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Scotland - Around Edinburgh, Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Tour [Travel]

Sunday, 29 November 2009

I've mentioned before that my sister is on a vacation here in the UK. She's been globetrotting in Europe for the past 2 months and I thought it's about time we do some traveling in the UK instead. As you know from our previous posts, we just got back from a 3-day weekend break in Scotland. We spent the first 2 days exploring places around Edinburgh and the last day in Edinburgh itself.

We took a plane from London to Edinburgh and arrived at about 9a.m. We rented a car and our first stop was the Roslynn chapel in Roslin. This place has become really popular after being used in The Da Vinci Code - that's the reason why we wanted to make that detour. Unfortunately...

it was under construction.

We were so disappointed we decided to divert our attention to food instead, and so we headed to Anstruther for fish & chips.

Our next stop was St Andrews which is the home of golf. This is also the home of The University of St Andrews, which is the oldest university in Scotland and also where Prince William graduated from.

We managed to take a picture of the ruins of St Andrews Castle and it started to pour like cats and dogs.


So instead of exploring St Andrews by foot, we drove around instead.


The national drink of Scotland is whisky, so a visit to the distillery is a must. Please remember to check the opening and closing times of everywhere you intend to go. The Glenkinchie distillery closes at 4p.m and we were there at 3.55p.m! We missed the last tour and I think the salesperson pitied us and let us have a shot of Glenkinchie 12 year old each. It's smooth but a bit too light for my taste.



Another disappointment, so yet again we diverted our attention to food instead. We headed back to Edinburgh and had dinner at A Room in the Town.

The next day, we took a day tour to Loch Ness, Glencoe and the highlands with Rabbie's trail burners. I chose them because they are highly recommended by tripadvisor and they conduct a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers. It was a 12 hour tour, although very tiring and a rush, we managed to see what we wanted to see - beautiful landscape scenery and attractions of Scotland. The driver/ tour guide was very knowledgeable and humorous- told us lots of historical information on the way. To be honest, I dozed off and fell asleep a few times as his voice was a tad too... pleasant. Anyway, I enjoyed it and it's a great way to explore Scotland (if time is an issue). Here are some highlights of our day tour.

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Doune castle - where the British comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a parody of the legends of King Arthur by the Monty Python team, was filmed on location in Scotland in 1974

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Cottage in Castle Grounds - it's actually a toilet

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Loch Lubnaig

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Falls of Dochart

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Glencoe - Filming for the third Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", was filmed on location in Glencoe
. The tour guide showed us the location of Hagrid's hut but unfortunately it was dismantled.

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More rain...

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The Commando memorial - this area is dedicated to the memory of all Commandos who gave their lives in the service of thsi country during the 1939-1945 War.Comrades who have died since the cessation of hostilities are also remembered here.

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Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness. It's the largest loch by volume in Scotland and contains more water than every lake in England and Wales combined. The loch is best known for the legendary sightings of the Loch Ness Monster "Nessie".

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Loch Ness - gloomy when we arrived

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The sun appeared after 10 minutes

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The Caledonian Canal which links the lochs of the Great Glen.

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The gatehouse

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It got dark at this point and we weren't able to see much.

We were back in Edinburgh at about 7p.m.


To be continued...

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