The Scottish Highlands! Part 1

How did we live in Scotland four years and not visit the Highlands? Well, that has now been remedied! Stan and I took a Rabbie's Tour mini-vacation with our friends Jennifer and Brian Attebery this past week. It was a three-day trip to the Isle of Skye via Eilean Donan Castle, Glencoe, Quiraing Mountain Pass, The Old Man of Storr, the Five Sisters of Kintail, and Loch Ness. It was a truly amazing trip with amazingly sunny weather the first two days. I took tons of photos that I'll share with you over the next week or so.
     The trip started in Edinburgh where we caught a small bus that carried 16 passengers, 17 including our driver, Roger, who was a magnificent story-teller. He shared all the gruesome and funny histories of the sites we visited.
     It was a nice group of people from all over the world - I counted six different native languages being spoken: English, Italian, German, Russian, Korean, and Chinese. We drove past the Kelpies and past Loch Lomond, where we once had lunch with our friend Rosie. Comfort breaks were extremely scenic and often enough that no one complained. Here are Brian and Stan at Loch Lubnaig.

     From there we drove to Eilean Donan Castle, "an iconic and gorgeous 13th-century castle that once warded off Viking invasions," - it's one of the most photographed castles in Scotland and you might recognize it from some James Bond movies. Here are Jennifer and Brian.

Stan and I posed at the front gate.

The castle had interesting bits of history shared throughout. (Click an image to see it larger.)
     From there we drove through Glencoe - the scene of the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692 of the MacDonald clan at the hands of the Campbell clan via orders from King James II. It's a disturbing story and it turns out that my family history (Mitchell) connects me to the history there via the Keppoch MacDonalds (Mitchells were originally part of the Keppoch MacDonald clan). The beauty and desolation of the place makes you wonder how anyone lived there at all, but the place is filled with ghosts. Here I am in front of the Hidden Valley where many of the women and children froze to death that terrible night. (Scotland is full of such stories, so please forgive the smiles!)

The visitors centre was especially well done with a film, and lots of information on the history of the area.
     I have lots more photos and we've not even made it to Skye yet. Check back soon for more!

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