Fairly early we left our fine Airbnb accommodation in Copenhagen for the train station located near Tivoli Gardens. We took the SJ200 Tilting train through Malmo. Awesome – 125 mph and very posh even at our cheap rate. AFter 5 hours 15 minutes we arrived in Stockholm and walked from the train station to Lady Hamilton hotel in Gamla Stan (Old Town) of Stockholm. What a beautiful city is the old part of Stockholm.
Since there was a long line for currency exchange at the train station, we went on – ran a bit tight. But everywhere accepts Visa anyway, but it’s nice to have a bit of cash for small purchases. Saw an ad for a recital at the Royal Opera House, tried to get tickets, but it was already sold out for that evening. No more scheduled for while we were in town.
Took a canal boat tour this afternoon followed by a guided walking tour of Gamla Stan later. Ending the lovely evening by enjoying coffee and sweet at the oldest bakery in Stockholm.
Next day we hop on the public ferry to the Vasa Museum – boy had it changed since i visited 36 years ago!
Arriving by divine providence and safety from the train depot in Inverness to our Open Views guest house is definitely a miracle. It all seems a blur to me now and I still have to get back to the depot somehow on the 5th! Nevertheless, we were not meeting our host until 4:30, so we went back to the Culloden Moor Battlefield site. We had visited this three years ago, but when we were on a tour bus and it arrived too late for us to enjoy the new visitor centre which gave a lot more information regarding the slaughter of so many Highlanders during this botched campaign.
We met our Open Views host and were settled in shortly, then drove her back to Tesco, where we did a bit of shopping and she caught the bus home. Back to the house, fixed supper, and settled in for the evening.
No relation to me, but I had to have a photo in front of museum carrying my maiden name!
Beautiful country of course, through and around back to Inverness and our home.
Thursday, we had a blast with tree hiking at the RothemurchusTreezone and quad bike trekking on Rothiemurchus Estates in Aviemore. No photos of the tree hiking because the boys made me carry the camera and, of course, i was way behind, they left me in the dust! Yes, they managed the entire course nicely, BUT, I, too made it through both courses and never slipped off any obstacles. Okay, now two days later, I’m still sore! But, it was fun – I’d do that again. The quad trekking was well done with an engaging and friendly guide, but it was not what I expected. I had hoped for a tour of the farm, etc, but instead we just sped along the streams and track as one would do if they were just riding four-wheelers for fun. We had beautiful weather for this outing.
Afterwards, we took the time to drive as far as we could to the top of the Cairngorm Mountain range.
We purchased enough food at the Rothiemurchus Farm Store to cover our meals for the remainder of our stay. The beef was from grass-finished Scottish Highland cattle raised on the estates as well as the venison. Other items were produced by local families. All very good. More expensive for sure than Tesco or the Co-op, but I like to support local community efforts when I can. I’m going to admit it – I like haggis!
Friday and Saturday, we pretty much rested in our guest home. I was pretty sore through my chest, arms, and shoulders even into Saturday! We took a few short exploratory walks around the area, but pretty much lazed about. We did go to the petrol station and fuel up so i wouldn’t have to worry with it on our departure Sunday morning. Also, tried with no success in finding accommodation for the remainder of our trip. Even this time of year, some areas of Scotland are packed!
We set off early enough Sunday morning to catch our 9:59 am train to Aberdeen. The boys are usually frustrated with me because I tend to arrive early and then we wait – in this case, nearly an hour, however, stuff happens to cause delays, so I’d rather have a cushion of time before scheduled departures. There was very little traffic this Sunday morning, so we drove straight on in with no mishap this time. We took photos of the car, locked it, and threw the keys in the boot and off we went. No problem collecting our rail boarding passes at the kiosk and the train was spot on time for Aberdeen.
Once we dragged our lazy hineys out of bed about 11 am, Dallas and Nathan prepared a delicious breakfast of eggs from free range Scottish hens, sliced baguette, oat biscuit, toasted haggis, and tea.
We started the day with a jaunt to Waverly Railway station to enquire about a rail and sail ticket from Edinburgh to Lerwick, Shetland. Although, she was unable to book that route (apparently it’s new, the agent didn’t know about it), her advice helped us come back to our rooms and map out more of our trip. Since learning from Allen’s cousin that some of my husband’s family (6th great grandfather) lived in or around Thurso, we are trying to incorporate that into our plans. SInce a lot of the travel will require the use of the Northlink Ferries – it will depend a lot on the weather.
Quickly, I booked cheaper online tickets to Edinburgh Dungeon to catch the last tour of the day and we quickly descended the steep steps through Warriston’s Close– a short cut from the Royal Mile to the show. Unfortunately, the dungeon tour was disappointing and a waste of funds.
When we stepped out of the dungeon the sun was shining and the sky a patchy blue! Hooray. Perfect weather. We had more daylight, so we found the National Museum of Scotland and Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. Not surprisingly, both were closed, although the Kirkyard was open to strolling about. We’ll go back tomorrow.
On the way back, we enjoyed street performances and took more photos. Nathan returned to the room to start supper from our leftovers whilst Dallas and I went to the grocer for more food. With deepening shadows and a bit of nip in the air, the streets grew quieter as locals and tourists alike began to either go home or gather in the many cafes and pubs lining the Royal Mile and side streets of Old Town.