Category Archives: UK

Day Twelve: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Including the walk there.

Something fun going on outside the National Gallery
Something fun going on outside the National Gallery
The Water of Leith Walkway
The Water of Leith Walkway
Feeding the birds at Inverleith Park
Feeding the birds at Inverleith Park
Art class in Inverleith Park
Art class in Inverleith Park

The Royal Botanic Garden is home to many interesting species. This is a rare Breast Cancer Awareness Tree.

Perhaps they should call it a Dr. Seuss tree.
Perhaps they should call it a Dr. Seuss tree.

The Garden also contains exhibitions of great British artwork.

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A fascinating and award-winning exhibition.

The best part were the greenhouses, or “glasshouses” as they call them. They are supposed to cost £3 to visit, but the man taking the money found it too difficult to make change for a £10 note (despite having a box full of coins and bills in front of him), so I got in free. There was almost no one else there anyway.

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This is not a plant.
This is not a plant.
I like fish.
I like fish.
More Dr. Seuss landscape
More Dr. Seuss landscape

Days Eight and Nine: Inverness and Loch Ness

People say that you can’t go to Scotland without seeing the Highlands. So a weekend trip was in order.

I don’t know if anyone cares about these GPS tracks, but I like them, so here we go. This is the way to Inverness via everyone’s favorite bus company, Megabus. It’s a beautiful ride, but the feeling of motion sickness was making me wish I’d opted for the train – and perhaps doesn’t bode well for 18-hour rides over dirt roads not maintained since the 1930s (i.e., the Pamir Highway). Welp. Some of the mountains still had snow.

 

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The River Ness, Inverness
The River Ness, Inverness

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Most of Inverness’s attractions seem to be churches.

An interpretive dance competition, going on in different places around the city.  You were supposed to visit them all and get stamps on your programme.
An interpretive dance competition, going on in different places around the city. You were supposed to visit them all and get stamps on your programme.

The next day we spend in Drumnadrochit, situated partway down the long and narrow Loch Ness.

No, this is not the road to Drumnadrochit, where the hotel was.
No, this is not the road to Drumnadrochit, where the hotel was.

We went on a “cruise” of the loch:

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Urquhart Castle ruins
Urquhart Castle ruins

You’re not getting away without another GPS track. This one shows the cruise – and the walk down to the bay (of Loch Ness) along a trail marked with the helpful sign “no formal access”.  If you look closely on the map, you’ll see that it crosses a river.

The river that we just crossed, through a combination of wading and climbing on logs.
The river that we just crossed, through a combination of wading and climbing on logs.
The destination: Loch Ness.
The destination: Loch Ness.

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We tried to go cross country from there to the castle, but that was impossible without some serious swamp traversal, so we headed back.