May 21, 2009

It depends on where the raisins are...

We took our breakfast in the dungeon of the castle. They had converted it into a cute little breakfast nook. Sadly, it was our last breakfast in Barcaldine Castle, and we hopped in the car and headed north. We passed by the ruins of Stalker Castle, out on it's own little island, before we hit my favorite place in the Highlands... Glencoe. It is named for the River Coe that runs through it, and is well known for the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692, when the Campbells slaughtered the MacDonalds. People in the area today hang up signs that say "No Campbells Welcome" - so when I'm up there, I don't tell people that I'm descended from the Campbell Clan. Shhhh.

Stalker Castle

The Three Sisters of Glencoe is just the most magnificent mountain range in all of Scotland. Of course, I always end up only photographing two of the sisters. But they are framed so much better in a photograph then trying to fit all three.

My mom and dad spending their 33rd Anniversary at Glencoe

Our next stop was just outside Fort William to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct used by the Jacobite Steam Engine to get to Mallaig. The rest of the world would recognize this bit of architecture as that stone bridge thingy that the Hogwarts Express chugs across to get Harry and his buddies to the undisclosed location of their wizarding school. (Of course Hogwarts is in Scotland! She did base the school off of Edinburgh Castle. Nothing that cool would be English.)  
A little bit further north, we arrived at the most picturesque castle in all of Scotland. I fell in love with this castle when I saw it on a postcard three years ago. Last spring, Hollywood grabbed hold of it and made it the destination wedding spot in the film Made of Honor. Eilean Donan Castle is a beautiful site, out on Loch Duich with the bens in the distant background. There's nothing too special about the inside of the castle. I just enjoyed sitting and looking at it.  

Eilean Donan Castle

We stayed in a B&B in Dornie that night. My parents could see Eilean Donan Castle from their bedroom window. Since it was my parents wedding anniversary, we went out for a snazzy dinner in the small neighboring town of Plockton. It's where the TV show Hamish MacBeth was filmed.  I'm quite aware if the fact that no one actually watches that show apart from my mother. We ate at a restaurant called the Plockton Shores, where I had the most fantastic Scottish meal ever: local black angus beef smothered in garlic butter sauce with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and a lovely sparkling wine. Just thinking about the meal makes me want to go back there right now.  My mother had a hard time deciding what dessert to choose, she wanted to make sure there were no raisins present.  We still have no idea what's in figgy pudding...  


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