Date:         Wed, 11 Oct 1995 16:23:03 -0400
From: "Bonnie M. Voigtlander" 
Subject:      WHTMIScotland.1
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

Sunday, September 10, 1995

We got all our junk into three large suitcases and one carry-on each.  I
carried on books.  Clyde carried his camera, of course.

Ralph, my mixed double partner, took us to the airport and waved us
good-bye.  The plane flights were not too bad.  The three landings in
Atlanta, London, and Glasgow got progressively better with regard to my
ears.  I was very relieved that I didn't have the ear pain that plagued me
on the flight home from Seattle in August.

The plane trip across the Atlantic was not as bad as I remembered it
from three years ago.  It only took six hours.  Just when that seemed like
it was getting kind of long, Delta served breakfast.  The most amazing
thing was the neat maps of various scales that they project when not
showing the movie.  We could see the exact route of our flight,
temperature outside the plane (very, very cold), local time, time to
destination, distance from specific nearby point, altitude, speed, etc.
Quite interesting.  We flew up the coast of the US before heading out
into the Atlantic.

I also forgot that there are free drinks on trans-Atlantic flights.  So we
began our Scotch whiskey tasting early.  They had Johnnie Walker Black
Label (my very favorite) and Glenmorangie.  We controlled ourselves and
didn't drink more than two a piece.  Clyde got a little sleep on the flight
but I didn't even try.  I just read my May Sarton Journals and hoped the
advice I was given about jet lag would work--don't sleep on the plane,
don't sleep until it's night in Scotland.

Monday, September 11

We got to Glasgow mid-morning.  There was no problem picking up the
rental car, a Fiat Punta.  We headed off toward the Erskine Bridge over
the River Clyde and up the A-82 along Loch Lomond headed for Fort

Driving, of course, was very difficult: the other side of the highway, sitting
in the other side of the car.  Plus this car had the three pedals very close
together.  So Clyde was hitting curbs and getting the gas and brake and
clutch confused.  Hectic!  We stopped after just 40 miles or so to stretch,
take some pictures of Loch Lomond, and try to stay awake!

Back in the car to finish off the 100 miles to Fort William.  Now the road
got narrow as we hugged the shore of Loch Lomond.  Driving was very
hard.  I have no idea how Clyde did it because I was falling asleep while
trying to watch the map.  Actually, it felt more like periodically passing
out than falling asleep.

Finally the road widened out a little so that every on-coming car didn't
look like it was going to hit us.  We went through the Glencoe Valley
which was stunning: stark hills with low vegetation, waterfalls, and a big
monument to commemorate where the Campbells slaughtered the
MacDonalds and drove the survivors into these craggy hills.  Clyde
couldn't look much because it took all his concentration to drive but we
hoped we could return the next day and get some pictures.

We arrived safely at our accommodations for the evening: Inverlochy
Castle.  Yes, indeed, this was the very expensive castle for which I bought
the infamous (to some of you) little black castle dress.

Inverlochy was wonderful.  We had a huge room with a king-size bed
(almost unheard of in the UK), a large bathroom with separate shower
and tub (this would be our last shower facility for three weeks), and a
stunning view from the windows of our room.  The grounds were
extensive and nicely landscaped.   There were some very unusual fir trees
along the drive to the castle.  They were some kind of Canadian conifer.

The service at Inverlochy was wonderful.  It was billed as having a staff to
guest ratio of two to one.  I believe that.  The two sitting rooms were
huge.  Each had a fireplace and many comfortable sofas and antique
furnishings.  One room had a beautiful grand piano with lovely inlaid
wood.  Each time one came downstairs the staff took your postcards,
asked if you would like tea, asked if there was anything at all you needed.
They did this without being intrusive or overbearing.  Everyone was quite
friendly.  They must have traded information on you in the back rooms
because they would know what you planned to do the next day, what time
you would like dinner: everything.

Had a lovely dinner in the dining room of Inverlochy watching the sun set
over the Highlands.  Dinner was prawns in a very delicate tempura
coating followed by turbot for me.  Clyde had lamb.   My black castle
dress looked quite lovely in this gorgeous dining room.  I felt regal!

Slept quite well but that was to be expected since by the time we went to
bed I had been up and awake for a very long time!

Tuesday, September 12

There is a lovely custom in Britain to have early morning tea or coffee
followed later by breakfast.  At Inverlochy one could chose to have this
brought up to your room.  So I had morning coffee (with hot milk)
followed an hour later by a lovely breakfast wheeled into the room and
set up on a table with fresh flowers: the whole bit.  One could get used to
this kind of service!

There was a fine misty rain all morning.  So instead of going back to
Glencoe we went shopping in Fort William.  I bought a lovely cable knit
sweater with an embroidery of a black-face sheep on the front.  I wore it
and immediately outside the door little droplets of mist formed on the
black face of that sheep -- neat!

We bought Lisa (Clyde's 27-year-old daughter with whom he has been
newly reunited this May) a sweater just like mine.  I conceived the idea
that a figurine of father and daughter would be a really nice gift for Lisa.
Thus started a quest which continued for the next three weeks.

After Lunch in Fort William, which was the first opportunity to turn
down eating Haggis, we went off to find Neptune's Staircase.  This is a
series of eight locks that raise or lower ships 80 feet to make the final link
that cuts across the width of Scotland.  A fishing boat was being locked
through and we watched and took pictures.  I looked the other way and
could see our Castle in the distance.  Clyde changed lenses and got a
couple pictures of our castle.

Back to Inverlochy castle where tea was brought to us in the drawing
room.  This was a new-to-us staff member but he asked about our day,
gossiped with us about our next lodging on Isle of Skye, and took our
dinner order: Isle of Skye crab and poached turbot for me, roasted
scallops and breast of duck for Clyde.  Life is good!

To be continued....
bonniev, croneSculler                    

Date:         Wed, 11 Oct 1995 17:00:02 -0400
From: "Bonnie M. Voigtlander" 
Subject:      WHTMIScotland.2
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

Wednesday, September 13

We were awakened by brilliant sunshine pouring into our east-facing
windows.  Lovely day for a ferry ride to Skye.

After morning coffee and breakfast we settled our bill, had our luggage
taken to the car, and headed down to the car park for the car.  Trouble.

While attempting to back up the slight incline Clyde messed up on the
pedals and the car rolled over the little curb landing with its front wheels
on the grass.  Of course, it was a front wheel-drive car so we were now

Back into the friendly castle for help.  Two strong lads come from the
kitchen and advise putting boards under the wheels.  They get boards.
Then, with one of the kitchen lads working the troublesome pedals, five
of us give the car a good shove and we are back on firm pavement.  One
of the staff smiled at Clyde and said consolingly:  you aren't the first one!

