Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Scotland Trip- Guest Blog by Mrs. Pratt...

Mrs. Pratt is finally ready to talk about her trip to Scotland. She was there the last part of June. Here is Part One of her Guest Blog....

My trip to Scotland was really fun and interesting, and a lot
different then I expected. I went with my mother, our native tour
guide, and my brother. First, I found out that Edinburgh is just one
massive hill that goes from the castle to the river. And I mean hill,
as in massive, climbing a mountain, hill. Also, it's very crowded,
especially on weekend…a lot like being in New York City. The streets
are narrow, the buildings are old, and everyone drives on the wrong
side of the road, which is an issue just trying to cross the road, far
less driving.

We had fun taking my mother to places she had not been before. The
Britainnia was decommissioned only a couple of years ago, and is now a
museum piece docked in Edinburgh. And of course we had to see the
new, over-budget Scottish Parliament Building. (Costs 479 million

When we arrived in mid-June, the temperature started creeping up into
the upper 60's and low 70's, so everyone we met began seriously
complaining about the heat. I always politely informed them that I
was just fine with the weather, as it was about 95 degrees at home.

The other thing that took some getting used to was that the sun did
not set until about 10:30 in Edinburgh, and even later when we went
further up north. I only saw one sunset the entire time we were there
because we usually called it a night and shut the curtains around 10
pm. This was taken at about 9:00 p.m.

After doing all the tourist stuff in Edinburgh, we rented the car
(Ford Focus, largest car at Hertz) and spent a day doing the Lothian
area where my mother grew up. Then we drove north to Aberdeen,
Peterhead, and Fraserburgh, home of the Lighthouse Museum of Scotland.
After a stop in Aberdeen (for the lighthouses, or course), we found
our way up to our B&B in Peterhead. We also stopped at the tearoom
near the Rattray Head Lighthouse:

Peterhead is a very nice, and fairly affluent community. However,
there is only one restaurant in town that was open late, so we ate
there both nights. I even had local fish and chips.

Of course the Lighthouse Museum was pure heaven. They have 1 ½
stories of lenses and artifacts. Then I got to climb the Kinnaird
Head lighthouse, where unlike most American museums, you're allowed to
get close to the displays and touch stuff. I even got to rotate the
lens in the tower (4 tons of glass and metal perfectly balanced on a
couple of bearings.)

In the same area are a whole lot of cool ruins, although the stone
circle turned out to be a bust…a couple of rocks and the grass wasn't
even trimmed around them. The coolest one was Slain's Castle, which
was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula's castle. The scariest part
was the cliffs going several hundred feet straight down to the rocks
below right behind the castle. Deer Abbey was also really nice, in
pretty good shape for 800 years old.

To be Continued...

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