Let me just say that we packed a lot in and were thoroughly taken by Scotland even though I got really sick of the 3 jackets I took! We loved it and it might just be a place we would return to!
We arrived in Edinburgh and got out of town quickly to get used to the driving on the other side thingy while not in the city. We hit 3 castles right away - Glamis, Falkland Palace and Scone Palace. Scone is where several Kings were crowned. The driving was pretty touchy (or the wife was pretty touchy!) for awhile but we got used to it and the Hub did a fantastic job for 700+ miles of sight-seeing that we did over 4 days.
We headed back to Edinburgh for the night. We did the awesome Edinburgh Castle there, the Royal Mile (including the Whisky Museum and Mary Kings Close, which is a really cool and sort of creepy look at the underground city) and Holyroodhouse which is the castle where the Queen does business in Edinburgh.
The peacock greated us at Scone and the gardens are from there also. The bagpiper was playing for a wedding being held inside the small chapel at Edinburgh Castle while we were there. Stained glass and pics of us at the Wallace Monument. The picture of the road is to show how narrow many of the roads were that Garmin happened to be taking us!
We headed next to the Falkirk Wheel. This is a giant ferris wheel kind of dealio for boats. It replaces something like 11 locks and is quite the engineering sight. I didn't realize that the Scots have a long tradition of education and hence, invention. I'm really glad we found this and got to see and ride it. Then we trekked to Stirling to experience Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument. I loved the little town of Stirling and we enjoyed a beautiful morning walk and even found the old bridge where Wallace tripped up his foes.
Next we headed up the lochs to Inverness and a gorgeous riverfront property. We went out to see if we could spot Nessy and took some pics at the castle ruins there called Urquhart - you can see the beautiful Loch Ness in the background. I had no idea how taken I would be with the beauty in this part of the country. We traveled back down through the Whisky Trail and got to see some biggies, notably The Macallan and Glen Fiddich. Then we headed to the organized part of the trip with colleagues at St. Andrews.
This was an award trip so we are well taken care of and got to choose some outtings. We chose two days of golf at the St. Andrews complex, a wonderful tour of a Whisky distillery - Glen Turret which also is a component in the Famous Grouse (wonderful tour and tasting!!), and we toured the Fife Coast villages.
The first afternoon in Scotland we were pretty fresh as everyone else was arriving. We went with another couple to check out the town of St. Andrews and see the Old Course and St. Andrews golf complex. Our friend saunters over to the starter at around 4:30pm and comes back in shock. They have time at 5:10 to PLAY THE OLD COURSE!! I convinced the HUB that he COULD NOT pass this up. It ended up being his Father's Day gift. This is the mecca of golf and something we wanted to SEE, it is amazing that he got to play this storied course. We also have some pictures of us with the famous views in the back on the finishing hole and on the bridge. Golfers will get this :D The other pics are us with our caddies, together we got to play their Eden and Jubilee courses. As you can imagine, we bought lots of towels, hats, shirts, etc from this place.
We also got to eat at the Old Course Grill overlooking the course and had a wonderful dinner with our friends. You can see us toasting in one of the shots. We also walked out on the roof and got to see the famous teeshot over the building on 17 and experienced some shots whizzing by. What a rush!! Other shots below include us hamming it up at a gala that included people in costume and lots of scotch.
One of my favorite shots is this Scotch Bar from the gala -- we tried them all!!