Our last day in London was a bit more leisurely than our other days. We decided to navigate outside of the city and visit Greenwich. Greenwich is outside of London. It was very easy to get to via their light rail. It is a nice little town. Greenwich is where the Prime Meridian is. Lets be honest, we went there because I wanted to stand in both the Western and Eastern Hemisphere at the same time….now I can say I have been to 0 degrees longitude. They have a neat museum there as well, it was worth the pounds we paid. I can now calculate my longitude and latitude (if I have the correct instruments) any where in the world.
We grabbed lunch at a market on our way back to the light rail station. Then we decided to head to our final bridge of the trip. The bridge was in Hammersmith, London. It was in a nice area. We got out of the tube and the tube is in a shopping mall. The bridge was only a few blocks from the mall as well. Unlike the bridges we had visited the day before in the Chelsea area of London…The bridge was very ornate and built in 1887.
After leaving Hammersmith we headed to Picadilly Circus for some final souvenirs. Then we headed back to our hotel to collect our bags, and then we hailed an Uber cab to the airport. Our Uber cab cost us 37 pounds each way. I highly recommend taking that to and from the airport. Right now there is a set Uber Heathrow airport price depending on the zone you are located in London.
Our hotel was right next to Terminal 4. So we walked to our hotel from the Terminal, checked in and enjoyed a leisurely evening at the hotel. We had dinner at the hotel which was nothing great but extremely expensive. We had to check out at 4:45 AM to catch our flight home at 7:30 the next morning.
Florence Nightingale museum
Imperial war musuem
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– tower bridge
– broughton market
– sightseeing bus
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Visited many, many bridges
Today was our lazy and relaxing day. We slept in until around 8:30 (sad that we consider that sleeping in these days). We then went shopping in the downtown shopping center. We bought nothing. We decided to head it and do something. So we headed to the Culloden Battlefield. This was where a great fight occurred between the government and the Jacobites, with the Jacobites being greatly defeated. It kind of reminded me like a Civil War battlefield site.
After seeing that we visited some ancient burial sites. On our way to that we noticed a very large 29-span viaduct. We stopped to take pictures of that.
We then went to visit another suspension bridge that was inside a park. A children’s train goes across the bridge. We bought tickets and saw the bridge from the train.
After seeing that bridge we decided to go see a movie. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy. Teens here are just like teens in the US – they talk through the hole movie with no consideration to others around them.
We went back to the apartment after the movie and called the kids. The kids are still not upset that we have left them. In fact, I think they will cry when we arrive back to pick them up. They are having way too much fun with their cousins.
We then headed for a late dinner. We ended up eating at the Castle Tavern. This was an ok restaurant serving reasonably priced Scottish food. We enjoyed our dinner and headed back to the apartment.
Tomorrow we leave early and head to Aberdeen where we will sleep for the night.
Today we pretty much just drive around the Highlands. We first stopped at Rogie Falls and took a quick walk to see the falls (and a suspension bridge). After that we drive to a gorge to see a waterfall and another suspension bridge. Are you noticing a pattern here?
We then made our way back to Inverness, taking the roads less traveled. We saw four other suspension bridges along the road on our way back. Of course we stopped to photograph them all.
We ended up stopping at a grocery store and picking up food for dinner. I made spaghetti at the apartment we have rented and we just relaxed after that.
I really like the Western side of Scotland. It is very desolate….but I did find several places where I would love to build a house and live. It amazes me that the areas are not built up with vacation homes. The area is beautiful.
Here are some pictures from today:
We left the Isle of Skye around 9 AM. We briefly stopped so my husband could take a picture of the bridge crossing to the island. We then drove stopping at the locks of the canal at Fort Augustus. This was pretty beat to see.
We continued on our drive and stopped next at a castle, Urquhart Castle. The castle is in ruins but it is really neat to walk around. Well worth the stop.
We proceeded onwards to Inverness. Inverness is just off the Loch Ness. I did search for the monster and I did find him. He was driving my car!
We arrived at Inverness around 3 PM. We picked up the keys to our apartment and went to photograph three bridges. We went to our apartment around 4 PM. I am so glad we rented an apartment. There is so much more space. It is centrally located in the city center of Inverness. And it has a washer/drier. The apartment is in the complex By the Bridge.
We rested for about an hour at the apartment and then headed downstairs for dinner. After dinner we just relaxed in the hotel room.
