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    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    HOOT, MON! (TERESA DOES SCOTLAND).

    Hoot, mon! I just returned from a research and pleasure trip to the bonny land of Scotland. It was my very first trip to the country I’d lovingly written about so many times in books like HEATHER AND VELVET, A WHISPER OF ROSES, TOUCH OF ENCHANTMENT, SOME LIKE IT WICKED, SOME LIKE IT WILD and in my upcoming September 2010 release THE DEVIL WEARS PLAID. With its brutal, stunning beauty and its mercurial weather, it's not a country for the faint-hearted and I now have a much deeper appreciation for the hardy nature of the native Scot. There's a reason they wear fabulous sweaters and drink gallons of hot tea and whisky.

    Although we nearly froze to death at times, the natural beauty of the landscape was fully equal to the splendid visions of my imagination. I knew it was going to be a great trip when we turned out of the airport to see a young man who looked just like a male model hitchhiking. Alas, he wasn't wearing a kilt and we couldn't coax our husbands into stopping and picking him up. (But my husband did buy a gorgeous kilt of his own while we were there!)

    On one glorious day at Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, it was freezing, incredibly windy, sunny, and raining—all at the same time. And everywhere we looked on the horizon, we found a rainbow. We had our share of misadventures—exploding Diet Cokes in the back seat and me returning our rental car to the Hertz counter by handing the attendant our rearview mirror—but the only true horror we suffered was me blowing up my hair straightener on our first day there and being forced to walk around looking like a demented Shirley Temple for the rest of the week.



    Here are our traveling companions and dear friends Teresa and Freddy in front of Inveresk House in Musselburgh, the B&B where we spent 5 days.



    Standing in front of the breathtaking vista at the top of Edinburgh Castle


    Here I am in Edinburgh with the famous statue of "Greyfrairs Bobby", the loyal pup who kept vigil at his master's grave for 14 years after his death.

    The Elephant House in Edinbrugh--the famous pub where J.K. Rowling first started working on HARRY POTTER
    The beautiful edifice of Stirling Castle




    View from the top of Stirling Castle
    Typical view of Old Edinburgh street
    Our lodgings in Aberdeen--the Ferryhill House Hotel

    The spectacular ruin of St. Andrew's Cathedral
    In one of the courtyards of St. Andrew's College where Prince William attended
    My favorite site--the glorious Dunnottar Castle on the coast at Stonehaven


    One of the beautiful coves at Dunnottar
    There were rainbows everywhere!

    A little slice of heaven...
    Even the potties were pretty!
    And speaking of...here's our favorite street in St. Andrews.
    The enchanting Logan Cottage where we spent the night in Inverness
    Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness
    Me at Castle Urquhart bundled up like the Abominable Snowman. I didn't really wear the same clothes all week but I did wear the same sweatshirt and scarf. (Did I mention that it was REALLY cold?) The famous Rosslyn Chapel--the 15th Century chapel featured in Dan Brown's THE DAVINCI CODE

    24 comments:

    Sandra Schwab said...

    Ooooh, Scotland! *girly squeal* It sounds and looks as if you had a fantastic trip despite the cold. But what's not to like about Scotland? :)

    Did you try haggis? I've found that it tastes surprisingly nice.

    MsHellion said...

    OMG! *leaping around like a lunatic* That looks so much fun! I wanna go! Even if I froze to death!

    And I got chills looking at the picture of The Elephant House!

    Santa said...

    Ah, lassie! Soooo glad you're back! Love the pictures and you MUST post one of the DH in a kilt! Sounds like you saw some hot Scots. I guess their ad campaign is true!

    And thanks for the tease of not only your latest and greatest but of a sequel for pity's sake! You are evil (but in a really nice way!)

    Can't wait to chat some more tomorrow with y'all!

    terrio said...

    Somehow I knew the Rowling thing would send Hellion over the edge.

    Teresa, these pics are wonderful and thank you so much for sharing. I want to go so bad. Gah! I need more money and more time off.

    Did you learn anything about Scotland that will change how you write about it in the new story?

    Anonymous said...

    Ack lass! It looks like ya had a bit of fun there, despite the bone chilling weather.

    I hope to one day travel to Scotland myself, and these were great pictures. Love castles and anything Scottish so you definitely made my day.

    Many happy returns!

    MichelletheMerry

    Gillian Layne said...

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Ladytink_534 said...

    I can't wait to go! I know I'm going to freeze to death but I just can't make myself care!

    Keira Soleore said...

    Fab photos, Teresa!!

