Feb 14, 2018

Wrapping Up Day Six in Scotland Down in the Borders

Day Six of our Scottish adventure was one for the record books.  We crammed so much in to it.  We started the morning off in the beautiful Highland Mountains of Glencoe.  This could be one of the most stunning places on earth.  We stopped off for a look at Inverary Castle for our own little Downton Abbey experience.  We drove through the Trossachs and Loch Lomand to stop for tea where I had lived in the 80s. 
We had reservations to stay that night in a Bed and Breakfast on a working sheep farm in the Borders but there were a couple of more places on the drive down we hoped we could fit in. 

They were at two ends of the Scottish spectrum!

First was Drumlanrig Castle.
It sits on 120,000 acres with Victorian Gardens, parks, art collections, Dukes, Duchesses and more!

It had already closed for the day, but we were able to walk the grounds.

The scope of everything was huge.  After being in the Highlands, the south of Scotland has a much more gentle, rolling hills, and far less wild feel.

Add this to one of the places that I would love to go back to see one day when it is open.  Had our second week not been in Iceland - we would have had time to see more of these things....had they been open.  Make sure if you are planning to visit Scotland and getting IN to see places is important to you that you a) go when more of them are open (past April) and b) plan far less stops than we did or twice as many days!

We leave for Ireland in about a month - again a lot of things not open (we won't be able to sail out to Luke Skywalker's island!) but we are there for longer than our trip to Scotland...so stay tuned for those pictures!

While we saw NO people while on the estate - we saw hundreds of Grouse and dozens of sheep.

Next up - one last stop - and this is how it is described on the official Scotland tourism website

Notoriously difficult to find, it’s situated on a triangular spur of land, surrounded by steep drops to an artificial loch.

Because nothing says - what a way to end your day to us better than notoriously hard to find!  It was down a lot of tiny little lanes (but we have driven in Italy) and it was easier to find than our B&B would prove to be....
Also from the tourism website:
Discover one of Scotland’s most enigmatic castles: a rare hall-house standing in a location as breathtaking as it is remote. The dating of Morton Castle has been debated, but it was probably built in the late 1200s or early 1300s. It’s one of only a few surviving hall-houses that have been identified, and by far the most complex. It retains some of its original impressive presence, and carries a real sense of discovery.

It was SO incredibly quiet here.  Actually it reminded me more of my memories of Scotland than the ACTUAL place that I had lived reminded me of Scotland.  

It was peaceful and remote - again just us and some wildlife.

 The sun was beginning to lower in the sky - playing off of the hills and walls of the Castle itself.

One thing that is striking to me when visiting many of these castles is the size.

I suppose from TV and movies in my imagination they are grand large buildings.  But in reality the old ones are rather small.   

 You can see Serg down in the corner of this photo.  So - the height of the tower is tall - several floors I suppose.

Here is the family standing in between floors.

And here they are "inside" - this shot shows basically the entire bottom floor of the castle.
For a building built in 1200-1300 - it has stood the test of time remarkably well.

 I can only imagine how cold it must have been to have lived here.  I froze for so much of the time when I lived in a building that at least had some sort of heat (not central, but at least heat).  These windows are small but they would have allowed in the cold winds and rain.

Take a listen to the sounds of the Scottish Borders:

 It was a lovely last sight to see on this day. 

From Morton's Castle we needed to find our way to our Bed and Breakfast.  
Such narrow roads!  Thankfully there is also very little traffic.
If you haven't traveled through Great Britain - you do need to know if you come upon a road with a closed gate - you open the gate, drive through, just make sure to close the gate!  Ris was the gate closer - and we knew we were getting closer to our B&B as sheep were EVERY where - and lots and lots of baby sheep too!

We made passed through just a couple of small villages but didn't stop.  Once we literally arrived on the farm - our lovely host directed us back to one for a nice dinner.  It had been a long day and we were starving.

It was a fancy Pub Meal kind of night - Serg had a Gammon Steak with Pineapple. (otherwise known as ham)

Ris had Balmoral Chicken.  Although it has been too long now - she surely got it without the Haggis...or it was some kind of special....but it was a Pub and this is chicken - so Balmoral is my educated guess, lol.

Fish and Chips would be mine - but I likely got it as much for the peas as for anything.  And because I was likely cold.....

For dessert it was Sticky Toffee Pudding and Lemon Tart.
The perfect ending to a very long and wonderful day.

For more of our Scotland Trip 

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