So with that inauspicious start we head off toward Mallaig to catch our
ferry to Skye.  Lovely scenery on the way to Mallaig.  However, much of
the 50 miles is single-track road: very narrow road which carries traffic in
both directions.  There are "Passing Places" quite frequently.  If the next
place is on your side of the road you pull into that and let the oncoming
or overtaking traffic pass you.  This works fairly well when not
complicated by curving, mountainous roads that have sheep grazing or
even sleeping on the pavement from time to time.

Lovely scenery.  Drove past the Glenfinnan Monument which is a very
tall thing with a Highlander in full regalia on top.  It commemorates the
spot were bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard on 19 August 1745 in
his attempt to regain the crown.  Lots of buses there.  Nothing like
meeting a tour bus on a single-track road!

Got to the ferry in plenty of time.  Lovely ferry trip.  As the huge
Caledonian MacBrayne car ferry pulled out from the dock the multi-
layers of the Highland mountains came more and more into view.  Truly
stunning.  We could see the Isle of Skye in the distance.  It is known as
the Misty Isle and it did indeed look like there were rain showers on the
Island.  Only a 30 minute ferry ride.

Another single-track road on the Isle of Skye and we are off to find
Kinloch Lodge are lodgings for the next two nights.  Well, the single-track
road was nothing compared to the three mile long driveway to Kinloch
Lodge.  This isn't even paved.

Kinloch was highly recommended in all the travel books.  We are to be
guests of Lord and Lady MacDonald.  Claire MacDonald is a famed
cookery book author.  I must write to these travel books and tell them
that this is not nearly as nice a place as they are promoting it to be.

Kinloch Lodge was our biggest disappointment of the trip.  The rooms
were minuscule and the food was not wonderful.  Clyde characterized the
cooking style as one of opening every jar of herbs and spices in the
cabinet and dumping it onto what might have otherwise been a decent
piece of fish or meat.

But the setting of the Lodge was very lovely at the head of a loch with
large mud flats that filled twice a day as the tide came in.  Clyde liked the
location better than I.  He has the eye of a photographer and he did get
some nice slides of the sun on the surrounding hills.

After a less than stunning dinner we talked with the other guests over
coffee and fudge in the sitting room.  Five business men had eaten there
that night.  They were the people who had engineered and financed
(Bank of America) the new bridge to Skye.  The bridge will open the
middle of October.  It is very controversial because it is thought to be
ugly and also because it will possibly link the mysterious Misty Isle a little
too easily to the mainland.  Not least of the controversy is the toll that is
planned to be charged.  These men would not tell the gathering what the
toll would be.  They just kept repeating: Less than the ferry.

Clyde stayed downstairs chatting but I went up to the tiny room to see if I
could get some sleep and some alone time.

Thursday, September 14th, the day from hell

The day started off nicely enough with a decent breakfast, a drive down
our long driveway, and off to see the rest of Skye.  The Isle of Skye is
indeed lovely.  The hills are majestic, very few trees, oddly formed rock
projections, high cliffs down to the water, tiny little villages, sheep
everywhere.  So we drove about getting out of the car to take pictures,
hike up to convenient waterfalls, admire the salmon farming pens in many
of the lochs, etc.  Still some single-track roads.

At around 3:00 we were headed back in the general direction of Kinloch.
I asked Clyde if he still wanted to go to the Wee Whiskey Shoppe with
fine restaurant that we had seen advertised.  He was in favor of it so we
headed off the main route onto a B route which was even narrower and,
of course, single-track.

There were some lovely weeds growing along the side of the road.  I
asked Clyde what he thought they were.  He said they were thistles and
waxed eloquent about the "down of a thistle."  He took his right hand off
of the steering wheel to point out the flying down and... K-ThunK!  The
car went off the narrow road momentarily, into the little ditch on the left
side of the road, and hit a rock.  I could hear the air hissing from the tire.

We limped to the side of the road and got out hoping it was only one tire
and not two.  It was one.  Clyde with impressive speed and competence
changed the tire and put the limp-along spare on the car.  It was only a
little distance to the Wee Whiskey Shoppe.  We went there and called the
Avis and AA (Automobile Association affiliated with our AAA) people.
They promised they would sort it out and get us a new tire and rim in
time for us to take the next morning's ferry to the Outer Hebrides.  We
were to take the car back to Kinloch and they would call us there.

(And yes we did buy a bottle of the malt at the Wee Whiskey Shoppe.)

By the time we got back to the lodge a phone call was waiting.  Clyde
called AA back to be told that it would take two days to get us a new
wheel.  But they knew that that was unacceptable so they would come get
the car, take it to Inverness (100 miles and a ferry ride away) and bring us
a new car in the night so that our trip would not be delayed.  Cool!!

It was at this point that Clyde realized he was sick.  He had chills and
fever and felt quite upset in the stomach department.  So he laid down to
sleep and I waited for the man to come to take the car away.

A very pleasant man came with a flat bed truck down that awful driveway.
He chained our car onto his truck and told me that he would bring a new
car back and just leave it in the car park with the keys on the tire.  I was
not to wait up.  Cool.

Went back up to our room to wake Clyde for dinner.  He did not look
well.  He bravely came down to dinner but after the starter and one sip of
his soup he looked at me and said:  "I'm sorry to do this to you but if I
stay here another minute it won't be a pretty sight."  So off he went to the
room, where he was forced to kill 30 black flies that had gotten into the
room before he could hug the commode and throw up in peace.

When I got back to the room he was weak but feeling better.  So I paid
the bill, packed up all the suitcases quietly so as not to disturb him, and
laid myself down wondering if the car would really be there in the
morning and if Clyde would be well enough to drive.  I don't know if my
biggest fear was for Clyde or for the possibility that I might be forced to
drive on these roads!

To be continued....
bonniev, croneSculler                    

Date:         Thu, 12 Oct 1995 11:32:22 EDT
From: bonnie voigtlander <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, part 3
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

When last we saw our traveling duo they were at Kinloch Lodge on
Isle of Skye in Scotland.  Their broken car had been taken away in the
night.  Clyde had come down with a stomach virus.

Friday, September 15

We rose early in order to navigate the 45 miles to Uig where the ferry
would take us to the Outer Hebrides.  Clyde was much improved but not
totally well.  The car, this time a Renault, was happily waiting in the car
park with the keys resting on the front, right tire just as promised.

