Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

7:02 PM - Aug 25, 2017 #211

Thanks, DLT.  🙂 Yes, we are very fortunate that we took this trip, and had so much fun plus being blessed with good weather for the most part!  

Blackness Castle (Fort William) is actually surrounded by water on three sides with only a narrow strip of land (the parking lot) connecting it to the rest of the coast.  That's why it looks like a ship that is anchored in the sea! 

I'll have to look more closely at the Paris episodes to see if I can spot the rooms that were filmed at Hopetoun House!  Ah, such a chore having to re-watch Outlander...😉
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Joined: 12:07 PM - Oct 21, 2014

4:10 AM - Aug 26, 2017 #212

Thanks for the photos and descriptions Zahia. I'm really enjoying making the vicarious Outlander voyage with you. It's just so cute that your husband enjoys Outlander as much as you do.
Da mi basia mille, deinde centum, dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.

Donne-moi mille baisers, et puis cent, et puis mille autres, puis une seconde fois cent, puis encore mille autres, puis cent.
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audiobooklover
Clan Fraser
Joined: 10:09 PM - Jul 19, 2010

2:09 PM - Aug 26, 2017 #213

I finally read through your adventures (so far) and looked at pics.  Thanks so much, Zahia, for sharing your experiences and letting us live vicariously through you.  I really enjoyed what you've posted so far.  I just hadn't had time to go through it all before now.
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

5:37 PM - Aug 27, 2017 #214

Hahaha, yes, Naomi...it's kind of cute!  Last night he suggested we watch an episode of Outlander when we got home from seeing Much Ado About Nothing on Bard on the Beach in  downtown Vancouver, but I was tired so I said maybe not...!  Then he suggested that we continue reading Outlander!  😅 Thanks for your comments Naomi and Audiobooklover!  I'll try to post a bit more today.  
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

6:08 PM - Aug 27, 2017 #215

Day 3:  Edinburgh

After a very full driving day, we thought we would leave the car at the hotel and bus it in to town.  The transit system is way better than we have here in Vancouver, and it was fun to hop on the bus with the locals!  The bus drivers are very adept and seem to be able to weave in and out of traffic with only inches to spare!  We wanted to go to the Royal Edinburgh Botanical Gardens on this day so the driver told us exactly where to get off to transfer, which was a better place than where Google told us to!  What an absolutely breathtaking place right in the heart of Edinburgh!  It was established in 1670 as a physic garden and it covers over 70 acres...and it's free!  We're gardeners (my husband studied horticulture) so it was going to be a fun day for us.  Edinburgh had almost no winter last year (according to many, including a nice little old lady we chatted with on the bus) and we had just finished our worst winter this past year here in Vancouver, so consequently, Edinburgh plants and flowers were at least 3 weeks ahead of Vancouver, despite being so far north!  We spent about 4 hours walking around and enjoying the beautiful day in such a peaceful setting.  You could almost forget you were smack in the middle of a large city.  The Glasshouse was over 350 feet long and 50 feet wide, amazingly huge.  We sent a video to our son back home and told him to be glad our greenhouse, that he was in charge of watering while we were gone, isn't as large as this one!  Ours is only 20x50!  🙂
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Gorse, complete with LOTS of spiney bits!
Gorse, complete with LOTS of spiney bits!


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Himalayan Poppy, we grow these, but there was a whole field of them here!
Himalayan Poppy, we grow these, but there was a whole field of them here!


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Podophyllum, with very delicate flowers that only have one bloom per plant from China
Podophyllum, with very delicate flowers that only have one bloom per plant from China

I love the way the light just shimmered through the petals of this plant.  I have loads of pictures of plants and flowers, but I won't post them...😉
Last edited by Zahia on 6:28 PM - Aug 27, 2017, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

6:24 PM - Aug 27, 2017 #216

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Some of the Rock Garden
Some of the Rock Garden


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A Peat Wall
A Peat Wall

Only in Scotland would they come up with the idea that you could just stack a bunch of peat down to create a wall, and then plant things in it!  They pioneered it in 1927 in the Logan Botanical Garden, and it became a popular thing to do in the garden in Edinburgh during the 1930's.  
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A Maypole
A Maypole

I had never seen a Maypole before, and I guess it will stay up for the whole month, although I'm not sure.  It was only May 11th when we were here.  There were little sayings on the flags, and the writing looked Indian to me.  

