Yes we were lost in the Highlands of Scotland (Torrin), however thankfully, all turned out ok once we asked a local where our actual address was. We were only six doors away. Julz was happy that we had finally arrived.
Our host, Raurie, was a multi-generational farmer. He greeted us covered from head to toe in black grease. “Sorry in the way I look”, he said when we arrived. “We have been working on the tractor for weeks”.
It was a one night stay in his specially built accomodation. Air Bnb would continue to give us unique experiences.
We left early in the morning to get driving through to the highlands and lochs to Lochgilphead., situated about 7 hours away. The country side was stunning and the mountains of the Scottish Highlands are truly mystical. So much history along the way, with castles and old ruins scattered through the hills. We discovered the Dornough castle, and were impressed by its majesty on the loch. Beautiful, stunning.
This was our first night stay with a local through a global peace organisation we had uncovered, Servas.org. It had started in the early 1950’s based around the principle of promoting Peace around the world. Specifically developed for local people to host a visitor so they could experience the local custom. We were so lucky to have chosen a beautiful host, Margaret, living in Lochgilphead. When we eventually arrived, Margaret had cooked a wonderful home cooked vegetarian roast vegetables for us. We found, very quickly, so much in common with Margaret and were enthralled by her stories and wonderful hospitality. This was like visiting an Aunty who you had not seen for years. A wonderful memory was made. We will most definitely remain connected.
We then drove across Scotland, in some drizzle, winding our way around the vast mountains and lochs.
Edinburgh was a stop for us today, so we explored the castle where we went back in time to explore the lives of the various aristocracy and knights who lived within the walls of Edinburgh Castle. Oozing history with many wonderful Scottish tales that enthralled us both.
We drove down the highways of Scotland and our next stay was with another Servas couple, George and Marjorie In a little town called Penicuik. Again we were greeted by a lovely couple who treated us like long lost relations. Once again they spoiled us with a traditional Scottish meal, minus the haggis.
They mentioned to us about a “lost garden” in the woods. It was a feature of a wealthy families estate back in the 1800’s that people knew was somewhere, however, until recently it was re-found. The community grow all their flowers, fruit and vegetables, manned by regular town folk and some “woofers”.
If you want some produce, you leave some money in the community honesty box.
The Scottish people are just so lovely and they love to talk. Which, of course, is one of my fave things to do as well.
In the morning we headed further south, driving across to the coast and thinking we would see a beach, we saw just an industrial wasteland and shipping port. Welcome to Newcastle and Britain.
We then drove across to York, which is a stunning, large, historical city to explore. History galore.
We had a night this stay at Evesham, UK, so we could explore the old historical village of Stratford on Avon. This was the home of William Shakespeare and now a tourist mecca. It has only a few of the original homes standing in the Tudor style architecture. William, of course, has a lot of controversy over the authorship of his body of works. We explored the various historical areas to get a sense of those times.
I ended up in a conversation with a local who proceeded to agree that his authorship was still being challenged after over four hundred years. We found the township too touristy and left to drive down to Truro where we had a nice Air BnB for two nights.
It was time to explore Avebury and Glastonbury and see what all the fuss was about.
To be continued…