So we loaded up, kissed Kinloch Lodge goodbye forever, and with Clyde
(thankfully) behind the wheel, we headed north to Uig.  It was an easy
drive.  Neither humans nor sheep were up and about yet.  Arrived in Uig
and were in plenty of time to get in cue for the ferry.

The ferry ride was again very, very nice.  This time it was a two hour
ferry.  The landscape opened up as we got further from shore.  We could
see the distinctive peaks of Skye.  Way off in the distance was the
destination that I most wanted to see on this trip:  the Outer Hebrides.
Even the name evokes the image of something apart, something stark and
cold, a way of life that is no more.

While viewing the stark hills of Skye I wondered how Harris and Lewis
could be any more rugged.  But as the ferry approached Tarbert on
Harris it was clear that this was indeed more lunar.  There were almost
no trees on the hills.  Clearly this area of the world had been rubbed raw
by glaciers.  Only the bedrock of the earth was left.  Lovely to us who had
only seen this kind of scenery in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.

We only needed to travel a short distance north to find Ardvourlie Castle
on Loch Seaforth, our lodgings for the next four nights.  I chose this
place to stay because of the very Gothic look of the place.  It appeared to
be a dark, brooding place in the middle of nowhere.  It wasn't 
place to stay on Harris.  But then I now knew from Kinloch Lodge that
 place can be quite disappointing.

Ardvourlie did not disappoint.  Our room was spacious although it just
had one narrow double bed.  The bathroom was just for us but it was
down the hall.  It contained the largest tub I have ever seen sunken into a
lovely wooden surround.  Our hosts, Pam and Derek Martin, were
enchanting.  They are an elderly brother and sister.  He does the cooking
and she does the serving.

Ardvourlie was built a century ago as the castle of the laird of Harris but
it very quickly proved too small to entice the royalty to visit.  So it was
used as a hunting lodge and a larger, more impressive castle was built at
Amhuinnsuidhe (pronounced A mon Suey).  In time Ardvourlie changed
hands often and was owned in the 1960's by a man and his wife who were
going to make a B&B out of it.  But, alas, the wife died before anything
could be done.  The man became a recluse and eventually lived in only
one room of Ardvourlie while sheep roomed the rest of the house.  Twice
this unhappy man tried to end it all by walking into the Loch.  But his
neighbors saved him.

Derek Martin and his son bought the house and restored it lovingly to a
very high level.  The fireplaces have lovely tile surrounds.  The library has
two comfortable window seats and a hard wood floor that was rescued
from an abandoned school.  The dining room is lit by gas lamps.  The
tables have inlaid wood designs.  The crown molding is a sight to behold.
It was very, very nice.

Pam Martin was possibly psychic because she proved very able to read
Clyde all through those four days.  She immediately saw that he was not
well and had us stay in the sitting room where she brought us toasted
cheese sandwiches and tea for our lunch.

We rested that afternoon and then had a wonderful dinner at Ardvourlie.
The menu was fixed each night but excellent. That first night it was
smoked venison with melon as a starter and then trout baked in a
Drambuie and creme sauce.  The veg was rice with slivered almonds.  I
really loved that rice.  Quite tasty.  Drinks before and after dinner where
available in the sitting room (help yourself and write it down).  I took to
drinking Talisker Scotch Whiskey.  Quite strong-tasting but very good.

The only other guests on this Friday night were a man and his wife who
were from the one city on the island, Stornoway.  They were just getting
away from the kids for a romantic evening out.  Nice.

Clyde went to bed early still trying to recover from his stomach flu.  I
went and soaked in the tub.  My glass of Talisker fit nicely on the wooden
surround and I lounged and drank and read my book for a long time.
When I got back in the room it was strangely lit.  I went to the window
and the most gorgeous moon was shining above the mountain and
reflecting off the water of the Loch.  Not the Aurora like I had hoped but
very lovely indeed.  The entire three weeks proved too overcast at night
to ever see the Aurora.

Saturday, September 16

Wonderful breakfast of the best porridge anyone, anywhere has ever
eaten!  Also a round of freshly baked bread.  Yummy.  Pam packed
several slices of the bread along with some cheese and tomatoes for our
lunch and sent us off sight-seeing.  She said the fresh air would do Clyde
some good.  And she was right!

We drove down a very narrow (single-track) B route out to Hushinish
Point.  It was only 17 miles but it took an hour with the careful, nerve-
wracking driving.  There was a beach and a headland and a stunning view
of the hills of Harris.  We passed an old whaling station where the
smokestack for rendering blubber was still visible.  We also passed
Amhuinnsuidhe Castle and stopped to see the Salmon Run nearby which
was a pleasant waterfall that day.

Amhuinnsuidhe Castle recently changed hands being purchased by the
man who is heir to a cider fortune in Britain.  The natives are happy
because this couple has young children and that means the nearby Island
primary school will remain open and be improved.

When we got to Hushinish Point we found a lovely white sand beach and
a little crofting village.  We parked the car where Pam told us to.  After
waiting out a short cloudburst in the car we hiked around the headland
and Clyde, of course, took more pictures.  By the time we got home he
had taken over 500 shots.

On the way out from Hushinish we encountered a Mobile Store van
blocking the B route.  He was parked on the road in front of a little
house and clearly not about to move.  Having been warned that time
means very little on the Outer Hebrides, we patiently waited.  After ten
minutes or so a lady came out from the truck carrying two bags of
groceries, said Cheerio to the driver, and went back into her home.  The
driver then backed his truck up and waited.  Clearly we were supposed to
do something.  Finally we figured out that we were to pull forward, get
our car off the road in a little turning space, and allow the Mobile Store
to continue his journey of supplying the countryside with all manner of
goodies.  And so we did.

Off to Luskentyre, Pam's next destination for us.  All along the way we
could see where the peat harvesting was taking place.  A long area with a
sharp two foot cut would be visible.  Stacks of little peat patties dotted
the landscape as they dried to become winter fuel.  The wind rather than
the sun dries them.  Once dry they do not again take on water.

We ate our lunch in the car overlooking a very quiet beach of white sand
and very aqua-blue water--the color of the water in the Bahamas.  The
Gulf Stream comes very closeby this part of the Hebrides and brings the
lovely shade of blue to the water.

A short trip into Tarbert to buy some socks for me.  Because I didn't
bring my new waterproof boots (not yet broken in and hurt my toe) I
soaked by boots through in our little walk.  Squooshy socks are not good.
We also found a newspaper and scanned the few shops there for the
figurine.  No luck.

