Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Encountering Ireland and Scotland

LUCY BURDETTE: I was tempted--so tempted--to describe every single day of our amazing vacation, but I realized very few of you would last through my slideshow. And I do have a looming book deadline. So I compromise by sharing a few of my highlights...hope you enjoy them!


Lucy with Jack

Since Scottish musician Jack Beck had arranged our tour, we were treated to fabulous live performances at several of our stops (in addition to his own songs, sung on the bus.) We buzzed over to Ireland on a ferry to visit Liz Weir's storytelling barn for music and stories. 
Jack Beck and Liz Weir


There we heard these wonderful musicians, Colin and Ciaran:





They're part of the band Haste to the Wedding--if I wasn't already long-married, I would insist they come to the US to play at my reception!

And next came Scottish folk songs from Alan Reid at Loch Long:





And finally we had a magical concert in the forest by fiddler Pete Clark:






Oh, and occasional cameos of Scottish bagpipe music:



Solstice celebration in Peebles, photo by Susan Cerulean

Graduation day at St. Andrew's

I grouped the musical experiences together as number three on my list. (Now are you seeing the problem of paring things down??) Number two would have to be the glorious scenery in both countries. It highlighted the temptations for writers to set a book here. I'll show you only a few...



Roslyn Chapel, the site where the holy grail was thought to be buried in The Da Vinci Code...


Doune Castle, used to film Outlander, Game of Thrones, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.



Pitlochry, Scotland--the roses in this country are stunning...

The Highlands where Outlander takes place, and maybe my next author photo LOL!


The magical Isle of Iona


And then Mull...


Sunset at 11 pm, summer solstice


And below, the town of Falkland, which you may recognize from the opening scenes of the first episode of Outlander. Robin, one of our traveling companions, is a huge fan of both the books and the series. Here she gazes at a blue vase in the shop window, just as Claire did...


And number one on my list, sharing two weeks with some new friends, and with people I adore but don't get enough time with...

the whiskey-tasters


Where would you go if you had the chance, and who would you want to bring along?

***Off that topic, wanted to let you know that the kindle ebook version of DEATH ON THE MENU is on sale for $1.99!

60 comments:

  1. What amazing pictures and videos . . . thanks for sharing them with us!

    Where would I go? It doesn’t really matter; I’d go anywhere as long as I could take my family with me . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorgeous pix and videos. Looks like you had a great time.

    I'd go back to the Lake Country of England and to Cornwall, with hubs, of course. There's only one catch - it would have to be a fantasy trip since I'd want to show him what it was like when I lived there for a few months, in the 1970s!

    Time travel anyone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Claire could do it why not you? I haven’t been to the Lake District

      Delete
  3. The only places I have any interest in going on a trip are England, Scotland and of course Ireland. Oh, and Hawaii.

    Who would I want to go with? I'm not sure that I would really want to go with anyone so that I wouldn't have to work on their timetable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are all great choices. I hope to go back to Ireland one day and see the places John’s and my ancestors came from

      Delete
    2. Lucy, it's funny because I have specific reasons for wanting to visit England...to go to the Sherlock Holmes museum and hit the record and book shops of London.

      For Ireland and Scotland, I have less specific reasons for wanting to go though there are activities that I'd like to do in Ireland from having had a Irish tourism magazine subscription for a number of years. For Scotland, I do know I'd love to go see the Highlander statue.

      For Hawaii, I'm not crazy about the heat but I'd like to go to say I've been there plus my mom always wanted to go and never got the chance. A couple other reasons too but those are "from the opening credits of the original Hawaii Five-0 series" things.

      Delete
  4. Looks like an amazing trips. Thanks for sharing some highlights with us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ireland and Scotland! Planning a trip there next year. And a Celtic music-themed trip? To die for. So glad you had a great trip, Lucy. Were there really only eight people in your tour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was it! Very special—and happily we all got along!