We saw the Monkey Puzzle Garden, the Woodland Garden, the Peat Garden, the Herbaceous Border, the Scottish Heath Garden, and the Queen Mother Memorial Garden, which had a beautiful little building with a dedication in it.  The inside was most unusual, as the walls were decorated with different types of shells and tiles arranged in a pattern to look like wallpaper and the ceiling had different types of cones from native trees arranged in the Scottish Saltaire.  I'll see if I can find a picture.  The Queen Mother was a very beloved Scottish lady, so her memorial garden is huge, and very beautiful with walkways edged by lovely plants and flowers.  
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

6:25 PM - Aug 27, 2017 #217

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DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: 7:06 AM - May 26, 2012

7:38 PM - Aug 27, 2017 #218

Great pictures, Zahia. It must have been fun to wander around the botanical garden. I love the blue Himalayan poppy - I have not seen that before. I can just imagine Claire seeking out botanical locations for her herbs.
The memorial to the Queen Mother is lovely, and must have taken a lot of work to set up (and to maintain)
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Joined: 6:04 AM - Mar 18, 2012

4:26 PM - Aug 29, 2017 #219

great pictures of Scotland.  I have many but I don't have a way to send them.  I was stationed in Scotland for about 18 months of a special assignment.   I was able to meet some family(father). I would love to go back.       doc
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Joined: 12:07 PM - Oct 21, 2014

5:57 PM - Aug 29, 2017 #220

Thanks Zahia, lovely photos
Da mi basia mille, deinde centum, dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.

Donne-moi mille baisers, et puis cent, et puis mille autres, puis une seconde fois cent, puis encore mille autres, puis cent.
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

4:12 PM - Aug 30, 2017 #221

Day 3 continued...

I wanted to walk along the Water of Leith towards Dean Village, which I had seen pictures of and it looked absolutely beautiful.  We walked for a very long way through parks and neighbourhoods, but once we got there, the sun was in completely the wrong place for good photos, oh well.  🙂  I think we didn't go quite as far as we should have, but we were getting tired and hungry.  Next visit...😉 
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One of the parks along the way
One of the parks along the way

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A very cute old house, right beside the river
A very cute old house, right beside the river


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View from the bridge, with the medieval city rising up behind
View from the bridge, with the medieval city rising up behind

Apparently if we had continued walking on the other side we would have seen the iconic medieval buildings along the Water of Leith.  Rats!  I'll just have to go back!!  

Along the way we saw a beautiful Blue Heron (like the one Claire saw in a vision when she was losing Faith) standing on a large rock in the river waiting to catch something.  We have Great Blue Herons here in Vancouver, but the European ones are different; a bit smaller and less blue...according to my husband the birder!  There were certainly lots of people walking along the pathway and enjoying the beautiful sunshine of the day.  We finally went up the hill to look for something to eat.  We were in the New Town (new being the 1700's) heading towards Old Town where the castle was.  We found a lovely place called Angel's Share that had a patio perfectly situated in the sunshine so we grabbed a table.  I think I even got a bit of a sunburn, which is weird for me!  Often places have great deals for lunch or early dinner.  We had a 2 course meal for £10 which was absolutely delicious!  I had roast chicken on a bed of neeps and tatties with haggis and vegetables.  Yum!  Every year when we go to Robbie Burns Night (in January) we have the traditional Scottish meal, complete with haggis, so I've had it many times.  This one was particularly delicious the way they did the spices.  Around the back of the Angel's Share restaurant was the pub called...the Devil's Cut!  How cute!  I went inside the restaurant eventually and was greeted with an array of huge photos of various Scottish movie/TV stars as well as other famous people.  I looked (in vain) for Sam Heughan's picture!  How shocking that he wasn't there!  Outlander really doesn't seem to be very popular in Scotland, but hopefully that will change soon.  I'll have to go back next time and see if they've fixed their error in not including Sam!  