Back home to tea and fresh-from-the-oven scones.  We changed for
dinner.  The little black dress was too showy for here so I wore my new
sheep sweater and a long plaid skirt.  Dinner was grilled sirloin steak with
a Stilton cheese pate.  The starter was smoked salmon pate.  The steak
was tasty but still British beef does not seem to be of the quality that we
are used to in the States.

The only other couple that night was from London.  They were great fun
to talk to.  He was young and a barrister.  She was young, Swiss, and a
buyer for celebrities.  Nice evening and then off to bed.  Clyde was then
almost totally recovered and was able to enjoy the dinner much more
than the night before.

To be continued....

Date:         Fri, 13 Oct 1995 16:29:56 EDT
From: bonnie voigtlander <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, part four

Sunday, September 17

The island of Harris and Lewis (it is one island but separated into two
very strikingly different land masses) keep a very strict observance of the
Sabbath.  They are a branch of the Church of Scotland.  So nothing was
open on Sunday--not even the petrol stations.  Pam Martin, our hostess,
told us that one Sunday a group had decided to do some scuba diving in
the loch.  Black-robed elders of the Church marched down to where they
were gathering and told them this was not a proper activity for the

We figured what's good for the natives, is good for us.  So we took the
day off and hung around the castle.  I read and tried to nap.  Clyde wrote
in his journal, read, and took a hike along the shore with camera.

I brought Clyde his elevenses (tea at 11 am) and joined him on the lawn.
Because there is very little true soil on Harris the soil for this lawn had
been brought in by barge many, many years ago.  I then did a Tai Chi set
facing the loch.  Pam told me the neighbors probably got a kick out of

All told it was a lovely, quiet day soaking up the flavor of the Outer
Hebrides from our Gothic Castle.  These outer islands were everything I
dreamed they would be.

Two other couples shared the house with us that night.  They stayed to
themselves.  So we had our after-dinner coffee and mints in the library
while they actually turned on the tv in the parlor.

Monday, September 18

Off to explore the island some more.  We saw the Callanish Stones which
were a bit of a disappointment.  They just didn't have that sacred feel
that the stone circle in the Lake District has.  But Clyde took some fine
photographs that make it look better than it was.  There was a tasteful,
quite new visitor center there.  I bought a Harris Tweed wool hat that
kept my ears nice and warm for the rest of the trip.  There was also a tea
house in a restored black house.  The first compliment of many about my
sheep jumper (sweater) came from the waitress there.

Saw a broch which is an early fortification on the islands.  Then off to
hike another headland.  There we saw some of the black houses being
restored to a Youth Hostel.  Black houses were early crofter houses built
of rough stone walls and thatched roofs.  The headland was lovely.  Clyde
sat and watched a crab fisherman lay a string of his crab pots.  We saw
cormorants sitting on the cliffs.  Of course, sheep everywhere.  No litter
boxes behind stone outcropping but not all that much scat either.

There is no law of trespass on these islands.  So one can walk along
anywhere remembering the courtesies of closing fence gates behind you.
Very often there are stiles (little ladders) that help you go up and over
fences where there is not a convenient gate.  Lovely.

We stopped in at Stornaway to scope out the ferry terminal from where
we leave for the mainland.  Stornaway is a fairly large town.  School
youngsters were out and about in their uniforms.  We bought a Harris
Tweed tie and scarf for Lisa's husband.  Checked for the figurine but
again, no luck.

Back to our castle where some "ugly Americans" where checking in.  They
where from Philly, big and boisterous, getting their luggage out of their
land rover.  Pam welcomed us home and said she was bringing tea and
scones to the  for us, intuiting that we would not want to share
the living room with the burly Philly people.  The Philly people wanted to
know where the Harris Tweed "factory store" was and how they could go
fishing (without any equipment) on their one day on Harris.

Had tea and read a book in the library that said that the Callanish stones
were placed there 1000 years before Stonehenge and before there was any
peat formed on the islands.  Impressive.

Dinner was the finest roast duck imaginable.  Lamb and duck are Clyde's
most favorite food.  So he was in heaven.  I don't like to eat meat that
still looks like the animal it came from.  But I was valiant when served
with my half duck and ate some of it before letting Clyde gnaw on the

Dinner was a bit marred by the obnoxious Philly man who reached over
from his table, slapped Clyde on the back, and said "cleaned up good for
dinner, didn't you."  Clyde froze and said something about not knowing
he had been dirty.  The man kept to himself somewhat after that.

After dinner Clyde had the library to himself to write in his journal and
enjoy the coal and peat fire.  He brought a cup of coffee and some mints
up to me in the bathtub where I was soaking and relaxing.  Pam came
into the library to talk with him about Lisa.  Clyde gladly and proudly
told her the story about his newly refound daughter.  When she left she
apologized for disturbing him.  She said as she saw him writing it was like
she could hear him talking to Lisa.  Nice image!

Monday, September 18

The ferry didn't leave until 1:30 so we said our good-byes to Pam and
Derek and left to see a little more of the upper island of Lewis before
ferry time.  We saw a black house that was restored and open to the
public courtesy of the National Trust of Scotland.  Really primitive living.
Worst part was that they did not have chimneys in these houses.  So the
peat smoke had to slowly seep into the thatched roof where it eventually
escaped.  They had a peat fire going that morning in the black house.
Our clothes stank of it for hours.

The ferry crossing from Stornaway to Ullapool on the mainland took a
little over three hours.  The longer the ferry ride the bigger the vessel.
This boat was huge.  It had a lovely lounge with soft sofas and a view
straight out the bow.  I tried to sleep part of the way over because two
nights of little sleep had made me tired and quite grumpy.  Didn't sleep
much and did awake in plenty of time to see the scenery as we came into
harbor on the mainland.

Clearly Ullapool was still in the Highlands.  Lovely mountains again with
range upon range disappearing into the distance.  It looked like one of
those lovely Japanese prints.  The harbor had a few old, rusting work
boats.  We were told the large Russian fishing boats harbor there from
time to time.

Off the ferry and up the hill to find our lodging for the night: Ceilidh
Place.  A Ceilidh is a Scottish happening with music and dance from the
region.  There was no entertainment that night.  But there was a good bar
with Grolsch beer in the cooler (a words-l moment) and many malt
whiskeys.  We had dinner and I went straight to bed with Tylenol P.M.
hoping against hope that I would finally sleep.

To be continued....

