Waterworks Park 20 pence to use a public toilet and it was worth it and very interesting -- clean -- with a timed electronic door We and audio instructions! walked “off the map” through a residential area.
HMS Caroline is a First World War light cruiser permanently berthed w d within Belfast harbor. We W really enjoyed our walk around Belfast! We had a late lunch on board then bid goodbye at b 4:49pm as the ship pulled 4 out of the harbor.
We met interesting people in th hot tubs, he including an Italian couple who spo no English oke and a large Welsh man who wore a Speedo. He told us about his experiences with th British Army he while stationed in Singapore, ro oping from helicopters, dropping 10 feet or more to the ground re and serving with Gurkhas who sa his life. aved 2 of our favorite baartenders were practicing their flair for th crew talent show. he
Monday, August 16 Greenock, Scotland 65F Cloudy 7:40am
We received a complimentary shot of Scottish On our Scottish lochs excursion we learned thatwhisky from the welcome center! Greenock is an important ship building center on the Firth of Clyde, 27 miles from Glasgow. James Watt was born here (bulb energy). Timber pond used for ship building Rock fences are used for boundary markers, to keep animals on the property and to prevent soil erosion.
As we drove into the Scotland is the bir rthplace of golf. Several Highla ands, our tour guide passengers brought their clubs with them on t Jan sai the Highlands id boar the ship. rd have poor soil, unlike the Lowlands, and they’re separat by the Great ted Glen, a deep geographic fault. Bird sculpture in theStoneymollan roundabout at the entrance to Argyll Forest National Park near Loch Lomond. Dumbarton Castle across the River Clyde is e where William W Wallace (Scottish freedom fighter immortalize in Braveheart) was held ed before being tried by England. g
We arrived at the village of Luss (Glendarroch) on the shores of Loch Lomond.
♪ O ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road, An’ I’ll be in The song Loch Lomond is said to reflect the despair of the time and refers Scotland afore ye; to 2 of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s men captured by the British in the Jacobeit But me and my true rebellion on the fields of Culloden. One was to be executed, the other love released. The spirit of the dead soldier would travel by the “low road” will never meet straight to his homeland, reaching Scotland before his comrade, who again would be struggling along the actual high, rugged countryside. On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon’.♫
One of f the ma any celtic crossess we saw w on our r trip.
The church has been in Luss since 1875, but the cemetary has graves 1000 years older, dating back to the 7th century. The stone that looks like an upside-down canoe is an 11th century Norse hogback grave.
Highland black Angus cow, a Shetland pony and lots of sheep!
Our tour of the Highlands and some of its beautiful lochs (lakes) -- Loch Lomond, Loch Eck, Lock Fiene, Loch Long and Holy Loch – was nearing an end as we boarded a ferry to cross the River Clyde to return to Greenock.
At 4pm, we enjoyed Afternoon Te with scones Tea and finger sandwiches and cookies s served by gloved waiters. Then we figured we shou play a round uld of [miniature] golf since we were in Scotland. A fishing boat waved at us as they w by, but the went Scottish terrier didn’t pay any attention. y
Tuesday, August 17 At Sea 62F Partly cloudy We had an activity- filled day of games and shows and food and dancing late into the night! We put our names on balloons to try to win a bottle of champagne.
Such a beautiful sunset for our last formal night!
We s shared a bottle of wine (given to u by Costco travel) with our us fri iends Steve and Helen from Greennville, SC (She’s his war bride from Australia.) and Katherine m and Mike from Boston (He’s a d dep head at Johns Hopkins.). pt.
We didn’t win that bottle of champagne, but we had lots of fun dancing andpopping balloons at the late night Ball! The Crown Ball
Wednesday, August 18 Invergordon, Scotland 64F Cloudy 6:00AM Today we’re going into the Scottish Highlands on a bus taking us from the oil port of Invergordon to Inverness and Loch Ness and to look for Nessie, the Loch Ness monster.
We W saw seals basking in the sun s (or bananas according to our Gaelic-speaking tour guide who also believes in fairies and has a love of animals). Peat bogBuilt in 1782, the Fyrish Monument, , representing a gate found in India,stands atop a large hill above a field d of wildflowers.
17th century Conon Bridge Hotel in Dingwall Tulloch Castle is believed to have been built by Norsemen in the 12th century.
heather moorland Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles and very deep - 754 ft at i deepest. The water temp is n its42F and only the top 5ft. of the lake are clear enough to see into. It’s considered on of the best fishing rivers in neScotland, filled with Salmon and trout. Th first tale of Nessie occurred in 565AD; mo The odern sightings began in 1933.The ruins of the 1200AD Urquhart Castle have a commanding view of Loch Ness.
According to our guide, Scotland is in for a hard winter because of the multitude of berries on the mountain ash trees.
Looking through an arrow slit at Loch Ness Guard house Reconstructed trebuchet— a medieval catapultWe were the first tourists into thecastle for the day. We met Sean, acaretaker who was cleaning the turretsteps with a fork!
We looked out into the lake and down from the tower into the murky depths, but didn’t see Nessie.
A RAF fighter jet flew over the loch right past us! We were told that the pilots use landmarks for target practice.
We bought McGinger cookies, Benromach single malt scotch whisky and Bruadar malt whisky liqueur. On the way back, we saw an old d bridge, fields of sheep, and a Highland cow, which is an ancie ent Scottish breed of beef cattle with h We saw long horns and long wavy coats these guys colored black, red, yellow, brindl dle while we or dun. This one is dun. were souvenir shopping and they let us take a picture of them.
We were able to watch a Caledonian Canal swing bridge in action.
Inverness (meaning mouth of the River Ness) is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. It is the northern most city in the UK, originally established as a settlement in the 6th century. Its history is tied with the clans MacDonald, Mackintosh, Munro and Fraser. Culloden moor, the site of the Battle of Culloden, is nearby. Inverness Castle