Scotland Adventure: Day Eight


Day eight would be our last full day in Scotland and part of it would be spent traveling from the Isle of Arran to Glasgow.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, to a point (cloudy with some showers, a typical Scottish day) and we were able to board the ferry to the mainland. The biggest and most exciting parts of the day would be meeting up with a friend we met last year and some new ones.  

Our first meeting would be with a friend from last year at a local pub for lunch.  We meet with him twice last year and oh the laughs we shared.  This year we will have an extra bonus for he will be bringing his dog.  A beautiful animal that is part white wolf but quite gentle.  We also were able to go to a local beach where we let him run around while we enjoyed our time talking and laughing together.  

Unicorns for my Nieces

After we made our goodbyes, to our friend and his dog, then we continued to Glasgow.  Once at the hotel I was eager to walk around the downtown core.  Both for the local scenery but I also needed to get a couple of gifts for my nieces. My nieces, as many girls of their age, love unicorns. I told them and many of my students that the unicorn is the nation symbol of Scotland and I hinted that Scotland is the land of unicorns.  So I thought what better gift than a unicorn from the land of unicorns.  It took me a couple of hours of looking but I finally found some for them (which they absolutely adored). 

With that out of the way, I was able to relax a bit and look forward to our dinner that evening with more wonderful people.  We met up with friends from the Glasgow area and had a wonderful dinner filled with laughter and great conversation.  Once dinner was over we had to say our goodbyes but after we went for a walk around Glasgow to take in the nightlife.  I remembered Edinburgh was active with a busy nightlife but Glasgow was bustling with activity and people everywhere.  

With the night coming to an end and tomorrow we would traveling back to Toronto, I laid in my bed thinking about this wonderful Scotland Adventure.  I had seen many wonderful places in Scotland, filled with a rich history and tales that will continue to inspire me for years to come.  Yet again the most inspiring thing I found in Scotland were the Scottish people themselves.  They say the land moulds a people; these words were never truer then in Scotland. The rugged Highlands, breathe taking views from Skye and Arran, the streets full of history in both Glasgow and Edinburgh just to name a few things.  Scotland is a wonder not just because of its natural and historic beauty but the people who make this wonderful land shine so bright. I have also made some wonderful friends here, yet I have only scratched the surface of what Scotland has to offer.  This was my second trip to Scotland but I know is won’t be my last.    

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Scotland Adventure: Day Seven


Day seven and our last full day on the Isle of Arran and at the Auchrannie Resort.  Our stay at the resort has been everything we had hoped for.  Great rooms, fine dining and fantastic sporting facilities.  Every night of our stay we were able to enjoy the wonderful pools, hot tubes and saunas (a perfect way to relax after a day of hiking and exploration).  This morning we were greeted with wonderful blue skies again but the winds had picked up.  During breakfast we discovered that the ferries to the mainland were cancelled do to the winds.  Fortunately for us we would be leaving the next day but we still felt a bit of concern that the ferries would be cancelled tomorrow, but we did not let that affect our plans and excitement for the day.  

Our first destination would be the Arran Aromatics and cheese shop.  The aromatics store has many soaps and fragrances that are known the world over. Many of the soaps, hair products and hand creams at the Auchrannie Resort are from Arran Aromatics.  After getting a few things for my family we then got some wonderful cheese from the local cheese shop.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Isle of Arran, make sure you visit these places, you won’t be disappointed.  

With our shopping done we then moved on to some local sight seeing at the Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park. Unfortunately the castle was closed to tours for the season but that did not stop us from walking around and enjoying the grounds and exterior views.  

Shopping, a castle and gardens not bad so far but the big fun was just ahead, the Machrie Moor Stone Circles. The Machrie Moor Stone Circles include six stone cirles that is east of  Moss Farm. Some circles are formed with granite boulders, while others are built of tall red sandstone pillars.  The area is covered with prehistoric remains, including standing stones, burial cairns and cists.  They say that these stones were placed there from 2080 – 180 BCE.  

Looking at these circles, they were rather impressive but they were not the largest or the most imposing example of prehistoric remains I have seen.  In Malta there is a place called Ħaġar Qim that have stones weighing several tonnes stacked on top of each other in an intricate design. Those are considered the oldest prehistoric temples in Europe dating back to about 3600 – 3200 BCE.  Yet despite that fact it was still impressive. 

After we made our way south to Blackwaterfoot for a coffee and some walking along the beach.  There I took the opportunity to make a little sign to remember our visit and to reflect on our time at the standing stones.

You see, standing at the stones it was interesting to think that our civilization started in places like this. That ancient people put in the effort to move these giant stones but for what purpose I wondered.  Was it ceremonial, a shelter or was there something else.  Whatever it was their efforts have stood there thus far and will continue for centuries to come.  And as I touched those stones, I am now a part of their history and it makes me think of where we as human beings came from. I remembered a quote I once heard and it seems appropriate for that moment.  

‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ George Santayana

Near Blackwaterfoot

For all our technology, our intellect we have to remember that we started in places like this with far less than what we have today.  If we are not careful with our stewardship of the Earth, we will end up back there and we will only have ourselves to blame.    

Ailish Sinclair

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