Date:         Fri, 13 Oct 1995 16:29:44 EDT
From: bonnie voigtlander <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, part five
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

September 20, Wednesday

Just one night in Ullapool and we were off to drive to Nairn.  I did sleep
better the night at Ullapool and things looked bright and cheery once
more.  Clyde was relieved.

It was not a long trip to Nairn but we cut across Scotland from The
Minch (the body of water between the mainland and the Hebridean
Islands to the Moray Firth which is a bay that opens to the North Sea
with Bergen beyond.

I had only picked Nairn as a destination because it was just beyond
Inverness but not Inverness itself.  The dread of driving in a large city was
worse than driving on the single-track roads.  Nairn was also chosen
because it had a hotel in "The Historic Hotels of Scotland, A Select
Guide" by Wendy Arnold.  The hotel was the Clifton House and it was
my favorite lodging of the trip.

The drive from Ullapool took us past some lovely photographic spots and
a gorge maintained by the National Trust complete with a suspension foot
bridge.  Lovely.

We stopped in Inverness to do some shopping.  Clyde was a little white-
knuckled as he found himself in a high-rise parking garage.  But we
survived that and even re-located the car later.

We found a good bookstore (they had May Sarton), more film for Clyde's
camera, good selection of newspapers, but still no father/daughter
figurine.  We were getting nervous now because Inverness would be the
largest city we would visit.  But the Lake District, we figured, would be
full of gift stores.

On to Nairn which turned out to be a very old city that had been a
Victorian spa where people came to "take the waters" in olden days.  On
an old, walled street was our ivy-covered Inn.  J. Gordon Macintyre was
our host.  He appeared to be around 50 and was born and raised in this
house.  They now let out 16 rooms in season and out of season they turn
the Inn into a theater and host plays.  Gordon donned a kilt for dinner
each evening.  He claimed that he had never worn long pants until he
went off to service as a young man.  Delightful.

It turned out I had done a very good thing when confirming our
reservation at the Clifton House this past February.  Having read that the
owner of the place was artistic and a bit unconventional (no, in this case,
that didn't mean gay) I sent the confirmation on an Escher print note
card.  That did the trick.  Gordon mentioned how much he liked that
card five or six times while we there.  It scored us the Top Room--no
number on our door.  It was always referred to as the Top Room.  It had
a king size bed (!!!!!) and the windows looked out from high in the house
to the North Sea.  We faced almost due North and could catch the setting
sun as it lit the beach off in the distance.  Wonderful light for a
photographer.  Clyde was in heaven--or in the  as the case
may be.

The inn itself was a rambling old house with art work all over the
stairwells and halls.  There was a large picking garden in the back of the
house.  Fresh flowers were everywhere.  There were two cats: Oberon and
Zauberflote (Magic Flute).  There was also a long-haired Dachshund.

Best of all was a dining room that I believe I will never forget.  It was the
room that became the theater stage in the winter.  In the area that would
be the actual stage there was a grand piano draped with a large fringed
cloth topped by a candelabra.  Here was the only electric light in the
room.  The servers came from the kitchen past the piano to wait on us.
The rest of the room was multi-leveled.  There were sixteen tables of
various sizes.  All were candle-lit with fresh flowers.  There was plenty of
light as the candles reflected off the silver, china, mirrors, and windows.

Being in the  we also seemed to get the , a
lovely table for two up two stairs and next to the window that looked out
on the garden.  Here Clyde and I and Zauberflote had breakfast and
dinner each day.  Zauberflote, a genteel all-white cat, loved my scallops
each evening.  Gordon once saw me dropping a tidbit on the window sill.
He just grinned and turned away.  The first night the waitress half-
heartedly offered to shoo the cat out but we insisted he stay.

The food was as good as the atmosphere.  Cocktails in the lounge were
even special because they knew how to make a martini--not always the
case in Britain.  Martini for Clyde, Talisker for me, and Gordon in his kilt
telling us all about the house--even joining Clyde in a martini.  Dinner
started with melon and strawberries for me, mushrooms for Clyde; soup
for each of us; and then rack of lamb for Clyde and Coquilles St. Jacque
for me and Zauberflote.  Heaven.

After dinner I had another Talisker in the bathtub which was so  that it was right in the room!  Clyde took a walk in the lovely
walled neighborhood and smoked his pipe.  He came back very enthused
about the street-lights being right in the tree tops and the lovely sound of
the wind rustling the fall leaves.

September 21, Thursday

Took a walk around town.  Very British: two lawn bowling greens, a
cricket pitch, old hotels and mansions along the sea, lovely beaches and
parks.  One of the older parts of town is known as Fishertowne and from
a distance the thing you notice is chimney pots--that bit of crockery on
top of the stone chimney.  Stopped for a light lunch and I went on home
while Clyde and camera continued his walk.

Napped and then enticed Zauberflote to curl up on my lap while I read
the newspaper down in the lounge.

Dinner again was wonderful.  Clyde had warm duck salad and lamb
cutlets while Zauberflote and I repeated last night's meal.  Fresh flowers
came served on each new plate.  This night I tried dessert and it was
wonderful.  Gordon saw us enjoying the chocolate dessert and claimed
that was nothing.  He would inform the chef to prepare an even better
chocolate dessert the next night--"and, by the way, I loved that Escher
print card you sent me!"  Yes!  ;-)

To be continued.....

Date:         Mon, 16 Oct 1995 15:28:38 EDT
From: bonnie voigtlander <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, part six
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

September 22, Friday, Nairn, Scotland

This would be our last day in the Inverness/Nairn area so we braved the
roads and went out to see the scenery.  We first stopped at a cemetery
that our host, Gordon Macintyre, recommended.  Some of the
tombstones dated back to the 1200s.  The older headstones were
supported by the walls of a stone enclosure built from the ruins of a
church that stood on that spot.  Tall trees and enchanting vines grew
around the stone enclosure.  I love cemetaries and this one did not

On to the see the battlefield at Culloden.  I have never seen a Civil War
battlefield in the USA but may do so after witnessing the power of
Culloden.  We first sat out a rain storm in the very informative visitor
center watching a video which told the story of the 16 April 1746 battle in
which the dreams of Bonnie Prince Charles to restore the Stuarts to the
throne of Britain were dashed for all time.  His 5000 Highlander men
drawn from many of the Scottish clans were beaten and routed.  It was a
defining moment in the history of the Highlands.  Their way of life was
changed forever in the fallout of this battle.

The battlefield itself was a not-very-large grassy field with markers where
the different clans stood and fought.  We found the marker for the clan
of some of Clyde's ancestors: the Nicholsons who were part of the
McLeods of Harris.  It was amazingly moving to look at the field where
so many men fought and died.

