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Land & Sea Scotland & Norway

SmarterTravel

Author: Harry Phillips
Date of Trip: August 2014

Early departure from Victoria, B.C. to Toronto and onward to Edinburgh. I always enjoy visiting Edinburgh it’s such a great place with lots to see. After the usual miserable flight booked into a B&B in Haymarket right across the street from the rail stn, tram stop and airport coach stop. Very convenient. The festival was on so there was lots to do and see. My family came from Scotland and I was led to believe the old house was still standing but in sad shape and ready to fall down so wanted to see it before it did. Anyway took an early train to Aberdeen and another to Huntly. It being Sunday the whole town was closed with exception of a hotel pub. Couldn’t get a taxi to take me out to the old house about 5 miles out…don’t work on Sunday he said. Anyway told my tale of woe to the bar keep and she said her daughter would run me out. Great hospitality. Found the house with little trouble only to find it was in the midst of a complete rebuild. What a great surprise. Couldn’t spend much time there so back on the train to Edinburgh. It was full of football fans and they were having a great time, but sore heads the next I’m sure.

Next day spent touring and the Tattoo that night. What a splendid production the tattoo is.

Next day proceeded to Leith and boarded the MV Discovery for a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. This was a fantastic trip. The fjords are stunning, waterfalls everywhere. Took three day tours the most enjoyable was Norway in a Nutshell which I had booked on line prior to departure. It was much cheaper than a lesser tour offered by the cruise company. After a ferry ride, a coach trip, and two rail journeys returned from whence I started from, Flamm and re-boarded the ship.

The ship was a smaller liner soon to be retired but in perfect shape. Great crew, good entertainment all round a splendid voyage.

After seven days returned to Leith and a fast taxi ride to Waverley Stn headed north by train to Wick a scenic little sea side town. From there by train back to Inverness and onward to Kyle of Lochalsh. This rail journey is very scenic. I had been to the Kyle before so boarded a coach to Portree on Skye. Checked into a great little hotel on the sea front and was offered a whiskey. It was welcomed as was drenched from a downpour. Next day a prior booked tour picked me up for an all day tour of Skye. It was operated by Skye Scenic Tours and gave great insight to life on Skye, past and present as well as all sights. Donnie the tour operator had a great sense of humour so it was an enjoyable day. He let me off at the bus halt and proceeded to Armadale boarding a ferry to Mallaig where I overnighted. Early departure next day by train on the world famous Highland Line to Glasgow. Once again a very scenic journey.

Three days in Glasgow and so much to see and do. So much so that am planning a return trip. One of the highlights was a trip down the Clyde on the old Waverley, the last ocean going side-wheeler. Glasgow had just been host to the Commonwealth Games so the city was still in party mode. Fun place.

Once again holidays must end so after a very early departure arrived back home in Victoria spending the next few days relaxing after a busy enjoyable vacation.

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