      Delete
  6. I've always wanted to go to Ireland. My granddaughter and I talk about going when she is 17, which will be in 2 years. It is so wonderful to think and dream about going somewhere so special, especially with someone special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what a good idea to take your granddaughter--that will make for special memories!

      Delete
  7. Wales! It’s the one part of the British Isles that I haven’t been - and I’m taking alone Lucy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to go to Wales with you Hallie--we'll eat and eat and walk:), and laugh

      Delete
  8. What a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing, Lucy!

    Ireland is one trip I'd like to make--and take along my sisters because it's where one of our ancestors came from. England with my best friend. And Italy with another of my best friends.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Many years ago I visited Hawaii, three times, and I would love to return. (It was cooler than CT in the summer, Jay!)

    I’d happily visit anywhere in Great Britain.

    Travel companions? Family or friends who would most appreciate wherever we visited.

    DebRo

    ReplyDelete
  10. Egypt, Petra, Greece (including the minotaur palace on Crete), the south of France (lavender fields and cave paintings), and Scotland. My husband is always up for an adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been to some of your choices and recommend them all. You hit 4 star fabulous.I hope you can start planning one or two soon. And feel free to ask questions.

      Delete
  11. It has been a big source of pain in my life that I have never yet made it off the North American continent. Finally, my husband and I are planning a trip to England and Ireland in 2020. And I'm thinking tentatively, to Italy and France in 2023.

    We are still sorting out what parts of England and Ireland to see next year, so I am eager to see what areas folks here talk about. The things I know I want to see are several days worth of places in London, plus Oxford and the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire areas where Midsomer Murders is shot. Have hardly begun to think about what parts of Ireland to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sounds wonderful Susan--and the planning ahead is part of the great joy for me...

      Delete
  12. I've been to England and Wales, and would go back there in a heartbeat! Scotland (including Iona) and Ireland are at the top of my list and I have a friend with whom I've traveled before that would go with me. I've just received my "DNA report" and I'd like to go to some of the other places that are on that list as well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Frabjous pictures and even more frabjous trip!

    I was walking distance from Wales when we were in Chester last year, but didn't manage to make it to the border. Next time for sure.

    I read this particular blog entry two nights ago and had a brilliant post in my mind, but yesterday when I got up, both the trip blog and my post has disappeared! Oopsy.

    Thank you for the virtual trip, Lucy Roberta. I enjoyed every step of the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where would I go and with whom?

      I'd go with Julie, of course. She is the trip organizer extraordinaire. And this time I think a driving trip through the Loire Valley, lots of wine and lots of little bistros and big chateaus to explore. Easy drive from Paris.

      Delete
    2. blame that on jetlag Ann. I had two blogs set to schedule on the same day. The Loire Valley sounds lovely. And I must make it to Brittany too...

      Delete
    3. Brittany is a completely different experience than the rest of France, thus its name

      Delete
  14. What wonderful photos! I would sit through your entire slide show.

    Someday I hope to visit all the places in England and Ireland where I had ancestors. Scotland, too, although I haven't yet found an ancestry connection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Cathy, you're very kind. Hope you get to visit all those places!

      Delete
  15. Beautiful photos!

    I think I'd go to Italy with my husband. Rome, Assisi, Tuscany, so many options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love Italy, and Hallie wet our whistles for Tuscany a couple weeks ago

      Delete
  16. What a wonderful trip you had, Roberta! Glorious Scotland, such an appealing and enchanted place.

    I've been watching Outlander (for the first time, since it's on Netflix right now), and drooling over the exterior shots. My stepsister recently moved to England, so her Welsh husband could spend time with family and friends before his Alzheimer's steals his memory completely, and I really want to go visit them. My husband is not much for pleasure travel, but even he would enjoy a trip to the British Isles. We both want to go to Scotland and Wales, and I really want to visit Cornwall and see Port Isaac, aka Port Wenn, and also again visit a friend in Stockton-on-Tees, which is just south of Vera country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely--and so nice to have relatives there!