On for a Ploughman's Lunch (bread, cheese, salad, Branston pickle) at a
well-advertised Pottery nearby.  Very tasty lunch and a nice gift shop.

We then visited Fort George which was built by the British after the
uprising of 1745 and Culloden.  This was the largest Fort I've ever seen.
It encloses 100 acres, with stone wall ramparts, and a complicated series
of moats.  It stands on a spot of land jutting out into the Moray Firth and
protecting the harbor at Inverness.  The Fort is still in use but areas of it
were open to the public.  We were having intermittent showers again so
we headed home to our cozy Top Room in the Clifton House.

Another scrumptious dinner in the romantic dining room.  This time it
was half of a broiled lobster for me and langoustes (rock lobster) for
Clyde.  It was very good and this time there wasn't much I was willing to
share with Zauberflote the cat.  The chocolate dessert over which Gordon
had so raved was tasty but no more so than the chocolate cups of the
night before.

September 23, Saturday

This day was our longest drive of the trip.  We left Nairn on the north
coast of Scotland, drove south through Scotland (carefully avoiding both
Glasgow and Edinburgh), down into England, and to the Lake District--
about 300 miles.

The drive, for the most part, was easy because it did not involve single-
track roads.  We hit the large M-routes of Britain which are like our
interstates: controlled access, four to six lane super highways.  We
stopped at a "services" area just because they are so entertaining.  Rather
than having service stations and restaurants at every exit, the M-routes are
set up with services provided at designated places somewhat like the Oasis
on some of the toll routes in the USA.  The service area will have a
petrol (gas) station, a Burger King (!!), a cafeteria, visitor information,
and a gift shop.  The only problem comes in when the service area is
combined with an exit.  In those cases one encounters a round-about
when leaving services and trying to get headed back the proper way on
the M-route.  But we sorted that all out and made it to the Lake District
in good time.

Our abode in the Lake District for six nights was the Langdale Chase
Hotel on Lake Windermere.  The Lake District is a very popular vacation
spot.  There were tons of places to choose from.  I had a very hard time
picking a place at which to make reservations.  So my fingers were
crossed that I had chosen well.

The Langdale Chase is a country home built in 1890 and opened as a
hotel in 1930.  It was very nice in a well-groomed picturesque setting.
Our room was a little off to the side of the main building.  It was called a
garden suite.  It is the only hotel suite I have even stayed in that actually
had a bath and a half.  The half bath was off the ample double-bedded
bedroom.  A full bath with Jacuzzi (!) was off the hall.  Down the hall
was a nice living room.  Much to my surprise the stately wooden shelving
unit in the living room had two sections that pulled down into twin beds!
Both the living room and the bedroom looked out toward the lake.  Sky
TV and a phone in the room!

Dinner was somewhat formal in a dining room that had the best view of
any room in the house.  One could see out across the lake to the
Langdale Peaks in the distance.  That evening the wind was whipping up
whitecaps on Lake Windermere.

Rather than wait until 8:00 when dinner was served we decided to set out
into town and seek our own dinner.  That was the first night on the trip
that we had eaten someplace other than at the inn where we were staying.

We drove into Bowness-on-Windemere the main tourist area.  After
nearly getting run down turning right onto the main, stone-walled highway
from our gated country manor, we found a car park in Bowness and
walked the busy, busy streets in search of a restaurant.  Bowness was
doing a brisk fall week-end business.  After the Outer Hebrides it seemed
like crowds and crowds of people to us!

We found the same restaurant we ate at three years ago when we spent
two nights in Bowness.  It was just the same and just as good.  Then off
to windowshop, the stores being closed, and finally a lively pub for a
cappacino and a Scotch whiskey.  Civilisation!

to be continued....

Date:         Mon, 16 Oct 1995 23:42:48 EDT
From: bonnie voigtlander <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, part seven
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

September 24, Sunday

It poured rain all night long.  But that is a good thing for this region
which has been very dry.  There is a brewing controversy in the
newspapers about the city of Manchester wanting to draw down Lake
Windermere in order to get drinking water during the drought.  The
suggestion was made that first the good citizens of Manchester might stop
watering their bowling greens and washing their cars.  One of the lakes
that we passed yesterday, Thirlmere, is a reservoir.  It was very low with
long mud flats.  I would guess it will be years before it recovers.

Still rain showers all day long.  The rain seems to be horizontal and often
it comes out of a clear blue sky.  Odd.

But when the weather turns unpleasant the tourists must go shopping.  So
we spent the day searching Bowness and Ambleside for the illusive
father/daughter figurine.  These are very old cities.  They have no straight
roads and all the buildings are made of stone.  Quite nice to join the
tourists and amble along through the shops.  When the showers hit we
dashed into a convenient pub or restaurant for tea, Cappacino, or

We saw some  figurines.  It is becoming clear that the best
manufacturer of this kind of thing is Lladro, a Spanish firm.  Their
figurines are very delicate and nicely painted.  But only mother/daughter
statues seem to be displayed.  Don't fathers count at all?

During one of our tea breaks I told Clyde that the thing to do would be
to ask to see a catalog of the Lladro and the Royal Doulton.  Then if
there is something, we could always order or at least have hope that we
were looking for something that did exist, somewhere.  Usually Clyde
ignores this sort of practical advice but, lo and behold, the next time we
were near the nicest shop in Bowness he did decide to go in and ask to
see the catalog.

We paged through the Lladro catalog and then Clyde said:  "There it is!"
Sure enough there was a fine figurine of a father sitting in a chair while
his @10 year old daughter leans up against him watching him look at a
card.  The figurine is titled "Father's Day."  The nice clerk looked up the
availability and price list.  Whoa!!  It was quite expensive.  She said they
would have to call and see if it was available.  We could check back the
next day to find out.  Mixed feelings about if we want it to be available or
not--a bit pricey!

We found an Italian restaurant in Bowness for dinner.  It felt like coming
home.  Finally, food with garlic, herbs, and black pepper.  The pepper in
Britain is a white pepper and it tastes (to me) awful--spoils anything you
put it on.  (I didn't order eggs in the morning because what are eggs
without pepper?)  Clyde had escargots in garlic and herbs, a salad of
tomatoes, onions, and fresh basil, and penne with pepperoni and
tomatoes.  I had a mixed salad, garlic bread (which was like a pizza), and
spaghetti.  Big yum!

