Scotland

Last week, you caught me while I was in Iceland. Before leaving, I went on what was called the Golden Circle Tour. This included þingvellir, Gullfoss, and Geysir.

þingvellir is an interesting geological place that gives visitors an opportunity to straddle the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This won’t be possible in another thousand years as they are separating by a millimeter a year.

þingvellir

The next stop on our tour was Gullfoss, which was a huge set of waterfalls that flowed into a gorgeous canyon.

Gullfoss

The last big stop before heading back to Reykjavík was at Geysir. While Geysir is a hot spring that is technically active, it hasn’t been for a long time. A smaller hot spring less than a hundred yards from Geysir named Strokkur is active. It has much larger spurts than the one I happened to catch on film.

In Scotland

It is only a two hour flight from Reykjavík to Glasgow, and it costs you an additional hour with the time change. Glasgow is a happening place with many pubs and Italian restaurants. In Glasgow, you don’t need a watch to tell time as there are clock towers around every corner.

Two clock towers within a few blocks

After my first night in Glasgow of pub crawling, I went on a bus tour of the Scottish Highlands. There were several scenic stops that included gorgeous landscapes and beautiful castles.

Here is the top of a glen that is named Rest * Be Thankful. So, that’s what I did. I rested and I was thankful for being on such a trip.

Rest • Be Thankful

Then, there were castles! I snapped a picture of a few. Below you’ll find Kilchurn castle and Stalker castle, respectively. Some of you may recognize Stalker, as it appeared in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Kilchurn
Stalker

We stopped in the lovely town of Oban and had some fish and chips and some time to leisurly walk around and stop in some differnent shops and/or distilleries. I may have happened to stop into one of the distilleries and sample some Oban Scotch. It was good stuff after a hike up to McCaig Tower for this lovely view.

View from McCaig Tower

Toward the end of the tour, our guide stopped at the Three Sisters. These were an awe inspiring set of mountains that were set as the backdrop to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.

Three Sisters

When in Scotland, one must try a good Scottish breakfast. This consists of some egg, sausage, bacon, black pudding (blood sausage), roasted tomato, baked beans, and a potato scone. Some of this varied from breakfast to breakfast but not by much. Also, one should not expect the continuous refills of coffee like you get in the states. You’ll be lucky to get a 2nd cup before you’re ready to leave.

Scottish Breakfast

Stirling

One can easily get to Stirling from Glasgow by hopping on the train at the Queen Station. It took around 30 minutes, maybe less. Then, there is Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Monument to keep you busy. Here, I captured a view of the National Wallace Monument from Stirling Castle.

View from Stirling Castle

Just outside Stirling I had the opportunity to stay and dine at Broomhall castle! What an experience! I felt kind of like royalty. Perhaps more like a jestor (I am, after all, a monkey).

Broomhall Castle

The Scotch

Ben Nevis

As I sat in the Ben Nevis tasting scotch, I stared up at the bar and became overwhelmed. “Wow!” I exclaimed, “there is just so much scotch and so little time.”

“Yeah,” a patron said, “you’ve barely scotched the surface.”

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