over into Fife. Such a cool bridge!!

I just loved this sign! Galashiels, Jedburgh, Leith--oh my!

DEFINITELY one of our trip highlights! This beautiful 15th century ruin is Kilchurn Castle in Argyll and Bute. I've always wanted to go here but this was the first time I've actually visited. You walk out quite a ways once you park, and you can climb all through the ruins. An amazing structure, and it's been photographed quite a lot from the OTHER side of the loch (Loch Awe), with the castle and mountains reflecting into the water. It was very inspiring!!!

Here's Tyler at the base of Kilchurn. It was just amazing! And COLD!

GORSE! It was EVERYWHERE in full bloom! This was taken on Easter Sunday, and I found something out about gorse that I never knew. Not only is it very prickly, but the blooms smell like...COCONUTS!!! It's true! I sniffed them! And it was like smelling an open bottle of suntun oil! Cool, huh?

Here's a shot from the side of Alnwick Castle. (Have you noticed yet how my pictures are SO out of order and disorganized? EEK! I can't figure out this picture loading stuff for nothin'!)

Hamish the "Hairy Coo"! Just like the ones Rob Roy MacGregor used to rustle! Only the original shaggy cows were all black, unlike Hamish who was a lovely ginger color!

This guy in Edinburgh (in Old Town, on the Royal Mile) was playing the HECK out of his bagpipes! Cool!

Here's Tyler on the battlements at Bamburgh Castle!

This is a view from an arrow slit in Kilchurn Castle. I thought it'd be cool to look out and see just what the archer saw!

Kilchurn Castle again! I loved it! I would have loved it MORE had we been there all alone! Or maybe at 6am, or maybe at 8pm! But my daughter informed me that the castles were there for EVERYONE to enjoy! (bossy kid)

This is just some amazing dramatic scenery, with the impending storm. We never did get heavily rained on, although that would have been totally fine!

A shot of Edinburgh, from the Royal Mile. That pointy, darker structure in the middle that looks like a rocket is the Scott Monument.

One of my favorite pics of Ty--this is on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, and a great pub! (with great food!)

Tyler with the beautiful green scenery behind her! If you look hard, you'll see a fuzzy structure in the back. A beautiful inhabited castle! (wish it was MINE!)

Another shot of Kilchurn Castle!

This place had some wicked good breakfast!

Beautimus scenery in the Highlands!

Another bird's view from the battlements at Bamburgh Castle.

One of the many wicked cool "closes" (very narrow alleys) in Old Town Edinburgh. Notice the wagon marks in the cobble! (next to the very modern, unattractive but necessary TRASH CANS!)

Here's Tyler, again in....KILCHURN!!! Lol!

Here is just some dude in a kilt with (I don't think you can see it here) tattoo on his calf!

Here's me (obviously, post-fall, hence the glasses) on the path to Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts!) The daffodils were in full bloom, and unfortunately all I had left at that point was black and white film! EEK!

Here's just a random shot in Old Town Edinburgh!

The Highlands, still with snow at the tops!

Ahhh. I took this especially for my best pals Kim Lenox, Rita-Marie Hester, Betsy Kane, and my editor, who have all grown hungry with my descriptions of fish n' chips in my stories. MY GOSH! It's almost a sin! The BEST I've ever had, and it was at a little small chip shop run by these two wiry-haired old gals who could FRY LIKE THE DEVIL! This at Loch Ness, JUST before The Big Fall. Lol!

Here's Tyler, about to dig in!

Here's part of the desolate Rannoch Moors!

Here again at this little town on Loch Ness!

Here we are, just after leaving Loch Ness and The Big Fall had already occurred! You can't see it well in this pic, but I've got a bandage on the bridge of my nose, and it just wouldn't really stop bleeding! Nasty! (but we finished the tour!)

Another cool close in Edinburgh!

Wow! A pic of me without my broken face! :) See my castle in the background? :) (wish wish!)

Here's a misty shot of Edinburgh Castle. Some of the pics I took that day won't even scan because the mist is so heavy, it comes out nothing but white!

Misty Edinburgh!

This gorgeous Celtic cross is actually complete--but my goofy ole scanner won't recognize the rest of the pic because it's so misty white!

Tyler by Alnwick Castle!

Me beside Kilchurn Castle!

Beautiful Highland loch!

Sheep! They were everywhere! was lambing season, and cute adorable little lambies were frolicking and bouncing all over the place. They were so CUTE!!!!

DOUNE CASTLE! If you've ever watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, THIS is the castle used. It is a really neat castle, and as you can tell it was gloomy this part of the day. Gloomy and WONDERFUL! We didn't get to go inside. Maybe another time! (when I get brave enough to DRIVE again!)

MY FAVORITE PLACE--GLENCOE!!!! I took so many shots here, I just couldn't post them all, but here are a few of my favorite. It's hard to have a bad shot of this haunting setting. This place hums with history and an eeriness that no other place does for me. The Big Massacre of the MacDonalds by the Campbells in 1692 (Feb) is chilling and still felt in this craggy landscape and town to this day. In Gaelic, it's referred to as Mort Ghlinne Comhann, meaning Murder of Glen Coe. You can read about it here:

The dark stuff? That's OLD HEATHER! :) It normally blooms in its full, beautiful lavender color in July/August. It starts fading in September, turns a brown first, and then really dark. Sometimes it's burned off. To me, it's beautiful no matter what color! :)

OKAY! Now that's not even 1/3rd of my pictures! But I'm pooped out! And I bet you're tired of scrolling through and looking at pics! I'll leave these up for a bit and then scan some more (and I'll try not to be repetetive!).
Don't forget! TOmorrow I'll announce the Spring Contest Winner! So check back here to see if you've won!