Tara Rankin and Àdhamh

GreatScot! Travels, Tunes and Tales – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 9


Well, hello again! You may have noticed but I took a day off. Kind of used Thursday as a bit of a rest day before gearing up for the last 10 days of the trip. I just drove up to Pitlochry for lunch with my friend Susan. She had just come off a long tour and was getting ready to head out again, but there was no way I was going to miss some time to chat and catch up, even if she is much in demand as a blue-badge tour guide for Eyes on Scotland and Outlander Tours!

After that, it was back to Glasgow for dinner with Maggie (and there might have been a glass or two of wine involved). Then it was just one more sleep until Ginger and Summer arrive and the mad rush of Outlander touring begins.

Friday morning, I packed up my stuff in preparation for our relocation north, and then it was FINALLY time to head to the airport. It was then that I discovered that a flight from Dublin is not considered an international flight. (I wonder how the Irish feel about that!) I quickly relocated from international arrivals to the Starbucks across from domestic arrivals. Seeing that no green tea was available, I bought some water and settled in to wait.

Once they arrived, we hopped in the car to head back into Glasgow for the night. However, it is bank holiday weekend in the UK and I have to say that the traffic on holiday weekend Friday in Glasgow has much in common with Atlanta. Eventually, thought, we passed the stalled car and things cleared up. At the hotel, the girls took a quick shower (OK. Summer insists hers was sexier than that, not that G and I were watching) and then it was time for dinner.

Based on my experience last time in Glasgow, I had booked us a table at Mother India in the West End. As last time, the food was fantastic. We started with vegetable pakora and then Ginger had a paneer dish, Summer had Chicken Tikka and I had lamb with leeks. (Yes, Mom. The lambs are still cute, but someone told me they are as large as their mothers by the time they are food.)

Dinner complete, we headed just down the street to our final event for the day. And when I say final, I mean I knew we would be there until tomorrow. An Gealbhan never ends early. As we approached the Argyll hotel, a familiar figure came into view. Many hugs and greetings with exchanged with Àdhamh Ó Broin, our host for the evening. He explained that things might be a bit more chaotic than usual as the Sutherlands Bar was without a bartender for the evening! Shock…horror….a Gaelic evening without whisky would be a tragedy. Luckily, Àdhamh is multi-talented and was able to man the bar until help arrived.

As a special treat, Àdhamh had arranged for a couple of special guests for the evening. So after kicking off with a song of his own, he introduced the lovely and talented Tara Rankin who favored us with some Gaelic songs a capella, as well as some Cape Breton tunes played on the piano. I’ve been friends with Tara (and the rest of her family) for many years and I took the opportunity to deliver a hug from her Mom as requested. Later in the evening, we were also treated to a talk on Scottish weaponry by a friend of Àdhamh’s, Allan Sutherland. I have some longer videos that I will edit and post when I get back home.

We rounded out the night with some fabulous Gaelic stories. And no…I don’t think any of the Cape Breton ones had a happy ending. I think Tara was amused by how my face lit up every time I recognized a Gaelic word. It was twice as amusing to hear Tara and Àdhamh translate for each other. I’m pretty sure she picked up some new words.

Eventually though, it was time to call the night to an end. Our new friend Asifa gave us a lift back to the hotel so that we didn’t have to find a taxi in the West End after midnight and it was greatly appreciated. Back at the hotel, we all collapsed into bed to refresh ourselves for the next day’s adventure.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!


GreatScot! Looking for Ghosts – 2nd Outlandish Adventure – Day 5

Slept in a bit this morning but luckily suffered no ill effects from last night’s excesses. ;-) We had Irn Bru just in case, but ended up heading downstairs to eat a good breakfast instead.


Soon enough we piled into the car to find some adventure. We decided since the weather was not too bad to head up towards Falkland in search of ghost Jamie. After navigating a combination of surface streets, motorways and rural roads, we arrived in Falkland and, wonder of wonders, found a parking place right on the street. Yes, that is right. This girl parallel parked on the wrong side of the road, while driving from the wrong side of the car and only required a little help. ;-)

As we made our way up the sidewalk, we paused to let a car make a turn. Much to our surprise, the driver rolled the window down and asked ‘Are you Outlander ladies?’ We replied in the affirmative. It turns out that she had been at the Outlander Gathering and recognized us. The Outlanderverse is such a small world.

We strolled around the little Falkland town centre and took our photos at the fountain and visited the shopfront used in the series for where Claire looks at the vases. We then decided to stop into Mrs. Baird’s, I mean the Covenanter Hotel, for lunch. All of us enjoyed our jacket potatoes and then I had a scone for pudding, my first since I’ve been here!

