Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer Visitors – Take One

My parents came for a visit at the end of May.. You may be wondering what we did, but the real question is what didn’t we do :) In thinking about their arrival, Ian and I thought it might be fun to take them to the West Coast of Scotland since none of us (except Ian) had ever been over there. They said, ‘You just plan it and we’ll come along for the ride.’ That was their first mistake! Only in retrospect did I realize that the amount of driving and time for sleep I had allowed for were a little misguided.. but hey, you only live once right? Might as well live in a groggy state of adventure!

So they got here and we gave them one day to relax before the road trip. We visited the local fruit farm only to have my hopes for strawberry shortcakes dashed since there is no PYO this year. But we did get to see lots of animals, including a very pregnant pig who ended up having 12 piglets about 2 weeks late. It made me grateful that I am only having one piglet to see her in such a state!

mama pig

The next day we took off (at 5am) for our Three Isles Excursion! We left from Oban on the west coast, took a boat over to the Isle of Mull where we loaded on a bus for a driving tour…

a view from the boat

the island was beautiful, even on a grey day!

Then we loaded on to another boat to go visit the Isle of Staffa..

Fingal Cave

A view from the Isle cliffs

Then back on the boat to go visit the Isle of Iona..

Some of the ruins in front of Iona Abbey

A chapel with the Abbey in the Background

The next day we headed off for the Isle of Skye just to enjoy the sites there. On our way over we spotted a brief but lovely break in the cloud cover..

And we stopped for a visit to Eilean Donan Castle. It was very interesting as it is still privately owned and used by a local family. Lots of history and family trees on the inside!

We spent the night on Skye and then spent the next day driving around to see all we could see! We hiked and got this lovely view..

And then we stopped to see the waterfall at Kilt Rock

And we stopped to visit the Dunvegan Castle and gardens as well

On our way home we also got to take in the views of the Black Cuillins.

We took a few days off from driving to play it cool around St Andrews (read: so dad could play some golf!). But then we went out and about again to visit Glamis and Dunnottar Castles.

Glamis had lots of history involving the Queen and her family – very interesting – and we even got to take a guided tour, which is always a bonus.

Then we drove up to Dunnottar and got our first glimpse..

It was a gorgeous day, and we even spotted some puffins! Can you see them??

I will leave you with the snail.. A photo by my talented hubby

We had a great visit together and are looking forward to seeing my parents again in September when they will be meeting Baby Church! That visit will be busy and exciting as well, but in a very different way :)

If you are interested in seeing more beautiful pictures and getting more details about our trip, check out the slideshow in the sidebar on the right.. Just click the image and let the show begin!

Up next – Ian’s birthday!

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