Edinburgh, Fort Augustus, Julian's Birthday in a Castle & Nethy Bridge Highland Games
04.08.2009 - 09.08.2009 18 °C
We arrived back in Scotland to enjoy the Tausney family hospitality for the last leg of our trip. A day trip to Edinburgh was a buzz joining the throng of holiday and festival crowds. We had a great lunch in the Elephant House Cafe – made famous because this is where JK Rowling penned her first story about a young wizard.
We then enjoyed a visit to Edinburgh castle, just in time for the boom of the one o'clock gun. The audio tour was enjoyed by all.
On Wednesday we headed north for 4 night highland trip with Tausney family. Driving through spectacular scenery we had a quick stop at Loch Lomond and a picnic at Glen Coe.
Out to Glenfinnan to see the 21 arch viaduct which features in the Harry Potter films and the Glenfinnan monument & Loch Shield.
Onto Fort Augustus which was our first overnight stop, sitting on the Caledonian canal, a series of locks that allow the boats to travel between the Lochs. The kids found it fascinating to watch them in action and see the boats travel through the different levels to access the next waterway.
Thursday – Julian's 8th Birthday!
We enjoyed the scenery of Loch Ness, stopping at Urquhart castle.
We drove north of Inverness to Carbisdale castle for our second night – Julian's birthday in a castle! Amazing building, now a Youth Hostel, with some fabulous rooms – statue gallery, ballroom, library, lots of hallways and stairways for the kids to explore – very special.
On Friday we headed south into the Cairngorms National Park and to Nethy Bridge village, staying two nights. A quick stop at Aviemore and then a relaxing afternoon with the kids enjoying the mini golf on the lawns at front of our grand hotel.
Saturday was a big day for the village of Nethy Bridge – the annual Highland games at the town sports ground, kids events in the morning, Julian received a lovely rosette for coming second in his running race.
A mass pipe band (120 pipers and drummers) opened the games – very impressive and stirring stuff.
There were heavy events – tossing the caber, scots hammer, 10 mile race, rides, highland dancing, piping competition (was over the sound of that one) and the mass pipe band did a lap of the oval each hour or so. Lots of fun.
To top it off, the mass pipe band came and did a few laps at the front of our hotel at the end of the games – a great sight.
On Sunday we leisurely drove back to Glasgow enjoying the mountain scenery and stopping at Blair Castle along the way.
This week we have been relaxing, shopping, packing and had a few grown up nights out. All looking forward to arriving home on Saturday after our adventure. Thanks to everyone who has followed our journey on the blog and particularly to those who have left comments – we have really appreciated the feedback and enjoyed sharing our story.