Friday, September 29, 2006

Mom and Dad visit!

My parents were just here for a visit, and my father was speaking in Zurich. The story gets a bit more complicated... when the photo was taken on Sunday a week ago, Dad had just gotten in on the train from Zurich and wanted to go out! We enjoyed the great, Italian ice cream. We had no idea at the time, that his cold or bad case of bronchitis was turning into pneumonia. Thankfully, he's getting better... and they're back home in Florida as of yesterday.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bonnie Scotland- a journey

I just returned from a long weekend trip to Scotland, land of my forefathers. My dad is Scotch-Irish, meaning our Protestant ancestors left Scotland to help settle Ireland (or maybe it was present-day northern Ireland?). Anyway, my friend Kim and I had a fantastic trip to see the famous Highland Games in Braemar, and just soak in the atmosphere. If a travelogue is a bit boring for you, no worries (as they say on the island). But i knew at least my parents would be interested in the details! :-) It was a bit difficult with the language-- pronunciation is a challenge because of the spelling of the words-- and you're dealing with 3 languages as sources of names and terminology: English. Scottish and Gaelic.

A "Scottish breakfast" -- includes eggs, maybe potatoes, "bacon" (what Americans would call country ham), sausage, mushrooms, baked beans (for BREAKFAST?!) and maybe a broiled tomato.

Ok... before I go any further, for the Royalty fans out there-- I saw the Queen-- and THEN SOME. Here is a photo taken by my little Casio camera zoom, of Prince Charles (in a kilt) and Camilla, at the Braemar Gathering! More on that in another blog, but just wanted to whet your appetite!

On our first morning we saw Culzean Castle (pronounced "Culleen") on the coast south of Glasgow, near where we'd flown in. Outstanding views of the Firth (estuary) of Clyde!

Then it was winding our way northwards to the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond where we had lunch. This lake --37 kilometers long and up to 8 km. across-- just accompanied our drive for a LONG time. It's southern shores lie 14 miles north of Glasgow, and it's surface area is the largest freshwater body of water in Great Britain. I dipped my feet in it!

On part of our travels along the Loch we drove shortly into Luss, a quaint village of darling cottages with flower gardens. A wedding had just taken place, with a bagpiper celebrating outside.

A couple of times during our journey we saw a sad sight-- church buildings that had been transformed into civic centers, or restaurants. This one was a Tandoori restaurant featuring Indian food.