After lunch, we felt the need to stretch our legs, so we did so while touring the lovely Falkland Palace. The palace is mostly a late Victorian reconstruction of a dwelling used by Kings and Queens of Scotland for many years. The palace itself is still a Crown possession but the title of Keeper of the Palace and the right to live there is still maintained. The current title holder actually still uses the Keeper’s lodging and we were shown the spot where he usually puts up the tree at Christmas.

As we made our way through the palace, I had my hands full keeping the other girls in line. ;-) Luckily. I have some previous experience with that. ;-)

After finishing the tour of the palace, we headed back up the street to the car when, lo and behold, what did we find but more Outlanders! We spent several minutes hugging and chatting with Karen, Sheila and Deb before bundling back into the car for our next location.

We headed towards Culross, dodging showers the entire way. And after only I little searching (and one stop at the tourist information office) managed to find our way to the West Kirk, also known as Outlander’s Black Kirk. I was rather proud of finding my way back without Miss S. telling me where to turn every step of the way this time. We were fortunate with the weather while we were there and even had some sun! Lu also had the opportunity to fondle yet more stones. These appeared to be Celtic carved grave slabs reused in the building of the later church.

We made it back to the car and headed back to Glasgow just in time as the rain began again. Back at the hotel, we again treated ourselves to some snacks in the lounge, albeit sticking with water this time. :-)


Well that’s it for today’s adventures.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!



Great Scot! More than one ‘Clan’ comes together – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 2

This blog may be even shorter than yesterday. Much of that may be because I slept like the dead from the time I finished last night’s blog post until almost 10 am this morning. I finally did drag myself out of bed, feeling very much refreshed, just in time to grab breakfast in the hotel restaurant with Deborah. After that, we packed our stuff and checked out.

I dropped Deb off at her car and then headed north to Pitlochry. That will be my home base for the weekend before heading back to Glasgow next week. Sitting down in comfort, I did a quick technology check to make sure all was working for the all important Outlander viewing in the morning. After some fiddling, everything appears to be working but I’ll keep my fingers crossed until morning, just in case.

Tech check done, I performed a quick wardrobe change and headed across the mountain from Pitlochry to Crieff.  It was a lovely drive through misty rain. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to take some pictures and post them. After a 45 minute drive, I arrived at the lovely Crieff Hydro — a Victorian built hotel and spa. I very quickly started running into friends, old and new, all there for the Outlandish UK Gathering.

Pretty soon it was time for dinner, but first, there was a very special pre-dinner entertainment. None other that Outlander world-famous street musicians Clanadonia, fresh from the streets of Glasgow. All the attendees gathered round to watch — and some ended up becoming part of the performance — as the band rocked the venue.  After several rousing numbers, Clanadonia ended with their smash hit ‘Hamsterheid’– a smash hit partly in that it was featured during the chase scene in Episode 101 – Sassenach.

At this point, many of you have probably noticed something missing in this blog post…pictures. I accidentally left my cell phone in the car and didn’t have it to take pictures with this evening. But don’t worry, I’ll have both the phone and my camera to take pics tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what the Outlandish UK Gathering organizers have in store for us. I’m already pretty sure my credit card balance won’t be safe after shopping at the Outlander Fayre!

In the meantime, do enjoy this video I made of Clanadonia that I was able to make with my handy Surface 3. I sure wish the quality was better but you’ll get the feel. :-(


After a lovely buffet dinner, the Outlander clan settled in for some Outlandish Trivia. 5 rounds later, three tables were engaging in a tie-breaker for the overall win, but alas, my table was not among them. Why couldn’t I remember William Ransom’s FULL name and title. ;-) Knowing I had a bit of a drive and an early call tomorrow morning, I headed out for home.

In the car, I marveled that even so late in the evening it wasn’t quite dark yet. Pretty sure the sun will be up very early tomorrow (as will I). I made my way back across the Sma’ Glen, keeping a sharp eye out for rabbits, deer and other cars. Have to tell you that the rabbits far outnumbered the other 2. Arrived home safe and sound and now ready to catch some sleep before my very early alarm goes off.

More to come tomorrow!

Slàn leat àn-drasta!



Royal Mile

GreatScot! A Walk Down the Royal Mile and Fits of Giggles at the Lyceum – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 1

Hi guys. This blog post is going to be a bit down and dirty. ;-) I’m running on about an hour and a half of sleep in the last two days, compounded with almost 5 miles of walking and bed is calling my name…loudly.

I set off from Atlanta yesterday on my roundabout path to Glasgow. Who is it at airlines who comes up with these itineraries anyway? Part of it was my own fault. I sacrificed a few hours and an extra flight segment in the name of a half off business class frequent flyer ticket. All journeys have to start with the traditional luggage and shoe pics though!

