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