First came Warsaw, Poland with a moving journey to Treblinka, then a walk about town …
On to Porto, Portugal, which was warm and lovely …
The stairway in a Porto bookshop, which supposedly inspired the Gryffindor House stairway in Harry Potter.
London, to meet some friends, including Steve McHugh, a fabulous author who was a critique partner and fellow member of Kelley Armstrong’s Online Writing Group. We’ve “known” each other for ten years. It was great to finally meet and spend an afternoon in a pub catching up.
And then to the Tate Modern with my friend Ruth, where we looked like idiots climbing the giant chair, then lay on the vibrating floor to leave our mark!
The British Library … an orgasmic place for a book lover and historian!
The obligatory visit to Kings Cross and Platform 9 3/4!
And then on to beautiful Scotland …
Edinburgh Castle from my hotel window, day and night.
And yes, I walked all the way to the top
And took this picture of Edinburgh. That’s Arthur’s Seat, which I did NOT climb. lol
Up the coast to St. Andrews
The best chocolate shop in the world. I was in heaven.
St. Andrews Cathedral, built in 1158, destroyed simply by time.
St. Andrews Castle
And then all the way north to Inverness
A visit to Cowder Castle, beautiful gardens and a creepy face behind the gate
Culloden Battlefield, standing on that enormous field with the battle details in mind … it kind of broke my heart.
A memorial to the fallen. The plaque reads …
THE BATTLE OF CULLODEN WAS FOUGHT ON THIS MOORE 16th APRIL 1746
THE GRAVES OF THE GALLANT HIGHLANDERS WHO FOUGHT FOR SCOTLAND AND PRINCE CHARLIE ARE MARKED BY THE NAMES OF THEIR CLANS
The battlefield, where gravemarkers remember the clansmen who died and were buried there.
This memorial bench reads We followed you, prince, to this ocean of flatness and bullets. Words by Aonghas MacNeacail, 2012
Clava Cairns — huge rock grave markers, intricate construction. Amazing.
For scale, I’m 6 ft tall. These are huge.
Gargoyles and a spirit gate at Dornoch Cathedral. The jagged path keeps the ghosts from escaping the graveyard.
A striking image of Dornach Firth
And here you have a “wee hoose” in the middle of Little Loch Shin, which island used to connect to the land, and was used for smuggling whisky.
Driving to Fort William after the big storm. It doesn’t get more beautiful than this.
The Harry Potter viaduct, which I rode over on the steam train. lol
The Jacobite Steam Train, which I had to take, of course.
Loch Nen Uamh, where Bonnie Price Charlie came ashore, and later escaped from Scotland
Inverylochy Castle–my room was on the third floor. No elevators. After walking and climbing for miles during the day, I came back to … three flights of stairs.
But the view was spectacular.
The mountain on the right is Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland at just over 4400 feet.
This is your intrepid writer giving Scotch Whisky a try. I didn’t include the next picture, which was me coughing up my lungs. I think I’ll stick with vodka.
After the big storm, every stream and river was running high, lakes were topping their shores, and water was running down every cliff face. It was fabulous!
Castle Macrae!! Lachlan’s clan home. So exciting!
Loch Ness … a sailing vessel and a castle, but no Nessie.
A visit to gorgeous, and very windy, Glencoe.
And then a rainy day in Glasgow, a beautiful city I’d like to visit again.
The Glasgow Necropolis. Beautiful and fascinating!
And rounding out the trip, dinner with Julie Anne, another friend from Kelley Armstrong’s chat group, which no longer exists, but the friendships go on. We had a great dinner, then sat on the hookers’ couch in the lobby of my hotel for a selfie. lol
Altogether my trip was a wonderful adventure. I’ll be going back to Scotland. Maybe August 2020 for the Grand Tattoo in Edinburgh?