While walking through the town we saw a House of Fraser men's clothing store, as well as James Alexander Hair Studio!  That was funny to me.  We kept on walking...
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audiobooklover
Clan Fraser
Joined: 10:09 PM - Jul 19, 2010

4:43 PM - Aug 30, 2017 #222

Wow!  Lovely pics.  Looks like a fabulous day for walking.  Sorry you didn't make it all the way, but it still sounds like you enjoyed your day.  

Thanks again for letting us live vicariously through you. 
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

4:53 PM - Aug 30, 2017 #223

We thought we would walk through Princes Street, which is in New Town and is a tourist place for shopping.  After a couple of minutes we decided it wasn't for us.  We're not shoppers, and to us, it was just stores in older buildings...not very exciting.  Maybe we didn't go far enough.  In any case, across the street was the Princes Street Gardens (formerly the Nor Loch) and the Parish Kirk of St. Cuthbert complete with its graveyard and the Castle looming above it...in the blazing sunshine!  Not quite the gloomy weather we had been expecting for Edinburgh!  Hahaha, most people complain about the rain, and here I was hoping for at least clouds!  
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A different view of Edinburgh Castle
A different view of Edinburgh Castle

We went the "wrong" way to try to get up the hill to the castle because we basically had to climb up the steep hill instead of going on the easy path.  Twelve years ago, when I came with my sister-in-law I made the same mistake and we almost crawled up on our hands and knees it was so steep!  This time was a bit better, but we could certainly see why the Castle was built where it was.  There really is only one way to successfully get up to the entrance of the Castle.  The Nor Loch has an interesting history.  There used to be a lake at the bottom of the Castle where all the rainwater and grime from the streets would run down to it as well as sewage would get dumped there and where some people would do their washing. But also they would throw the dead criminals in it (😱) since they weren't important enough to bury, as well as the practice of 'Witch Ducking', and many committed suicide jumping off the rocks above into the lake, but most importantly...that's where Edinburgh got it's drinking water!!!  Can you imagine??  Amazing that anyone could survive that!  The stench must have been revolting and eventually in 1763 the town began to drain the eastern end to make North Bridge, and in 1813-20 they drained the west end of it, fill it in and make the garden.  If they hadn't done that, I don't think tourism would be what it is today!!  😜  Auld Reekie indeed!

Anyway, once we got to the top, we were on the Royal Mile at the Esplanade leading into the castle.  It wasn't too busy, so I got a better shot of the front of the Castle.  

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The Castle must have been closed by this time, and the tourists back in their buses, so I took a better picture.  Edinburgh has been quite busy this time round, despite our visit being in May.  Last time I came was at the end of August, during the Fringe Festival, which was quite entertaining...
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

4:56 PM - Aug 30, 2017 #224

Thanks, ABL, it certainly was a very lovely day, and we had so much fun!  Honestly, between London and Edinburgh, I would choose Edinburgh anytime!  It's just so interesting with so many places to explore, but it's also a very walkable city once you get in to town.  London is amazing too, but it's just so huge and almost overwhelming at times.

Ladywolf, where did you manage to go?  Eighteen months??  Wow, that would be awesome!  I would love to see some of your pictures, too!  
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Joined: 7:17 PM - Jan 02, 2015

5:28 PM - Aug 30, 2017 #225

Day 3 continued still...

Ok, just a few more pictures from that day.  At the top of the Royal Mile near the Castle was a memorial to the Witches that had died during the various Witch Hunts.  What struck me about it was that Claire was constantly being suspected of being a Witch (we're about to re-watch The Devil's Mark again) and she could have easily been put to trial by the practice of Witch Ducking, where many innocent women were basically murdered by 'justice'.  It's a lesson of ignorance and scapegoating that we as a society still haven't seemed to learn.  I'm soapboxing, I know, but it's a poignant reminder of how people can be whipped up to do unthinkable things to each other.  Neighbours turned in neighbours, and were put to trial even without any evidence.  You could just be mad at your neighbour for something inconsequential and have her put to death on suspicion of being a witch.  Chilling.  
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The etching is beautiful on this, and there are always flowers in the box
The etching is beautiful on this, and there are always flowers in the box


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It's worth reading the memorial
It's worth reading the memorial
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