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Ending on a high note – will ye no come back again? – Scotland Day 15

Awoke early on my final day in Scotland as I just didn’t want to miss anything. I also made a start at figuring out just how I’m going to get everything back in my suitcase. With one suitcase packed, I called it a good beginning and resolved to worry about the rest later.

Candida and I headed out on a final day of visiting Outlander filming sites, not feeling in the least guilty that we hand tempted Miss S. to join us once again. We arrive at our designated meeting place at Linlithgow Palace in good time only to find the car park and street overflowing with cars. Turns out that there was a funeral at the church just adjacent to the Palace. We backtracked and found a spot at a pay and display lot and then walked back up the hill to the Palace.

Found our compatriot with no problems, purchased our tickets and ….within minutes lost Candida in the myriad nooks and crannies available in Linlithgow. S and I just caught a glimpse of her every now and then. Eventually we just grabbed a seat in the courtyard and waited for her to reappear as she always does.

After exploring the Palace, we were feeling distinctly peckish, so we headed down into the town in search of lunch serenaded by the skirl of a bagpiper playing on the hill. We decided that only fish ‘n chips by the loch would do for this final day of fun, so we placed our orders and carried our bounty down to a picnic table by the water. It was very beautiful and peaceful, at least until we opened out boxes and took out the first chip. Then we were descended upon by dozens of birds. We proceeded to eat our lunches but the ratio of chips consumed by birds vs humans was at least 10 to 1. Continue reading

Streets in Falkland

Another Outlandishly beautiful day – Scotland Day 13

Sorry for the delay in today’s post but didn’t get in from Inverness until very late last night and after concentrating on driving very dark roads for 50 miles driving on the left, I was beat! Woke up extra early this morning to get it done though. Sitting here writing and listening to the rain patter on the roof and trying not to think about having to pack back up and head to Glasgow and then leave for home on Saturday.

Yesterday was beautiful though. At several points there weren’t even any clouds in the sky, so we had a beautiful drive down to the village of Falkland. We ended up doing some shuffling of our plans for the day as we realized that Aberdour Castle was going to be closed on Thursday and Friday, so we decided to do that today and hold off on Newtonmore until Thursday. We made the hour or so drive south to Falkland in good time, even lucking into a parking place right in town. Judging from the signs around town, parking is really restricted until the end of September but in October nobody cares!

My Outlander friends will recognize Falkland as the filming location used for 1940′s Inverness. Of course Candida and I did just a tiny bit of squeeing as we saw the house used for Mrs. Baird’s and the memorial in the street where ghost Jamie stands. We walked all around taking pictures, only occasionally remembering that we were mostly standing in a public street. Luckily traffic was a minimum. We also had a great time shopping in Earth Fayre, which was the shop front used for the scene where Claire looks at the blue vases.  We didn’t find any blue vases there, but I did pick up a bag full of great stuff for people back home and the owner even gave Candida and I a little free key-chain shaped like a sporran. She also told us a bit about how interesting it was to have her shop front turned into a film set. Continue reading

Midhope Castle aka Lallybroch

Lights, Camera, Outlander! – Scotland Day 12

The day started bright and early this morning as we had an action packed day planned. I probably owe Candida the first shower tomorrow as I apparently used more than my half of the hot water. Oops. After a quick breakfast, we hit the A9 south towards Stirling where we were meeting one of the Outlander UK girls at our first Outlander filming location of the day.  We arrived right on schedule and found our compatriot with no problems. She led us on a short hike up the hill to a very familiar location to those who have either seen episode 105 – Rent or keep up with Matt B. Roberts’ pictures of the Day.

Next up, we headed over to Culross. Culross is the village used by the Outlander team for the fictional Crainesmuir as well as some of the outdoor garden scenes at Castle Leoch. The Palace itself was closed but we were able to explore the gardens to our heart’s content. We then ventured up cobblestone streets to the house that was used for Geillis and Arthur Duncan’s house. It has scaffolding because they are still in the process of returning the house to its pre-filming color. Continue reading

Clan Fraser memorial stone

Reverence and Remembrance… Scotland Day 11

Woke up early this morning and had a brief Skype with Mom as she was up way too late. I captured a beautiful view of the light dawning over the loch next to the house. I eventually wandered downstairs to make myself some tea and eat breakfast. It’s so wonderful to be staying somewhere with a kitchen. Thanks Susan!

WP_20141013_08_33_23_ProBefore too long, Candida and I were ready to hit the road. On today’s agenda was Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns. We also had plans to meet up with Lisa, one of the Inverness Outlanders I wasn’t able to meet last week. On the A9 north, we drove through periods of sun, clouds and mist—you know, typical Scottish weather whiplash. By the time we reached Culloden though, the weather seemed to have settled into a period of sun. It was however the coldest day of the trip so far.

At Culloden, we paid our parking and admission fees and headed into the exhibition area of the Visitors’ Centre. The displays of artifacts and explanations of events were very good. I was also glad to have the chance to practice my Gàidhlig comprehension a bit more. (I even managed to try some pronunciations under my breath.) The most moving of the exhibits by far though was the Battlefield Experience. Continue reading

Winding our way through Whithorn.

Stones, Towers and Scones…oh my! Scotland Day 9

Awaking after a wonderful night’s sleep, I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of the beautiful sunrise over Wigtown. I don’t think I could ever tire of looking out over this beautiful part of Scotland. Everyone should immediately add it to their Scotland itinerary. Heading downstairs, I joined everyone for a delicious breakfast prepared by Deb. I’m going to be in big trouble when I have to go off scrambled eggs and Scottish smoked salmon cold turkey at the end of this trip. Sheila, Candida, Luanne and I listened excitedly as Deb outlined our plans for the day. I was so excited that the day was to start with a visit to standing stones that I’m not sure I heard where else was planned. (Surely my second attempt at going through the stones would be more successful than the first? Practice makes perfect after all and even Roger took more than one try.) We all piled into my trusty little van and set out for our grand adventure.

The standing stones were called the Torhouse Stones and were located in a fenced off corner of a local pasture. The cows looked on in what appeared to be mild amusement at what I am sure they considered amusing human behavior for a Saturday morning. For the most part they stayed quiet and chewed their cud, at least until the farmer arrived! The minute the farmer arrived on his four-wheeler and let himself through the gate, the lowing and mooing commenced! Luckily, he didn’t seem put off by the crazy women being that near his cows. The girls and I just continued taking photos and trying our best to figure out how to get to Jamie. Luanne tried counting all the stones, Sheila and Deb tried patterns, and I finally decided maybe throwing myself across one might work. I’m pretty sure Candida was just sitting quietly and laughing at us. ;-)

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