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Scotland Day 7: In the Highlands

rain 56 °F

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Goodbye, Edinburgh!
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We got a taxi to the airport rental car section and picked up our car. It's a Toyota hybrid, just like our Prius (and like the car we had when we were in Ireland), and so it's very familiar.
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Crossing the bridge over the Firth of Forth.
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Our first stop was Dunfermline, where Dunfermline Abbey was formerly located. There is currently a church there where King Robert the Bruce is buried (as evidenced by the huge tower with "King Robert the Bruce" written all the way around it). This was once the capital of Scotland, where some of the earlier kings ruled.
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St. Margaret of Scotland was also buried here, but her body was moved during the Reformation for safekeeping by Mary of Guise, and its current whereabouts seem to be unknown. Anyway, this is where she was buried. She was the daughter of Edward the Aetheling, and married to King Malcolm III of Scotland (who is the real-life version of Malcolm in Shakespeare's Macbeth. She founded the abbey here and was later made a saint, and the chapel atop Edinburgh Castle was dedicated to her.
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Some pictures in and around the ruined abbey.
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We stopped at a little village called Dalwhinnie and had a delicious lunch at a small cafe there. We had sausage rolls, crisps, and a caramel shortbread for dessert. It was very cold, windy, and rainy outside but the cafe was exremely cozy with a nice fire burning.
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The options for fillings on a baked potato here are very different from what you would get in America, and don't really seem that appetizing from an American perspective. They seem to be very popular here though: there are several dedicated baked potato bars in Edinburgh and many places outside of the city seem to have them on the menu as well.
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After lunch we went up to the Dalwhinney Distillery, which claims to be the highest and coldest distillery in Scotland. It definitely felt cold and windy as we got out of the car.
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A quilt made by students at the local school (which we later learned was shut down...Dalwhinnie appears to have somewhat faded away as a village. That is sad, but it is easy to see why with modern transportation technology a person might not want to live in such a cold and windy place.)
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The process of distillation is fascinating. Catherine has a great interest in invention and how an inventor's mind works. After the tour she said "if you had barley, water, and yeast in front of you, would you honestly come up with all of that?" It is an interesting thing to think about how people came up with the whole process.
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There is a tasting at the end of the tour. At the beginning of the tasting the tour guide asked who was driving, and gave each of the drivers three small bottles in which to pour the samples. It was really a nice solution to the problem of tastings when you have to drive. Catherine tried the samples and liked them, especially the first two. We ended up buying a bottle of that first whisky.
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The beautiful castle where we are staying. There is a cozy fire and a beautiful lounge.
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Dinner in the castle. Delicious bread pudding for dessert.
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A dram of whisky by the fire after dinner.
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The castle is beautifully decorated for Christmas.

We had a wonderful day, and we had a beautiful drive from Edinburgh to the highlands!

Posted by danielcatherine 23:58 Archived in Scotland Tagged christmas castle highlands bread distillery pudding inverness dunfermline dalwhinnie st._margaret Comments (1)

Day 6

sunny 75 °F

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Catherine has always called small car washes "buggy washes." In Jacksonville, there is a true buggy wash. Catherine was using the right name after all.
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Jacksonville, Oregon. A beautiful "old west" town in the midst of the forest. We came through here on our way to I-5 after a wonderful weekend at Sturm Ranch/ 5 Aces Farms. We even got to take home a jar of honey from the bee hives mentioned earlier. We had a great time, and are now moving on to the next leg of our trip.
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An old Levi add in Jacksonville.
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On our way to Portland we stopped for a picnic lunch at the little town of Myrtle Creek. Myrtle Creek is one area known for covered bridges. The first bridge pictured is a driving bridge, but the second is for pedestrians only. We had a nice lunch, but while we were eating two police cars arrived, and the officers spoke to a man who was in the park. No arrest was made, and we both wonder what happened, though we will probably never know. It did make lunch a bit more interesting. Unfortunately, we have no pictures of the incident.
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Stopped at Dutch Brothers' Coffee, which is ubiquitous in Southern Oregon. Catherine got a "children's" size smoothie, only wanting a small treat. She didn't realize that it would come in a giant crayon cup.
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Before arriving in Portland, we stopped at Mt. Angel Abbey/ Seminary. This is where Catherine's brother Michael went to college, and which we hadn't visited since Michael's graduation. The picture above is a view of the seminary on the mountain from afar.
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Some views of Mt. Angel Abbey and Seminary. It is a beautiful place; very peaceful and beautiful.
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St. Mary's church in Mt. Angel. Unfortunately it was closed, but it is beautiful from the outside.
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A song comes to mind...
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Appetizers and samples at Hopworks Urban Brewery, an organic brewery/ restaurant that was recommended to us. Everything was excellent.
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We've heard a lot about this place. It has been featured on Food Network, etc. we bought doughnuts to try tomorrow morning.
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A cozy room at the end of a fun day.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:56 Archived in USA Tagged coffee jacksonville portland cozy brewery pudding voodoo doughnuts myrtle_creek dutch_brothers mt._angel Comments (2)

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