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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A last day in the Highlands

So we woke up this morning, bathed, dressed & staggered down to breakfast. Actually, there was no staggering because I’d had a great night’s sleep & our thoughtful landlord & lady had an electric kettle, tea, nescafe, wrapped cheese, biscuits & chocolates in the rooms so I’d had tea & a biscuit already. Breakfast was great. Except possibly for the life-sized Elvis in the corner glaring at us. There was a foursome of Americans at the next table who seemed as put off by him as I and Christopher found out from them later that they were from New Hampshire but because Himself doesn’t play the game properly, he didn’t ask where in NH.
After, we gathered our things, paid the bill and headed out into the cold morning, it was 48 F (welcome to summer in the highlands!) we headed first to Fort George. Our landlord had told us, upon hearing that it was our first stop, that it was a new fort (built from about 1739 - 67) but worth the visit. He then said that it had been build after a major battle in the area between the Protestant English & the Jacobite Scots to prevent further insurrections but that there was a clan who’d turned & fought with the Brits and so if we had to ask directions or anything, be sure it wasn’t a Campbell we were asking because you can’t trust them at all. He was serious.
Fort George is still an active military base but is open to the public because, being 250 years old, is of some historic value. The men stationed there were on 3 weeks leave (prior to being shipped out) so the place was practically empty. It was fascinating. 
Spent a couple of hours there and then headed for Lock Ness, the monster, and, Urquhart Castle. It’s of course, a ruin. But, there was a great Cafe (in which we got a 10% discount with our Scottish Heritage passes,) a good film presentation (packing 1000 years of history  into 8 minutes. The perfect length for any presentation. The ruins were interesting but I think we’ve all reached our maximum capacity for broken walls and scenic overlooks.
We headed home to Peebles.
We did stop at a number of scenic overlooks. 
We took about 100 photos in 4 hours.
Dennis said, as our camera battery died, ‘when our camera dies, we don’t have to stop any more.’ Himself reminded him that we had 2 i-phones & an i-pad with which to take pictures. We turned a 4 hour drive into 11. Lots of photos.
Had dinner at home and are about to retire. Tomorrow, pack, into town about noon, a bit of sight seeing, a play, a photo/painting exhibit of the 60 years of Betty Windsor’s reign, dinner and The Scottish Ballet. Saturday, Himself & I fly to London then home on Sunday. I’m depressed at the thought of leaving.
Later. 

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