August 29, 2011

Oh Yeah, I Went to Scotland

The first trimester has drawn to a close and I'm feeling more like real Heather again.  I had not forgotten that I left you all with only a few posts about our trip to Ireland and Scotland this summer, but it has been hard to make the time to blog in the midst of everything else.  So I'm going to slam you now with all 3 days of Scotland in one post.

Why did Elizabeth and I take a jaunt to Scotland?  

Glad you asked.  I don't know how long back it is now, but this lovely woman from Scotland started reading my blog.  She's a Christian; she homeschools; she has a wonderfully charming, dry sense of humor.  We being reading each others' blogs.  You can find her here.  As the summer approached and we were discussing plans for our trip to Northern Ireland, it came to my attention that Scotland is very nearby (compared to Pittsburgh) and perhaps it would be a good idea to look into visiting the Croft.

Thanks to Anne's free schedule and my husband who lets me chase crazy dreams, we arranged for a trip.   The only really sad thing about our visit is that I had a migraine for almost the whole time.  Anne was such a gracious hostess - even letting me sneak in naps here and there.  Next time I'm in Lewis, Anne, I promise I will be a much more engaging house guest.  I was not at my best and brightest and you were so good to me!  

Here's the overview of our visit:

This is the airport check-in on Lewis.  I loved this little airport!

Calum and Elizabeth got on great.  I love how kids play with anyone!

On our first day, Anne took us to some sheepdog trials.  It was like seeing Babe in real life ... though without any participating pigs.

This little pup was too young to participate yet, but so very eager (and beautiful!)

It was a treat not only to meet Anne, but also her whole family: the Builder, D.R., Katherine (below with Elizabeth), Katie, and Calum.  And yes, you read that right, they have a Katherine and a Katie.  Sadly, I came home with no photos of Katie.  We bowled together the first night - but I forgot my camera.  You'll have to check out Anne's post.

On day two, we visited some old "Black Houses."  Lovely name, huh?  They didn't have any windows so it's quite appropriate.  You can also get a good look at peat there in the big black pile on the bottom right.  Peat is used for heating and can be dug up in abundance on the island.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time for a tour of the peat bogs.  The fellow in the top two pics is weaving Harris Tweed.  He does some of his work there in one of the black houses.

After the Black House Village we stopped in at the Callanish standing stones.   I had no idea that there are such stone circles/arrangements all over England and Scotland.  Either Stonehenge is too famous or I'm too ignorant.  Either way, it was really cool to see one of these formations in person.  Seriously, how did they do it?!

That's Anne there in the yellow jacket on the right photographing me photographing.

This is the home on the croft.  A croft is simply a long parcel of land that stretches from the road to the coast.  (Do I have that mostly right, Anne?)  That's why Anne so often has posts those coastal sunset photos - there's just flat land between her and the sea!  Not only is it a lovely home for its physical beauty, but more so for the warmth found within its walls.  

E loved this shower.  I did too.
If we ever remodel a bathroom, I need to get the specs!

On our final day, Anne took us to two special places: the lighthouse at the butt of Lewis (which is actually the top - E found this hilarious) and "their" beach (the beach at the end of their croft that's public, but they claim as their own ... wouldn't you?!)

This fellow managed to escape his pasture.
I think he knew I was coming by and wanted to be on the blog.

Oh the glorious beach!

Anne and me in shadow.

In addition to our time in Lewis, we spent a fair amount of time in the airport in Glasgow.  Check out the warnings on these giant, duty-free cartons of cigarettes.  People, smoking can kill you.  Did you know?!  I was taken aback.

This little lady is a fabulous travel companion.  Traveling with a school-aged kid is sure different than traveling with toddlers and babies!

If you ever find yourself near Scotland, consider dropping in on Anne and her beautiful family & island.  I have a feeling you'd be welcomed with open arms.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, Heather, that was lovely :)
    And it took me back to these few days. It was such a shame for you that you weren't toddy (do you use that word?!), but, as you say, E had a blast with our Wee Guy :)

    Glad to see you're doing better now. It's always lovely to get that first period of pregnancy over and be filled with energy again. Woohoo!
    A x