    I'm incredibly excited that you visited Dunnottar Castle. I visited there in the summer of 2002 (researching my medieval) and stayed at the Dunnottar Mains, a small B&B opposite the castle that's also a farm and used to supply the castle folks in eras gone by. Watching the July sun barely dipping below the horizon at 2am amidst the wildly surging North Sea was an experience!!

    Did you have dinner at the only restaurant in the hills above Stonehaven? I loved that little village.

    OK. I could go on and on. But NE Scotland just encapsulates my wildest imaginations.

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    Sandra,
    We actually did try haggis! My husband got brave on the last day and ordered it and we were shocked by how delicious it was. Sort of like spicy meat loaf served over mashed potatoes (or tatties as they're called over there). :)

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    Mshellion,
    We wanted to buy t-shirts at the Elephant House but they were all out. Wish we could have stayed at Balmoral Hotel where she finished the last Harry Potter book. Just shows how much she's come up in the world since then :)

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    You know I'm a tease, Santa! I don't want to tease too much because it's too cruel. Looks like Avon is going to publish the first book around August of next year and the second around January of 2009 so the wait won't be so long next time.

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    terrio,
    I think the wildness of the landscape will inspire me even more now, plus it gave me a hearty appreciation for the Scottish character. Can definitely see a prim young English miss freezing her bum off while a strapping Highlander walks around shirtless ;)

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    Oh Keira, what was Dunnottar like in July? Warmer?

    We had tea in a charming tea room on top of a bakery in Stonehaven. I discoverd the Scottish butter tablet at a confectioner's and fell deeply in love.

    Ate fish and chips about 9 times during the week but still lost 4 lbs because we walked so much. (Or maybe it was the shivering.)

    Ana Maria said...

    Welcome back, lass! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. Were you there for the 1:00 gun at Edinburgh Castle? Did you jump out of your skin even though you knew it was going to happen? I did, and almost dropped my camera into the dog cemetery below (I was by Mons Meg).

    twolilhahas said...

    I never wanted to go to Scotland more than when I read "Bride and the Beast." That is THE book that made it very important that I go there one day. I'm so surprised you wrote so beautifully of Scotland without ever having been there. I really look forward to reading the books inspired by this trip. The photos are absolutely beautiful.

    Keira Soleore said...

    Teresa, not sure if the sun was out in full force when you were there, but it certainly was in July. The wind was just as strong coming off the sea, but the castle ruins at around 9pm, when the sun is at the angle where a few clouds allow it to play hide-and-seek, are simply spectacular. I have a rubbing of one of the carvings from the kirk, or what there was left of it. We walked around that narrow trail that leads down the cliff-side a ways... WOW! Scary drop down to the jet black rocks below. I have just not forgotten how strong the wind can gust over there when you're so exposed. The other thing that was beautiful in July was the profusion of wild flowers in the nooks and crannies among various mosses. Spectacular!!

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    What a gorgeous description, Keira! Thank you!

    Twolilhahas, thank you for your kind words about THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST. I have such a vivid imagination that it's never been any problem describing the "countries of my dreams".

    Ana Maria, we were there for the 1 o'clock gun but would you believe we didn't hear it? I think we must have been inside. We were all disappointed.

    Elizabeth Boyle said...

    What a glorious trip! You make me wish I had a trip in the making. Isn't Dunnotter fabulous--and St. Andrews is breath taking. So glad you got to see Scotland.

    And really, haggis isn't so bad.

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    Hey Elizabeth! Glad you could pop by! Wish I had some haggis to offer you ;)

    Anonymous said...

    Sounds like you had a fantastic trip, Teresa! Loved the pictures. I would love to visit Scotland. I love reading about it and would love to see some of the places I've read and dreamt about! And seeing a hot Highlander in a kilt wouldn't be so bad either!

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    --dorothy

    Teresa Medeiros said...

    Thanks Dorothy! Now I have to go back to seeing hot Highlanders on the page...which come to think of it isn't so bad! ;)

    Kasey said...

    Oh my gosh! It looks like you had an amazing time. I am so jealous. Especially since you got to see where Prince William when to college. :)

    Anonymous said...

    Oh my God! I love Scotland! The most magical place there!
    I am your Italian fan, a girl of 26 years.
    I love the way you write, you are fantastic.
    Greetings and a kiss, thank you for the wonderful stories that gifts.
    -Devi-

    MozzyLizzy said...

    Hi, I just stumbled on your page but wanted to say I love your Edinburgh pictures. It makes me nostalgic!