Thursday, May 3, 2012

Traveling Friends- Scotland

This month for our Traveling Friends feature, I am super excited to be sharing the travels of my sister in law, Katie (along with my brother and her family). I emailed the questions to Katie and she sent this back:

Hi MSTG readers!

Last fall, Jared (Raina's brother) and I got to go to Inverness, Scotland along with my parents (from Vancouver, Canada) who had just come to visit us in Amsterdam. We'd arranged to meet up with my Auntie Nan and cousin Marja (also from Vancouver) who were in Scotland to visit with family.  Auntie Nan was born in Troon, a small town on the west coast of Scotland, with family in Pitlochry as well. Some of the photos I'm sharing are mine, some are Marja's or my mum's. We had a great time and I highly recommend visiting Scotland!

MSTG: What kind of animals did you see? 

KATIE: We saw the usual, seagulls, crows and squirrels and lots of sheep and highland cows (they're the hairy ones). We also saw a European Robin (which is different looking than the ones I was familiar with from North America). I also caught a very rare photos of- not only one, but two- Loch Ness Monsters. Unfortunately, the rest of my family didn't get any photos as they were facing the wrong way. 

Marja and cows.

MSTG: Did you seen any good live music?

KATIE: Yes! In fact, we saw live music a number of times. One day, there was a Pipe & Drum band marching down the streets of Inverness for a swearing in of new Councillors ceremony. Another time, we went and saw live music at Gellions Pub, the band was really fun, a bagpipe, a fiddle, a bodhrán drum, and a guitar. We also went to a special performance, part of a Highland music festival, a CD release party for Bruce MacGregor (fiddle) and Christine Hanson (cello). The venue was at a small church along the shores of the Loch Ness. A group of us bought tickets which included a meal, a taste of whisky and a bus trip to a live performance of traditional and classical music. It was definitely a highlight of the trip! (video was shot by my dad.) 

MSTG: What was your favorite meal that you ate in Scotland?

KATIE: I'm not sure I had one favourite meal... but we did eat a lot of meat & potatoes & gravy and fish & chips, which I do LOVE. My cousin Marja ate, "haggis, neeps &tatties", as often as she could.  She even had haggis for breakfast once! As part of Auntie Nan & Marja's family visit to Troon, they helped their (Great) Aunt Betty make tablet- a traditional Scottish treat! 

MSTG: What do the houses look like?

KATIE: Where we were, many of the houses were stone, row houses with lots of chimney tops. Some of the more traditional farmhouses we saw on our drives were white-washed plaster with slate roofs. We also visited the ruins of the Urquhart Castle.
"Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. It is also near this castle that the majority of Nessie (Loch Ness Monster) sightings occur." [read more on wikipedia: ]

MSTG: What type of transportation did you use primarily during your visit?

KATIE: We had a rental car- which my dad drove. The steering wheel is on the "other/ wrong" side of the car, so when we picked up the car, "we" practiced in the parking lot before venturing out! There was lots of walking too and Auntie Nan and Marja took a bus to Troon, Pitlochry & Edinburgh before flying back home. 

MSTG: What were the children doing?

KATIE: We visited Scotland in the fall and didn't see too many kids. I guess (hope) they were in school, as they were definitely not at the whisky distilleries we were visiting! And when we did see children in town, I imagine they were out helping their parents with weekend errands. 
WOW! Thank you so much Katie (and your parents, Auntie Nan and Marja)! This looks like  a fantastic trip! I would also need to practice driving in the parking lot for a while before heading out on the road, I bet there were a few laughs (there would be if I was driving) And what luck to have the opportunity to see not one, but two Loch Ness Monsters! ;) 

If you've missed other posts from our traveling friends, be sure to check them out. We have featured Egypt, Peru, and Cuba so far! 

If you would like to share one of your journeys with us, please contact me at mamacitasglobe[at]yahoo[dot]com.


  1. Wow!! This is such a great idea ...I can't wait until my kiddos are old enough to begin creating & journeying with them!

    I also wanted to let you know I nominated MSTG for the Versatile Blogger Award on my site :) Happy blogging!

    1. Thanks! In all honesty, I thought my kids would be much older before I started doing this stuff with them, but we talked about it and they wanted to go for it, so we did. We have been having fun ever since.

      Thank you so much for The Versatile Blogger nomination! I don't have any more posts this week (I only post on Monday and Thursday)and I have one scheduled for Monday, but I will share this next Thursday :) Thanks again... very cool to discover your blog as well.


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