Become an Outlandish Spirit. Join me in the Highlands of Scotland on the Jamie and Claire Tour for Outlandish Spirits as inspired by the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. Take a peek into life with a Highlander at our wee Storyteller's Cottage.
We like to have a bit of variety for each adventure, so we added a visit to a sheep farm today. Remember the scene where the women were in the barn dying the wool? We were greeted by the family and their own piper. Our host, Colin brought out two of his Border Collies and they gave a fantastic herding demo. One of the dogs was a 12 week old puppy who was just starting to learn the techniques from the experienced dog.....verra cunnin'. Our hostess, Linda and her daughters were in the huge barn teaching our Outlandish Spirits how to card and spin wool. We made another visit this day but it's a secret, but it has to do with a big hoosie.....shhhhh! During the last couple of days, several were talking about a Dragonfly adventure and we can hear France calling us! Tu ne parle pas Francais? Pas un probleme!
Linda and the family invited our guests to try their hand at carding and spinning. Deb R was in her element (see photos).
Last night continued after with more singing. Linda and Deborah led us in hits from the 1940s to 60s. "Bayyybee face, you got the cutest liddle baayyby face". Rhodda on backup. Quite a memory for us to keep.
Today it was off to a wee stone circle tucked up in the beautiful glens. The hills were pink and purple with early heather; an early blooming this year.
Kimberly: The week has exceeded my expectations tenfold. While driving from Inverness listening to beautiful Celtic music as the most serene pastoral landscape surrounded us, I made the decision that I will be spending more time in Scotland at some point. Highlights include laying in the heather (imagining Jamie next to me in the book but my husband in real life which is even better), drinking whisky with Scot at a pub in Inverness listening to locals jam while drinking great ales and whisky, visiting a "secret" place that Scot knew about, and listening to the Earl of Cromarty share the history of Castle L…
Deb Jean: last adventure before dementia, If not for my dear friend Anna, I would be wandering around in a cstle somewhere or be unable to purchase a ticket to the little girls room - who else has trouble with these coins? Today I got lost in our hotel. Thank Heavans she found my passport. My wise dh suggested that I bring her along. He was incredibly wise!
Another picnic lunch today on our long journey south from the Highlands. This time the outdoor repast was by the river, rocks and white water, amidst the tallest of trees. All agreed it beat lunch in a cafe by a long margin.
The talk turned to how much the guests have enjoyed the times on this trip with nature. We discussed the possibilities of a future tour. We've been working on SlowScotland (TM) which we will offer next year if we have the interest from prior tour guests. The theme of the tour is to get up close and intimate with nature, by bicylce, canoe, sailboat, walking, horse back travelling and so on. Linda gave …
Anna: Have yet to find a live haggis. Lots of haggis holes near the chestnut tree. Laird McKenzie (Clan Chief) was gracious and showed us around his castle. Found it interesting to see the castle and hear its history. Wonderful picnic on the grounds.
Tiffany: This trip has been more than I ever thought it could be, and it is only day four! We had a wonderful visit today with "The McKenzie" and the stories he told were so very entertaining. The castle and the grounds were beautiful. Terry: Aye, another castle. Another Lord. What a wonderful afternon, touring a grand castle, large and very old trees.. My nephew Nick and I hugged a 500 year old tree. How smooth, whoops that was the whisky the Lord served, so smooth even to a non-whisky drinker. We picknicked on the lawn of the castle and toured the castle. We finished the day with a tour ON Loch Ness and all envisioned that we would see the water horse. Maybe someday because I know we all believe.......
The Haggis Hunters' Tour. We have a name. In full it is "The full moon Haggis hunters' Tour". This morning we are at a facsimlie of Castle Leoch, to give the guests the feel of what a large castle would be like, with The Hall and all. We'll perhaps hear later what they learned.
We took a wee detour this morning en route to show some of the guests where Bonnie Prince Charlie dined a night or two before Culloden - another local castle and that fact is not well known. A night or two later, the Butcher of Cumberland (The Hanoverian king's son and leader of the British army) dined in the same place. The hosts were worried they'd be burnt out for giving hospitality to the Stuart prince, but Cumberland was not angry with them. He said, "He is my couzen and I would expect you to give him hospitality". It's nice when we can throw in a few almost secret visits or local knowledge. Of course, we'll now have to KILL THEM ALL or do a "Hugh Mo…
Tiffany: Amazing trip today to a wee church in the highlands! It was simply gorgeous! We took a quick (and I do mean QUICK!) hike by a river with a beautiful waterfall. Then it started to rain on us, which was refreshing and calming after the jog through the woods. We found some blaeberries and boy were they tasty! Such an amazing experience so far and it is only day two! What more do they have in store for us?! I can not wait to see!
Debra-Jean: The experience of an after dinner coffee can be, when enjoying the hospitality of the Scottish retaurant, an occasion for hilarity. Be advised that a cup of coffee with half and half can easily result in a serving of half a cup of coffee served with milk on the side. I love it!
Merikay: I had duck last night for the first time. Not so sure this will be my favorite but it was different. After all we are on a wonderful vacation. The mountains are just amazing and nice fresh air. This is the best vacation I have ever been on bar none. I have T…
The name of the tour will be... dah dah dah! (Actually, we don't have one yet)
What have we done this day so far? We've been to Cranesmuir but Geillis wasn't in. She's... well, dead, I expect. But we saw her house and had our photo taken at the Mercat in the town.
Linda: Our first stop in Cranesmuir gave me such an amazing, real-life picture of what an 18th century village would have looked like! I could almost picture Claire up on the 3rd floor staring into the pan of water while Geillie tried to drug her and discover her identity. Everyone is wonderful! I'm so excited for all that's in store for the week! :)
Deb: The old buildings are amazing! I have only read the first book "Outlander", however seeing the country side and Cranesmuir has brought the book to life. Geillis's possible house and the history behind it was very interesting. So far exceeding expectations!
Nic: The highlands are more beautiful than I could imagine but I'm a …