Saturday, August 8, 2009

The things I do for love!

Don't get me wrong, Scotland was beautiful and wonderful, but 8 days of walking and driving the countryside with three small children was a little difficult. My husband will say I am a party pooper for even suggesting this trip was less than idyllic, and that is why we went. The joy it brings him is worth the temporary exhaustion for the kids and me. Besides, the kids really are good travelers for their ages, especially the girls. And my wonderful husband rented us an apartment that had a swing set in the backyard for the kids. Now I know the secret to getting them outside. They never want to go outside at home, but even after being totally exhausted from traveling around all day they heard the swing set calling their names every evening. Here's a group photo in the backyard.

The apartment was in Edinburgh, a little over a mile from the city center. Here is the famous Edinburgh Castle behind this fountain. This is what I was walking up to while carrying a sleeping Genna in the sling and a hefty backpack on my back (pictured at the top of this post) and it was no easy trek. Brian pushed a sleeping Hannah in the stroller and toted a sleeping Isaac (see a trend here?) on his back in the Snugli. We made it, but barely. This was harder than the trips uphill when I was pregnant, like to the Prague Castle or this castle fest after my due date. However, I got to unload the weight eventually!

This is also the Edinburgh Castle, but it shows the setting for the famous Military Tatoo, which Brian witnessed, but it was too late for the kids and I to make it.

Then we explored the countryside on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Beautiful fishing areas, wonderful towns with more castles, cathedrals (unfortunately, mostly in ruin though) and abbeys were everywhere. We went to St. Andrews, Perth, Kelso, Dun, Brechen, Stirling, and Glasgow. My favorite town was St. Andrews, favorite castle was Stirling Castle (maybe you remember it from Braveheart), and my favorite cathedral was Glasgow Cathedral (because it was the only one saved from the Protestant Reformation.) That is the very shortened version of our exploration of Scotland. We took tons of pictures of the kids at the castles, abbeys, and cathedrals. I will do a seperate post with those since there are so many. Brian did a great job driving on the wrong side of the road. We only found ourselves going the wrong way twice, if I recall correctly. :) The weather was great! Very little rain for Scotland! My favorite eating experiences were all the cream teas, AND afternoon tea at the world reknowned Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow.

While trampsing the countryside, this is what we often found in the backseat...

I learned a lot about the history of Scotland on all the tours, since I obviously did not pay close attention in history class. And one other thing I learned was the thistle is the flower of Scotland! Here it is, straight from Princes Street Gardens, up close and personal...

More on our trip to follow!


Charlotte (Matilda) said...

I LOVED Scotland. Spent a week there in college. Picked up some beautiful thistle earrings in an antique shop. Climbed to Arthur's Seat. Didn't drive though, just stayed in Edinburgh. Can't wait to see more pics!

Almudena said...

I know when Kelle says something was "a little difficult" it means it would be impossible for me. I am still in awe of all of your abilities and energy as a mom. You have no idea how happy I am that you guys got to take this trip together - because it means Brian is with you. :) Miss you guys!