Over dinner we began to talk each other into the position that the Lladro
figurine wasn't really all that expensive.  It was a once in a lifetime kind
of purchase.  And it really did look to be a fine work of art that one
would treasure forever.  And God, look what we had paid to stay two
nights in a castle!

Back home to our suite, once more navigating the driveway entrance
without getting killed, and the phone rings!  What an odd sound!  Turns
out to be Clyde's best buddy from graduate school calling from Ohio to
see how things are going.  I had emailed them our itinerary complete with
phone numbers.  (It was a copy of what I left for the pet-sitter.)

This phone call was especially meaningful to Tom and to Clyde because
they are two of the many fisheries scientists who regard the waters of
Windermere to be sacred aqua.  Much early fisheries research was done
here.  Lake Windermere is a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" and is
cited in many a PhD dissertation in limnology (the study of freshwater
organisms).  The phone call was a very nice ending to a rainy day.

September 25, Monday

Another rainy day.  The BBC weather forecast says the Outer Hebrides
are having gale-force winds!  We were told that during the winds of
October people go mad on the Hebrides!  Nothing stops the wind--no
trees.  Looks like we got our ferry rides over just in time.

Each having been restored by a long soak in the Jacuzzi the night before
(wow, those things froth up with just a little bubble bath) we braved the
rain and went into Bowness for a copy of USA Today, some Cappacino,
and to check on the statue.

Not so good.  It would have to be ordered direct from the factory,
shipped to them, then shipped to us--four to five months.  Well, maybe
we can find it somewhere else.  The clerk recommends looking in
Glasgow.  We can do that.  Our last day here will be spent in Glasgow
with a rowing friend!

There is much less traffic today than yesterday, no longer being the week
end.  So we drove up to Keswick.  Looked around in the stores but no
"Father's Day" Lladro figurine.  Again we avoided the worst of the
showers by taking tea breaks.  Before heading back to Langdale Chase we
drove the few miles from Keswick to the Castlerigg Stone Circle.  I saw
this wonderful, holy place three years ago.  It is magical.  The stones
themselves are not as awesome as Stonehenge but the setting of the circle
is impressive.  It is on a small plateau ringed by mountains.  One can
slowly spin and look in all directions at the craggy mountain vistas.

When we pulled up into the little car park at Castlerigg (no visitor center,
no explanations, room for maybe five cars) another rain storm hit.  Didn't
matter to me.  I jumped out of the car, walked into the field, avoided all
the cow flops, and held my arms out wide as I slowly turned and absorbed
the atmosphere.    Yes!!!    We must come back with the camera when
the sun finally shines again.

Home to dry out and then back into Bowness for another fine, garlicky
meal at the Italian Restaurant.

September 26, Tuesday

Rain had finally stopped.  We decided to drive to Buttermere which is
one of the more isolated lakes.  The roads were narrow but the scenery
after all the rain was worth it.  Every waterfall was enhanced.  The Lake
District is distinctive in its stone fences.  They are drywall which is a
precise method of placing stones without mortar or any kind of binding
material.  The stone fences climb straight up the mountainsides.  Often a
stone fence will just continue into the wall of a barn or a small shieling
which is a primitive shelter for the shepherd who spends the night with
the sheep.

Buttermere was worth the hectic drive to reach it.  A waterfall came a
long distance down a mountain to run into the lake.  One could walk
right up to the base of the waterfall, which we did.  Stunning vistas where
ever you turn.  Lots of hikers about.

The road leading out of the Buttermere area went through Honister Pass
into Borrowdale Valley.  The road was at a grade of 25%: dropping 25
feet every 100 feet.  It was, of course, single track.  By this time we were
old pros and actually got a kick out of the looks of stark terror on the
faces of the oncoming traffic!  They don't even allow tour buses on this
road!  You know it's got to be bad!

Dinner one more time at the Italian restaurant: calamari for Clyde that
night and a bottle of wine to celebrate surviving the Honister Pass!

To be continued...

Date:         Tue, 17 Oct 1995 15:12:50 EDT
From: clyde voigtlander <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, 8
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

September 27, Wednesday, The Lake District, England

The rain had returned but this time it came in intermittent torrents with
pea-sized hail and a high temperature of about 60 degrees.  We decided
to scrap the idea of taking a long hike.

There were moments of sunshine.  The best part was the constant strange
light.  It was a photographer's paradise.  When it wasn't pouring rain on
us we could look across to a distant mountain and see it raining there or
see a shaft of sunlight picking out a peak or a lake.  There was snow or a
heavy frost on top of one of the mountains.

It dawned on us that the best view of the mountains would be from the
stone circle.  So back to Castlerigg.  It was magic again.  The sun broke
through.  While Clyde was taking many, many photographs of the stones
and of the mountains I did a Tai Chi set and then slowly walked the
perimeter thinking about croning, growing old, and other very lofty
thoughts.  Castlerigg that day appeared to be a metaphor for all of life:
look down and you see cow dung, look out and you see glory, look inward
and you see stone that has met the test of time.  I made myself some
promises concerning choosing life: "this day... I have set before you life
and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life."  It was my own
little, private croning ceremony.

From Castlerigg we went into Keswick on a more mundane mission: to
Status: R

 the two liters of malt whiskey that we would be allowed to
bring back home.  We chose life-affirming Oban and Dalmore.  More
stops for photographs on the way back home to Langdale Chase avoiding
rain and hail showers as best we good.

Our favorite Italian restaurant was closed on Wednesdays but we found a
bistro in Bowness-on-Windermere where the carnivore that I was traveling
with had the cutlet medley: lamb, pork, beef.  I grazed on three tasty
starters (appetizers).

September 28, Thursday

More rain.  We hung around the hotel reading and watching the rain for
the morning.  When it looked like it would finally lift a little we went into
Bowness and bought tickets for three of the ferry cruises on Lake
Windermere.  We traversed the ten and half mile length of the lake on
three different scenic cruises.  We even went right past the Ferry House
where all that important limnological work was done.

The last cruise was just bringing us back into Bowness around 5:30 pm
when a stunning double rainbow formed between the boat and the town.
The rainbow was more than 180 degrees, extending it's bow into the
water.  It moved with the boat until finally the rainbow was perfectly
framing the town of Bowness with the stone Old England Hotel as the
centerpiece of the bow.  Suddenly one didn't mind all the rain showers at

The boat docked just in time for us to once more, and for the last time,
be the first customers at our Italian restaurant.  This time we were
greeted as old friends and escorted to  table.  Clyde celebrated
with a bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella and garlic everything!

