Scotland trip
(22/09/05 - 26/09/05)

Rich and I were invited 'up the road' to visit Karen and Sean for an extra long weekend, so on the Thursday evening after finishing work we took a plane up to see them. Luckily there were no problems this time with tickets or bank cards (another time that I made that journey I almost didn't get to go due to getting a new card for my account that had a different number from the one I had booked the flight on) so Rich and I set off without a hitch.

For the first day of our trip Karen & Sean had organised a trip out to visit Edinburgh, so early on Friday morning we wandered over to the train station to do the 3 hour train journey from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. When we arrived in Edinburgh the first thing that we did was to go and get a bus tour ticket, as it also had vouchers for Aberdeen castle. We enjoyed to bus tour very much - we sat right at the top even though it was a really windy day. The commentary was fun, and the commentator had a good Scottish accent for me to enjoy. The best bit of the tour though was that I didn't have to walk to go and see all those places (I am just so lazy).

Our next stop was to go up and visit Edinburgh castle (which did involve me having to do some serious walking unfortunately). The castle is strangely situated right next to the football stadium - perhaps for the convience of the resident King of the castle? The entrance price was 'reassuringly expensive' but luckily our vouchers softened the blow to our wallets a little. I am really glad that we did decide to go in as the castle was very impressive, with great views (check out the picture gallery link at the bottom of this page) and a man in a kilt playing bag-pipes!


Top right - Sean, myself and Karen outside the entrance to Edinburgh Castle
Left - Karen, bag-pipe man and myself at the top of Edinburgh Castle

We wandered around Edinburgh castle looking at the cannons (of which we have some good photos), we had lunch and hid from a sudden down pour in a war museum that is part of the castle. After the rain had stopped the sun came out as though nothing had happened - we decided to continue our wandering and went down into the town proper.

There is lots to see and do in Edinburgh, Rich had fun with some of the strange warped mirrors that were down the road from the castle, we saw the tardis!, and we went into a converted cathedral (where we had a nice drink) which is now an art gallery. We also looked in some of the cute Scottish gift shops on our wander around Edinburgh - Rich bought me a little woolly Aberdeen Angus cow and I tried to get him to try on some tartan.

Sadly we had to head off to catch the train after this, but we cunningly thought to purchase a pack of playing cards for the journey home. I taught our merry group the strange rules of 'Beanie' which most of us played for the journey back (Sean fell asleep - aww). Rich was naughty and cheated - but Karen and myself were very forgiving and let him off.

On Saturday we had a visit to Loch Ness planned, so after a hearty breakfast (the food at Karen & Sean's is always fantastic) we went off in the car to find the legendary loch, and perhaps to spot the elusive monster. The loch is lovely - and bigger than I had anticipated (somehow I had gotten the idea that it wasn't very large) but sadly there was no sign of Nessie any where. We did try loudly referring to our 'Thistle Whistles' but we didn't get any joy from that. However, in the Loch Ness gift shop we did discover 'Jessie' - Nessie's cousin! Jessie is a fluffy purple loch ness monster, which Rich bought for me and I now have sitting on my home PC.

I got to say 'hello' to the Loch - which is a Rundle tradition where you paddle in the sea at the beginning of a visit to the sea side, I don't believe it has ever been done in a Loch before, so perhaps I made Rundle history? We all decided against going on the boat tour around the Loch as the wind was quite strong and so, so cold. However, I did manage to skip my first ever stone on the loch (Hooray!) as well as get to see Rich doing his stealth ninja pose (see the photo on the right).

The photo on the left is of the Rich and myself infront of the ruins of a castle that is on an island in the loch. All a bit mysterious as no-one seems to mention what the castle was, nor does there seem to be anything in the way of historical information about it... or even a way of getting to it to take a closer look. (Karen has thoughtfully given me a couple addresses for websites that do tell you some information about the Loch Ness castle - or Castle Urquhart as it is properly known as, go have a look at and

After our Loch Ness visit Sean decided to try and find a whisky distillery for us to visit (I think I had said that I wanted to take a look inside one) so on our drive back we went a bit further to visit two distilleries. The first one was completely closed, so back in the car for us and off to the next. The next also wasn't doing tours of it's distillery so we had a look around it's little museum/information bit as well as the gift shop before giving it up for lost. We drove back to Aberdeen and tried to have dinner out at the local pub - but no luck there either! At least we got to play games in the evening to make up for all the disappointment.

Sunday morning involved another lie-in (very nice) after which we drove off to the nearby coast - after first stocking up with an outdoor cricket set from an Asda. Cricket on the beach is great fun - but very tiring, what with having to run around on sand. Rich and I said hello to the sea - as per tradition, while Karen and Sean looked on in bemusement. There was much in the way of film footage taken at the beach (all the footage from the weekend went into producing 'Jessica's Adventures in Scotland' - an epic tale of adventure and romance), as well as some lovely photos... the ones below are:

Bottom left: Our names - crossword style
Bottom right: Our shadows on the dunes

Thanks for having us Sharon & Korn! Rich and I are looking forward to our next visit to you soon.

More photos