Loch Ness

No Nessie spotted. Views spectacular. There probably aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to describe road tripping through the Scottish Highlands.
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We drove from Inverness and did a loop of the loch, with a brief stop for lunch and a gander at Urqhart Castle. With the Australian dollar where it is, Historic Scotland’s entry fees hurt. I did like the interpretation at Urquart and we were very lucky that the sun briefly came out.
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Inverness

Another whirlwind voyage, this time to Inverness in Scotland. We stayed at the lovely Leachkin Lodge in Leachkin Brae which was run by delightful hosts and had a great view over the night lights of Inverness.

Inverness had its requisite castle and views over a river valley.
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Edinburgh Castle

Sadly I did not have much time in Edinburgh to enjoy all the beautiful historic buildings but like all good tourists I paid the excessive 16 pound entry fee to the castle. The views were spectacular and the museum interpretations tacky. Meg the cannon was fantastic. It was Remembrance Day in Scotland and military personnel were in their regalia for the memorial service in the hall. 20131112-165526.jpg20131112-165633.jpg20131112-165727.jpg20131112-165841.jpg

London Kings Cross to Edinburg

I decided to catch the train from London to Edinburgh. It was not cheap at 60 pounds but if I had booked further in advance or had purchased a railcard earlier it would have been a lot more affordable. Not a bad little journey. It gave me a chance to catch up on reading, admire the English countryside and it was great to arrive at such a pretty city.
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Cambridge

I was very lucky to visit a friend who is researching at Cambridge. We toured St John’s old library and got to handle a 16th century Book of Hours, hand painted maps telling the story of the Spanish Armada, Samuel Coleridge’s handwritten corrections of his poem Christabel in an early edition of Kublai Khan.

We next had dinner with the fellows, Harry Potter style, in the 16th century dining hall. The fellows, their guests, an Earl and a major general, ate at the front of the hall and then the students ate on the long benches running perpendicular to the front rows. Long wooden benches, silver pitchers, wine constantly being refilled,candles, coats of arms and portraits dcorating the wall. Soup, followed by pheasant and vegetables, followed by cheese breadsticks and guiness. Some people ate from massive platters of very nice cheese. There were rules about when to stand, sit, how to pass the gravy.

Next up was the wine circle in the combination room with the Fellows. The roof was incredibly long and saggy due to its lack of supporting beams. Candles in silver candleabras everywhere. We drank very expensive and nice port and listened to physicists, biologists, chemists, vetinarians discuss the prerequisite environments for the chemical reactions of replication and the origins of life on earth.

Anyway, that was my unusual evening living it up with the scholarly elite who have one on one tutorial time and amazing resources.

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Southbank

After a morning at Tate Modern and lunch with a friend at the Borough markets, I walked all the way to Tate Britain.
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I found a pyramid in London!

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