Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Scotland (Part I)

Okay, now we're in Scotland. It reminds me a lot of our little neck of New Zealand if it had more interesting architecture, less interesting food, and more complicated accents. We started out with a day in Stirling (home of the Braveheart guy and an impressive old castle - very cute town) and then met up with some of Chris's colleagues for a whisky tour in Islay.

Stirling. So cute. It felt like a little Disney village designed to look old, but in actuality it was just old.

Some annoying tourists outside of the old Stirling Jail.

Chris suffered a sudden and serious bout of jet lag during our first afternoon in Scotland

But after a quick rest he recovered to resume his posing tourist duties

Stirling Castle, stomping grounds of Mary Queen of Scots. I took a ton of pictures and none do it justice.

The lighthouse in front of our B&B in Islay. The cemetery down the road had two graves of a father and son who drowned at this lighthouse in 1916, so that made it a little spooky. (As you will probably tell from the pictures, Islay is seriously the most rustic, middle-of-nowhere place I've ever been, and I live in New Zealand. As my guidebook said, however, it does have "a certain rugged beauty.")

Rams in front of our B&B in Islay. There were about a dozen of these guys always hanging about. They really freaked me out. I came back from a jog one morning and about 8-10 of them had completely blocked the only path to the B&B and a few of them were actually butting heads and acting crazy. After panicking for a minute at the idea of being impaled in jogging shorts, I mustered up all of my courage and continued down the path, mostly because there was absolutely no other option. As it turned out the rams are actually big sissys around people and they all ran away from me while I was still about ten feet from them. I still think I'm pretty brave, though.

The ruins of a very cool church that dates to 1200 (Islay's other tourist attraction, besides whisky)

We have taken a lot of rustic beach pictures this year.

This is how they make your Scotch whisky

Pretty view from Caol Ila distillery

Chris enjoying Islay's most popular tourist attraction. (Now may be a good time to disclose that although I was the designated driver and did not drink the whisky, I STILL managed to get in a minor fender-bender, completely sober and in the middle of nowhere. Luckily our car was fine, the other party's damage was super minor, and she was very nice and took cash instead of haggling with the car rental agency. Still, the whole thing was quite a blow to my ego after I had so bravely confronted the rams. Sigh.)

We're now in St. Andrews for Chris's conference. I'll post more soon ...


Reshma said...

I'm unbelievably jealous. Can't wait to hear more about your I sit here watching Sesame Street with Sam. :) But he is learning his numbers & letters so that is exciting, right??

will said...

One bag, magnificent! We wish you good fortune and weather in St Andrews. Happy belated anniversary from Will and Trish.