Saturday, 30 May 2015

Journey To Western Isles 2015 - Early Days

Journey to the Western Isles, Day 1.

As regular followers of the FaceAche and Blog will know, Susan and Joe are having a private tour with us for two weeks.  It's quite a journey! 

We have started in Edinburgh with a special tour of Iain Rankin's detective Rebus, as Joe is an avid Rebus reader.  We'll make our way out to the Western Isles of Harris and Lewis over a week to see vistas of ocean and sky so wide that your eyes hurt and some of the most impressive standing stones in the world.  Joe is a photographer and will be in his element.  Along the way we'll be stopping at Outlander book and Starz locations as Susan is an Outlander fan.  We'll see castles, Inverness, old towns and villages, the Isle of Skye. The return journey will tour Edinburgh of Claire in 1760s and as if that's not enough, we'll then continue south into the Scottish / English borders for a couple of days to investigate the home of Sir Walter Scott, more castles, seafood, beautiful cliff walks over the ocean, witches, poetry and gently rolling hills and valleys.  It will be a calming and serene counterpart to the rugged and intimidating Highlands.
Highlights have already included spending a night in Susan's clan castle and having dinner there with her very distant relatives.

We come to a castle!

Susan and Joe by the fire of the "hall".

Hi Susan here. Spending the night at Tullibole Casle, including a Scottish dinner with Lord and Lady Moncreiff, distant relatives on my mothers side, has been a highlight of the trip. Until you've eaten freshly harvested good king henry, home made elderberry ice cream, finished off with oatcakes and local Scottish cheeses from area farms, you cant truly appreciate the meaning of the word dinner. We also had a walk on Moncreiff Hill. Making these connections with my ancestors turned out to be powerfully moving for me, and I was surprised that dinner conversation was comfortable, funny, and all in all felt like a family dinner with folk I'd known all my life.

Day 3 - Skye
Joe is going gaga and reaching for the camera every few minutes.  He had no idea of the beauty of Skye.  We're scheduled a few extra photo detours.

Struan on Skye

Friday, 22 May 2015

Starz Tour a hit

We ran our first one day extension - Starz locations - on the end of our recent Jamie and Claire Tour.  It was a big hit with the thirteen guests.  Here's a few photos to remind you of the TV series.

Ahh, Fort William.  Scene of Jamie's flogging.

Remember this?  Quiet now, since the public punishment.

Patty and Arlyn at Lallybroch

Sandringham's Belhurst
 When we were at "Sandringham's Mansion", Starz crew were in, doing some recon for the next series. 
Claire looks out and sees poor Hugh Munro's body beneath the trees.

Far too jolly, considering poor Jamie is recovering inside - St Anne de Beaupre.

Recognise this?  You should do soon.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Waterhorse on Loch Ness

Today Randi read the chapter "Water horse" on the side of Loch Ness.   A cool spring day with the sun warming the smell of the yellow gorse around us.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Spring Garden of Leoch

These are some photos of the early summer/ late spring garden at "the castle".  That being the castle most similar to the the description of Leoch, that is still extant today.
Taken today, day 3 of the tour, with "The Lost Boys" who misplaced gloves (again), feet (woops!), money, and in the bar last night, all sense of decorum.