Our hotel in Edinburgh with Ian, our awesome and Scottish bellman
Strolling the beautiful and clean streets in Edinburgh
nothing beats Scottish pubs!
Our first meal in Scotland, Edinburgh. At a very great pub of course where they serve the best food. Slainte! (means cheers and enjoy your single malt scotch!)
The view from the bar. nothing beats the traditional "pump" ales
The view from Edinburgh caslle.
Edinburgh is so beautiful (and clean).
I need to get a few of these in my front yard.
I need one of these Scottish buggers in my front yard as well.
love the Stain Glass windows
well, who said the Scottish invented Health Food :)
This pub is at the end of the Royal Mile - way back when folks thought if you kept on walking you would reach the edge of the world.
Sunset view from our hotel room in Edinburgh
At the botanical gardens where it is green everywhere!
The Scottish thistle - the national flower of Scotland. Legend goes that the Brits threw out this weed, but the Scottish being cheap...picked it up for free and made it the national symbol :)
I am smiling
love the King Penguins. Yes, there are not native to Scotland, but were visiting the zoo
The stare down. My wife won :)
Scottish fashion :)
View from Stirling Castle. That's the William Wallace monument in the far distance.
St. Andrews - the birthplace of golf.
St. Andrews College. Much nicer then University of Calgary I must say!
One of many golf courses in St. Andrews. This is the Fairmont where we stayed.
Northern northern Scotland...waiting for the ferry to go to the Orkney Islands. The water and seaweed is so vibrant and full of life - unlike anything else I've ever seen.
Arriving in Stromness, landing port of the largest Orkney Islands.
did I mention there are no trees in the Orkneys? lots of wind...but amazingly green. and the best cream...
...and seafood and cheese. wow!
The most amazing and fresh Seafood!
this very little church was built by Italian slaves way back when out of "leftovers"
...and this is the inside. totally amazing what they did. this is the altar
the Orkney Islands are very beautiful. very unique houses and scenery. beautiful stone "fences"
St. Magnus church in Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkneys.
After all the touring, it is time for some mighty fine Scottish water. We head to Highland Park for the most amazing tour and learning about what makes their single malt scotch so special and so dang good!
absorbing all the info on the Highland Park Distillery tour. A tough job, but somebody has to do it.
Highland Park Stills
James, our most awesome tour guide explaining the difference between American Oak and Spanish Sherry. then we got to smell.
Waiting for Perfection
And now for the best part...at the end of our tour James whisked us up to their Board room where we had 5 mighty fine samples of unique Highland Park Scotch. and martha couldn't finish hers...so I had to do the task!
We took a plane up to the most northerly island of Westray. It was a 4 hour ferry and car drive...or a 7 minute plane ride! we choose the later...
...and were rewarded with some amazing scenery!
I wish all airports were this quiet. no customs, no line-ups, no hassle!
the beautiful Westray Scenery. This island is very very remote...only 1 general store that is only open 4 hours a day. and no hotels. Only 17 people live in this place...but it is very steeped in history