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Icelandic Air Tour


Ancient Celtic Stone Thanks to Electric Scotland and Icelandair we had a marvelous trip to Scotland.  Sometimes it seems unfair that we won because we have frequently traveled to Scotland since 1987 when we first visited our daughter who was in the U.S. Navy and stationed at Holy Loch.  But then - who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?  I am an avid reader of Nigel Tranter so this trip we were able to concentrate on the more obscure tourist attractions I have read about but never had the opportunity to visit.

Our trip to the U.K. on Icelandair was one of the best we have taken so far.  The flight was on time (in both directions), the service excellent and there was no delay in retrieving our luggage.  We will not hesitate to fly Icelandair again.

Irish Round Tower Dove Nesting Boxes

Bobbie and I arrived in Glasgow on Friday, April 27, 2001.  After getting our car we headed to Haddington where we spent the first three nights.  On the way we visited Rosslyn Chapel where we marveled at the stonework.  I have visited many cathedrals but none of them compare to Rosslyn in stonework.  Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 by Sir William St. Clair who was a knight templar.  There is a theory that as the Knights Templar were the protectors of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, when they left Jerusalem, they took the Holy Grail with them and secreted it in the masonry of Rosslyn Chapel. Several years ago electronic soundings were conducted in the chapel.   This investigation did not reveal the hiding place of the Holy Grail but the lady in the shop stated that it did disclose that twenty (20) knights in full armour are buried in the floor of the chapel.

From Haddington, we toured the East Lothian area visiting Tantallon, Dirleton and Dunbar Castles.  Bobbie and I love to travel the "B"  roads because  of the scenery and animal life you encounter along these pastoral lanes.  The pheasants were out in force and one stretch of the road contained hundreds of rabbit warrens in the enbankment.  And-  hundreds of rabbits were scurrying in their holes as we drove along.

From Haddington we drove up across the Firth of Forth bridge to Kinross visiting Blackness Castle along the way.  While in Kinross we visited the Douglas stronghold, Lochleven Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots was held prisoner.  This castle is located on an island and to visit it you must take a small motor launch.  In our 18 day trip, this was the only time we encountered rain, the rest of the time the weather was absolutely gorgeous.  It delayed our boat trip out to the island by about 45 minutes.  While in this area we visited Burleigh Castle and drove up to Abernethy to see the Irish round tower.  There are many round towers in Ireland but only two in Scotland.  The other round tower is in Brechin.  The Abernethy tower had a unique feature - it had a neck manacle to chain miscreants to the tower.  We have now seen both round towers in Scotland.

Then, it was on to Stirling for several days.  We have been to Stirling several times but never visited the Wallace Monument.  My 64 years old legs and knees made it to the top of the monument where I was rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.  We took one day and drove to Doune Castle and then on to Inchmahome Priory which is located on an island in the Lake of Menteith.  This is the only lake in Scotland - the rest are lochs.  This also required another boat trip.  This priory is noted for accomodating Mary, Queen of Scots, for safekeeping when she was a young girl.

I am a retired policeman from Washington, D.C. and I belong to the International Police Association.  This trip coincided with a U.K. - I.P.A. weekend in Renfrew.  I was able to visit with some old friends and make some new ones.  This weekend consisted of more sightseeing and  gala dinners with evening entertainment.  At the conclusion of this event, we took 3 day trip up to Perth with two other Scottish police friends  and their wives.  Our mode of transportation for this jaunt was a police van which accomodated the six of us very nicely. In Perth we visited the Black Watch Museum in Dalhousie Castle, Huntingtower Castle and several old cemeteries, one of which is the burial place of David Douglas, the renowned botanist, who the Douglas fir is named after.

St Brides Church The remainder of the trip we stayed with our friends, Bill and Freda Petherick,  who live in Dundonald, Ayrshire.  The Petherick's house has a beautiful view of Dundonald Castle which sits high on a hill about 400 yards away.  Again, we took some days trips.  As a member of the Clan Douglas, I was extended an invitation from Jim Fleming who lives in Douglas to tour the Douglas Museum and St. Brides Church.  Jim gave us a marvelous tour and I was especially impressed with St. Brides Church which has the oldest public clock and is the burial place of many of the Douglas's.  The church contains two small heart shaped, leaden caskets containing the hearts of James "The Good" Douglas who fought with Robert the Bruce at Bannochburn and Archibald "The Grim" Douglas.

In the interest of not boring your readers more than I have, I could go on and on as I left out 4 or 5 other castles, the Antonine Roman Wall  and several cathedrals we visited.  I am sorry we couldn't get together while we were over there but look foward to meeting you on a future trip.  Again - thanks to you and ElectricScotland for making all of this possible.  We had a great trip!

                                     Yours Aye,    

                                              Bobbie and Joe Dunn 

Bass Rock

Blackness Castle

Craignethan Castle

Dirleton Castle

Doune Castle

 

Earl of Douglas Tomb

Fireplace in Doune Castle

Huntingtower Castle

Inchmahome Priory

 

Leaden Caskets

Lochleven Castle

Neck Manacle

Tantallon Castle


 

 


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