Finally, after 3 flights and  about 18 hours of travel, I arrived in Glasgow to find the day partly sunny and relatively warm. Definitely better weather than I was expecting based on the long-range forecasts I had been perusing from home. I actually made it through immigration and customs with absolutely no waiting and made my first stop in the airport at W H Smith to top up my UK cell phone. For 20 GBP I have 4000 minutes, 4000 texts and 2GB of data to get me through my 18 day trip. Should be plenty provided I don’t get carried away tweeting pics. Then I remember what data cell services is like in the Highlands and I stopped worrying so much. ;-)

Next stop was the Avis rental counter to pick up my chariot for trip. Knowing that the girls from OutlanderPod would be joining me later in the trip, I booked a minivan (or people carrier as they are known in the UK). Unfortunately, their only automatic transmission one came back with a damaged tyre this morning ( I have absolutely NO IDEA how something like that could hapeny. Hush Mom and Vicki. Stop laughing.), so they substituted a station wagon (estate car in UK speak). Not sure I’m crazy about it. I kind of like the way the minivan sits up higher on the road. I have some emails in to Avis to see if I can swap it for something else if one comes in.

Even on little sleep, I had no problem making the short drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh and arrived at the Edinburgh Marriott by 3 pm local time. It looks much the same as it did when Mom and I stayed here on our first trip to Scotland. As a matter of fact, I am sipping a Strathmore water and munching on Walker’s shortbread from the Executive Lounge right now, just like I did on that trip. There was no time then to rest though, I had to be on the Royal Mile very shortly for the first Outlander related gathering of the trip.

I changed my clothes, hopped in a taxi and arrived at the Albanach Bar to meet my fellow Outlanders for a pre-theatre dinner before heading over to the Lyceum Theatre to see Outlander cast member Grant O’Rourke star in The Venetian Twins. I took some time to snap some pics on the way to the Lyceum and even capture some video of a bagpiper playing on the Royal Mile.

We arrived at the Lyceum which is a beautiful theatre. Luckily the play was hysterically funny and I was in no danger of falling asleep once the house lights went down. Afterwards, Grant was very sweet and came out to talk and talk pictures will the 25+ Outlander fans who were in attendance.

After the theater, Deb and I started out with the best intentions of finding the proper bus route to return to the hotel for the night but ended up catching a taxi instead, just as my fitbit was registering my 10,000th step for the day. All told, the step count was at 11,272 by the time I was back in the room.

Well, as usual, I think that was a pretty jam-packed first day and I surely didn’t want to start out behind in posting on the blog! I am headed for a well-earned rest.

Stay tuned tomorrow as I head up to Crieff for the 2nd annual Outlander UK Gathering.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!

Everyone loves their name on a marquee, right?

Àdhamh’s American Adventures: Seattle and Sacramento

For those who may not have heard, Outlander’s own Gaelic expert has arrived on our American shores. And judging from the pictures coming out of his first two stops in Seattle and Sacramento, much fun is being had by all involved.

First up: Seattle

While in Seattle, Àdhamh had the opportunity for a wee tour about the city’s famous sites before settling into the main event. Thanks to Wendy Nay and Kay’ee Pipkin for the great photos!

Next up was the handoff to NorCal and Àdhamh had his very own welcoming party at the airport!

The man himself has safely arrived. Ready for tomorrow's event! #Gaelic #Scotland

A photo posted by The Outlander Podcast™ (@outlanderpod) on

Making his way through the airport, guitar in hand. #Outlander #Gaelic

A photo posted by The Outlander Podcast™ (@outlanderpod) on

Next up was a visit to Good Day Sacramento for a bit of a chat with the hosts and maybe teach them a wee bit of the Gaelic.

Made it to the studio. A wee pic before being miked. #GoodDay #Sacramento #Gaelic #Outlander

A photo posted by The Outlander Podcast™ (@outlanderpod) on

Àdhamh and Cody discussing tonight's event #Sacramento #Good Day

A photo posted by The Outlander Podcast™ (@outlanderpod) on

And then the host tried to teach Àdhamh some southern slang. Guess he didn’t know how in love with Southern culture Àdhamh already is!

Àdhamh discussing US Southern phrases from #GoodDay #Sacramento host, Cody Stark #Outlander #OutlanderSeries #Gaelic

A photo posted by The Outlander Podcast™ (@outlanderpod) on

Be sure to watch the full video of the segment here:

Good Day Sacramento Part 1

Good Day Sacramento Part 2

Can’t wait to see what adventures Àdhamh gets up to next! After Sacramento, Àdhamh will be visiting Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Colorado Springs.  For those interested in attending an event in those cities, you can find information here:

Àdhamh Tour Info

For those not able to make it to these tour stops, don’t lose heart! Àdhamh has plans to visit other areas in the USA in the future!

P.S. That second segment of the Good Day Sacramento piece reminds me that I haven’t done the blog post on Southern colloquialisms I promised. I will get that done soon!