Home to Langdale Chase and the unhappy task of trying to decide if all
this stuff that we brought and that we bought is going to fit into the three
suitcases.  Tomorrow we drive to Glasgow, check into the Airport Forte
Crest, turn the car in, and call Claire who will give us a tour of Glasgow
on Sunday.  Monday morning the big silver bird will take us home.

to be concluded....    at last

Date:         Wed, 18 Oct 1995 16:19:01 EDT
From: Bonniev <>
Subject:      WHTMIScotland, the final chapter
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

September 28, Friday, leaving the Lake District

A lovely sunny day to travel from the Lake District back up to Glasgow.
We chose a route that would take us along Ullswater and through the
Kirkstone Pass.  We stopped for some final pictures of the stone walls,
the mountains, and the lakes.

We had an easy ride up the M-74 through Carlisle, into Scotland, through
Lockerbie, and to the M-8 which took us straight through Glasgow and
out to the airport.

We attempted to check in at the Airport Forte Creste--our first chain
hotel.  They didn't have our reservation.  I couldn't find the reservation
number.  (I don't think we were given one).  The nice lady behind the
desk looked very concerned.  We were getting quite anxious.  She finally
said that she was so sorry that she couldn't find the reservation but they
did have rooms available, what price were we quoted?  Great!

We carried all the luggage up from the car to the room.  They have a
very civilized operation where you can get an airport luggage cart at the
hotel, take it to your room, and even take it right to the airport and leave
it there.  That was essential because by now our luggage weighed a ton
with two bottles of whiskey, four new sweaters, and various and sundry
other things.

We then turned our attention to turning in the car.  Avis looked at the
paperwork, the key to the car, and gave us a puzzled look.  "Is this the
same car you picked up here three weeks ago?"  "Well, no.  We changed
out cars on the Isle of Skye."  "Ah!"  The paperwork that should have
been done in Inverness was not done.  After twenty minutes of trying to
get Inverness to fax the necessary information, the nice ladies of Avis said
that we should go on and they would mail us the bill.  Haven't seen it yet.

To the Forte Creste bar to sample a few more malt whiskeys and then a
pleasant dinner at the hotel.  Claire, our rowing friend, called to say she
will pick us up around 10:00 the next morning to give us the promised
tour of Glasgow.  We warn her that we are on a mission to fine a certain
Lladro figurine.

September 29, Sunday

Claire is a rower whom we met through the internet newsgroup,  Actually, her coxswain friend Alistair is all over the
newsgroup.  The Scottish crew team came over to the Commonwealth
Games held in Canada last fall.  Claire and Alistair stayed on and did a
tour of Canada and the United States.  We picked them up in Atlanta,
showed them the Smokey Mountain National Park, fed them for two
days, and gave them a warm quiet place to sleep, returning them safely to
Atlanta in just 72 hours.  They had slept in their rental car at the Grand
Canyon and very much appreciated our hospitality.

Alistair has since moved on to coxing for Cambridge University.  Clair is
taking a higher degree in Edinburgh.  She drove over from there, picked
us up at the hotel, and we headed off into the big city very happy to have
a native behind the steering wheel!

Claire knew just where to park and just where the likely Lladro stores
were.  So we merrily followed along behind her long rower's legs.  Lots of
Lladro, no father/daughter figurine.  The largest, finest department store
said that we wouldn't find it.  That particular figurine had to be special
ordered from the factory.  We got the four to five month story again.  We
decided to give up the quest for then and look into this when we got back

Glasgow was very busy on this Saturday.  We stopped for Cappacino, then
lunch.  Clyde had his camera along and got some nice pictures of Claire.
He also got a series of pictures of the Scottish gendarmes lifting an
illegally parked car up onto a flat bed truck.  They had the neatest
assembly attached to a crane that could swing out in any direction, cradle
the car, balance it, and lift it to the flat bed.  These guys are serious
about illegal parking.

We also visited a restored tenement operated by the National Trust for
Scotland.  It had the apartment itself, complete with gas lighting and
original furnishings, and an explanatory museum.  It was quite
enlightening.  I would guess the early tenements of New York wouldn't be
much different.

While in the tenement it began to rain.  It was already getting to be late
afternoon so we decided to bag the rest of the day and go on back to the
airport hotel.  We chatted with Claire while sampling more of the malt
and then the three of us had dinner in the airport dining room.  It was
called The Carvery.  The starters came from the kitchen but the entree
was carved by the chef in a central carousel-type thing.  The carnivore
loaded up with lamb roast!  He even scored a Yorkshire pudding that
night.  Yorkshire pudding and lamb?  The chef didn't blink an eye.

We said Good bye to Claire and went up to our room for our last night
in Scotland.

October 1, Sunday

Our plane left Glasgow at 11:15.  We checked our luggage and then had
a leisurely breakfast back at the hotel.  It began to blow and to rain
again.  I thought of the people going mad across the Minch on the Outer

12:35 we arrived at Gatwick in London where we had a two and a half
hour layover.  The area for international travelers was quite nice.
Cappacino and lots of duty-free shopping.  I found some gargoyles as a
present for Ralph who we sincerely hoped would be there to pick us up at
the end of what would be a very long day.  Checked for Lladro.  No
father/daughter figurine.

It was a long, long flight.  I was told about the prevailing winds but still
don't totally understand why it should take almost three hours longer to
fly west across the Atlantic than it does to fly east.  It was close to a nine
hour flight.  The movie was "Forget Paris" which was quite good.

Again we flew high across the Atlantic, touching the tip of Greenland,
and then flying down the east coast of Canada and the US.  This time we
flew directly over Bar Harbor, Maine and Mt. Desert Island.  I must
admit we got a little over-excited.  Clyde dragged his camera out and
started clicking pictures.  I undid my seat belt and ran to a back window
of the plane to look down on what hopefully will be our new home in 12
to 15 months.

Got into Atlanta at 7 pm local time and waited the two hours for the
flight to Knoxville.  By this time we were very tired.

Ralph, our hero, was there at the Knoxville airport having scurried to get
his son's car when our Honda Accord didn't start after sitting idle for
three weeks.  His own Suburu would never have held the three of us and
all the luggage.  And thus we arrived safely home to Oak Ridge, weary
but happy travelers.

Ah yes....   The Lladro figurine.  Clyde went into Knoxville the following
week.  At the first store, he got the same story as we heard it in Scotland.
At  best fine china store in Knoxville he got a different story.
They could get it in two weeks!!!!!  So this February when Lisa and her
husband meet us for a week on the North Carolina beach a present will
change hands.  Tears will be shed.

                             THE END