The Best of Scotland – A Braw Tour
It’s been more than three weeks since I posted Part 2 of this little “Scotland Plus” travelogue and more than a month since returning home. Life intervened, but I’ve been wanting to complete the set, so here we are. If you’d like to read the other entries, click for Part 1 and Part 2.
The tour provided a rich itinerary, lovely scenery, accommodations ranging from comfy to pretty darned luxurious, exposure to local culture (including whisky and music), and a chance to sample delicious Scottish fare. Here are some of the highlights. I’m letting some of the photos I like best guide the content here. They’re all from an iPhone 8 Plus, by the way.
The tour (Rick Steves’ Best of Scotland, highly recommended) began with an evening walk around Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town (“new” meaning 18th Century in this context) and a pub dinner. The next morning, we tackled Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city and looks impossible to reach (but isn’t).
Tours of Edinburgh these days include quite a few references to Harry Potter: After all, this is where Harry first came to life in J.K. Rowling’s imagination. Grassmarket may have inspired Diagon Alley, character names came from headstones in Greyfriars Kirkyard and so forth. (The other popular culture reference one hears frequently is to the TV and book series Outlander, which has clearly been a boost to Scottish tourism.)
On then, to Culross and St. Andrews, the fascinating Crannog Centre on Loch Tay,
the welcoming Dewar’s distillery at Aberfeldy, a working sheep farm,
Culloden battlefield, Urquhart Castle, the prehistoric burial site at Clava Cairns, Brodie Castle with its gazillion daffodils and rooms full of living history; through Glencoe
to Oban and eventually the Isle of Iona via CalMac ferry and the Isle of Mull;
finally, along Loch Lomond, on to Stirling Castle and a beautiful farewell dinner overlooking the Edinburgh skyline.
All of it to be cherished, none of it to be missed. So many thanks to our wonderful guide Anne and all our tour companions. Sláinte!