Some pictures from today:
This morning started with us having breakfast at 8:15. After breakfast we headed out promptly. We are staying in the town on Kylearkin. We ended up driving along the coast of Skye today passing through Portree. We continued on the eastern side of Skye then came back down and headed towards Dunvegan castle. We drove down the western side of Skye and eventually headed back to our hotel. In my opinion the eat side of the island took considerably more time to drive than the western side. Had this been a sunny weekend day it would have also taken us even longer. There are several parts of the road that are one lane only so you need to wait your turn. For those of you afraid of heights you will be happy to know I did not notice any roads that felt like they were on the edge of a cliff.
Skye was very beautiful. It reminds me a lot like Hawaii with all of the greenery. There are sheep grazing next to the road in several places. There are dramatic cliffs. There are waterfalls. It was gorgeous.
The weather though was horrendous! It has been raining since left Edinburgh. A large part of that is due to the remnants of Hurricane Bertha that is now over a Scotland. A small part of that is because this is how the weather often is in Skye.
One thing our innkeeper told me was that Skye’s tartan pattern is green and purple. After driving today I could see why – the hills and mountains are green and there is purple heather growing all around.
Below are some pictures of Skye. I apologize for the quality….please remember it has been raining since we got here…and also very windy. I will really appreciate a 90 degree day once I get back home.
This morning we woke up early as we had tickets to see the Real Mary Close. It’s basically underground housing…the housing used to be above ground but in the 1700’s the city of Edinburgh built a government building on top of it, using the old homes as part of the foundation. We finished the tour and then said goodbye to my friend. We departed Edinburgh around 11 AM.
Next we headed towards the Isle of Skye. On paper it looks like a pretty quick drive as the distance is not immense. But the drive takes a long time as you are driving through hills and lakes and small mountains. It was also raining the entire drive thanks to remnants of Hurricane Bertha. The drive was beautiful, even with the immense rainfall. Some of the scenery reminded me of Hawaii.
We arrived at our hotel around 6:30. Our innkeeper was nice enough to arrange dinner reservations for us at 7:45. We ate at The Waverly and it was very good. My husband got the local seafood platter and I got the chicken satay. It was delicious.
We got back to our room around 10pm and called the kids, who were not very interested in talking to us. I guess that is for the better.
One thing that was disappointing about today was that we stopped at a suspension bridge on our way to Skye. On that bridge there were some Love Locks. This is basically when a couple puts a lock on the bridge to signify their love for each other that is eternal. Once one lock is placed others soon follow. The locks eventually obstruct the bridge. They ruin a beautiful structure. In Paris the locks have become so numerous they are starting to really obstruct the bridges and the views. Please don’t ever attach a lock to a bridge or other structure – leave those structures as they were originally built so that others can admire the beauty.
Anyways….tomorrow we spend the whole day exploring Skye. It is supposed to rain again tomorrow, but we are in Scotland after all. I was just excited that it did not rain when we saw the Royal Tattoo and that it did not rain when my husband went up on the bridge.
Wow, what a great night of sleep. Finally we were able to sleep in. I ate my alarm for 9 thinking I would wake before it went off, but I awoke to my alarm going off.
My husband had tickets to go to the top of a suspension bridge so he went to go do that. I used the time that he was gone to go for a 15 mile run. The night before I was starting to think about scaling it back to perhaps a 5 mile run. However my training plan for the NYC marathon has me running 15 miles this weekend. I decided to do the run along the Union Canal path. The first 6.5 miles were paved, but mile 6.5 – 7.5 was not paved…it was on a gravel road which eventually became a muddy road. After mile 7.5 I turned around. I learned on my run that people are not as friendly and vocal as they are in the US. In the US people are always saying hello as you run and also cyclists are shouting “on your left”. Here you were lucky if you got a bell.
Here are some photos from my run:
After my run I came back to the hotel. I showered, took care of blisters, and then went to a grocery store to buy some snacks for the room. Shortly after I got back from that my husband returned. We enjoyed snacks with my friend and then headed out for an early dinner. We ate at the White Hart Inn which was apparently established in 1516. My husband and my friend shared a dish called “A wee bit of haggis”. I order a Scottish Mac and cheese and had two large glasses of wine with that.
After dinner my friend went back to her hotel room. My husband and I went to get tickets for The Real Mary Close. We will do that tomorrow and then leave Edinburgh to head to the Isle of Skye. We headed back to the hotel early, around 8, and are now just relaxing and enjoying the quiet evening. We briefly watched a street performer…some of those pictures are below along with some other miscellaneous pictures.