Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument (Day 9)

Memory is a funny thing. Sometimes you can’t remember a thought that popped into your head 5 minutes, but you can remember the first time Braveheart came on TV and you actually were allowed to watch (most of) it. I remember thinking how beautiful the scene was where Wallace courts Murron. They ride through a glen and up a mountain and end looking out over a loch. I wanted to go there.

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Stonehaven, Dunnotar and St Andrews (The In Between Time)

With 15 glorious hours of daylight comes great responsibility. We decided to squeeze every drop we could out of most of our days in Scotland. Day 8 1/2 into the beginning of 9 was no exception! We left Blair Castle as the Highland Games were drawing to a close. To the sound of bagpipes on the wind, we left behind more than just our footprints in that damp grassy field in front of the castle, we left pieces of our hearts too.

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Atholl Highlanders Gathering (Days 7 & 8)

In a small town near by our current hometown, there is a Tartan Festival that I won tickets to one year.  It launched Ben into a genealogical search of his Scottish side of the family.  He traced his paternal lineage all the way back to the 900’s.  His family had ties to Clan Murray from then on to at least the 1740’s.  The Murray’s have held the dukedom of Atholl for centuries and with it, Blair Castle.

Every Maybank Holiday weekend, they put on a history presentation, a parade and highland games celebrating the Atholl Highlanders, the Duke of Atholl’s private army (these days ceremonial). It kicks off the season of Highland Games and piping competitions in Scotland.  Our conversation upon discovering this fact went something like this…

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In Search of Nessie- Scotland Day 6

Standing on rocks in the loch, hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie…

I am not going to lie, it was difficult to leave Skye with so much unexplored. However, today was a new day! We were off to the opposite side of the country, from Skye to Pitlochry via Loch Ness. Continue reading “In Search of Nessie- Scotland Day 6”

Glens, Trains and Waterfalls- Scotland Trip Day 4

Our breakfast with a view of Loch Leven…

Our bodies protested going down to breakfast, despite how delicious we knew the “full Scottish breakfast” awaiting us would be.  We were quite sore and our thigh muscles didn’t seem to be very willing to allow our knees to bend.  We pressed on and just used bagging a Munro as our excuse for appearing as though we aged fifty years in one day.  Today was one of the few things Ben actually added to the plans of our trip. 

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Scotland Trip Day 3- Finding the Mountain Scene from Braveheart

Today we searched for a mountain. To be more exact, we searched for a specific part of the path near the Am Bodach peak on the Aonach Eagach ridge. This was one of our first views of Scotland growing up. It was home to the scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson runs across the mountain and looks all around him. Ambitious, we knew, but others had done it, so we wanted to try.

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