Britain 2011 Best of
Britain 2011 Loch Lomond Edinburgh Lake District Oxford London Killarney

2011-10-31

This is check out day. We put the bags out and went to breakfast. I had Scotch pancakes. Similar to regular pancakes but very. Heavy. I turned in the room keys and the returned the cane, or walking stick as they call them here. My hip has been bothering me and the had walking sticks in the lobby to borrow. Bus took us to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Our room wasn't quite ready so we went to a Post Office to exchange money. We came back and got in the room.  Ironically when I looked across to the next roof there was an owl sitting there

Turned out not to be real. Probably to scare pigeons. We went out to a coffee shop to get coffee and scones. We walked around a while taking pictures. Then back to the hotel. Later the bus took us to the Royal Scots Club for a welcome briefing and cocktails. People from the main trip joined us. There was a harpist as entertainment. We were in a beautiful high ceiling room in the basement. It was a long stairs Dow, them I learned there were two more basements below! We went back to the hotel. The Hors d'Oeuvres had filled us so we didn't need supper.

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2011-11-01

We started with breakfast at the hotel. The weather was chilly and sunshine. Then a local guide took us on a tour of Edinburgh ending up at Holyrood House. We drove up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. The castle was great. Our guide escorted us part way narrating what we were seeing and then telling us what is good to see, gave us free time to explore on our own. The Crown Jewels of Scotland was a real high point. In addition to the jewels we saw the Rock of Destiny. This was a wonderful display of history as well. Then we came back to the hotel. We went over to Mark & Spencer where I changed some more money. Then we had tea & pastries and did a little shopping.  In the  evening we had a more formal program. It started with a bagpiper piping us to cocktails. I had T'Karri out for a bit. Everyone loved her. Then the piper gave us demonstration of the pipes any explained his Royal Scots uniform. Then we had an excellent dinner. Some of the best fresh salmon I've tasted. After that a couple played and sang Scottish songs. Some people danced. Kinds and I danced the first slow one nut mu hip was acting up so that was the only one for us.

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2011-11-02

Breakfast in the morning in the hotel. Then we were off to the Glen Turret Distilery. They make Glen Turret single malt whiskey and Famous Grouse blended whiskey. The drive there took us though some scenic parts of Scotland. The town of Crieff was very pretty. We toured the distillery which was very interesting. Then we had a tasting. I preferred the single malt blended malt Glen Turret Scotch whiskey. Next was a delicious lunch with smoked salmon & potato salad followed by venison main course. A Brule' desert finished it. Very good. On the way back we stopped by Stirling Castle. We went up to it for pictures but not inside. It was getting dark by the time we got back to the hotel. We just relaxed in the room.

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2011-11-03

We were up a little earlier today. After breakfast we went to St Andrew. This is known as the Home of golf. We went to the old course and old club house. You have to be a member to go in so we just looked. This is the Mecca for true golfers. There are many golf courses in the town. We went through St Andrew castle. It is now just a ruin sitting by the North Sea. Probably nicer in its day but now pretty dreary. We walked around St Andrew University. This university where Prince William went and where he met Kate. It was very picturesque. Then we drove down the coast along the North Sea. We stopped in a little fishing village Anstruther. There we had fish & chips and a wonderful desert. Back to the hotel to freshen up and we were off in a literary pub crawl. Our guide took us to a pub where we had drinks As we walked around the area our guide told us about the various authors that had connection to Edinburgh. Way more than I realized!  We ended up at the last pub for another drink.  There were Scottish folk musicians in each pub.

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From Edinburgh, Scotland