      Delete
    2. My step-sis is kind of isolated, between having a husband who is losing it (and becoming less manageable by the day), and not having any of her own relatives there. Her husband just has the one daughter, and she is very busy with her own life. I need to somehow manage a trip to visit her, even if it's on my own.

      Delete
    3. that sounds so hard Karen, I bet she'd be very happy to see you

      Delete
  17. Lucy, I loved the photos! And reading about your travels in Ireland and Scotland. One of my ancestors was born on the Island of Gigha, which is between Ireland and Scotland. Family name is Galbreath ?

    Where would I go? I would love to stay in Wigtowm and rent that flat and "own a bookstore" for a month. Every time I visit Scotland, it is wonderful. I love the Outlander tv series.

    And yes, I love that new author photo. And are you going to write a story set in Scotland? I wonder if Hayley Snow has Irish or Scottish cousins that she can visit?

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm mulling it over...will have to see whether the publisher would allow me to take part of a story out of Key West!

      Delete
    2. When I visited England, I remember meeting English people who mentioned the only part of the USA they visited was Florida! I was surprised!

      Hope your publisher lets you take part of a story out of Key West! Love your series!

      Delete
  18. I'm always happy to revisit Scotland and Ireland through the eyes of travelers. Thank you for this post Lucy.
    I would like to return to visit the Scottish Isles up north this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome. I would like to go north now too. Of course, being a super Ann Cleeves groupie, would love to see Shetlands. However, looking on a map--it's very far north and far away from anything else!

      Delete
    2. We did not get to the Shetlands but did spend a few days in the Orkneys. That means a drive to the northern tip of Scotland and then a few hours on a ferry. What a strange and interesting place - archaeological sites older than the Pyramids, Norwegian names but Highland accents, artists/crafts everywhere,World War II history, sea bird colonies.Uh, yes, I'd recommend it.

      Delete
  19. oh, I am SWOONING!!! SWOONING! This is wonderful, and ahh....this is now my very first choice! WOW. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  20. Lucy thank you for the posts and great pictures. Scotland was one of our best vacations ever...and my husband was only so-so about going at first. He just loved it and so did I - an interesting surprise every day,really magic. I'm always happy to go back to England, or Scotland, or France, and I've never made it to Cornwall or Wales, but for someplace really new, maybe Turkey?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did you plan your Scotland trip? Turkey would definitely be very different!

      Delete
    2. Turkey would be on a tour. I don't think we can do that on our own, which is how we usually travel. On some trips,serendipity kicks in and others, not so much. It's partly just not being so scheduled that there is no room for the surprises. It helps to have a husband who is a fearless driver! And I love to do the research.(The old Frommer guides were often the most useful - miss them) Also, I had been to Scotland before. But some of the best moments could never have been planned. Driving down out of the highlands in pouring rain to Oban, built on the hills down to the west coast, with bright sun and spectacular scenery. So beautiful that husband looked at real estate window ads for a few days! And finding a random place to stay that turned out to be a mansion with an extensive World War II intelligence corps history and filled with a Spanish soccer team. On remote Orkney farm (remote even for Orkney, which is pretty remote anyway) met a man who was a comic book artist. For DC Comics.In NY. Where my husband had been attorney for several years. And our first email , Spet 12, 2001, was from him. I could go on-and-on, but won't highjack here. Ask me if you'd like more

      Delete
    3. sounds amazing Triss. It's very special to make connections with people you'd never otherwise meet

      Delete
  21. Oh, Roberta, you've made me so homesick for Scotland, I can hardly stand it. I would love to set another Duncan and Gemma book somewhere in Scotland, but it's logistically difficult, alas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm expecting to finish NOW MAY YOU WEEP tonight--but I can see how returning the team to Scotland would be a challenge! I think you must have tasted a fair amount of whiskey LOL

      Delete
  22. We just returned from a trip to Scotland in mid-June. We had been talking about it for years and finally chose an adventure trip called "Scotland's Highland and Islands" with a wonderful outfitter. There were only 11 people in our group and a super guide who was both a naturalist and a historian. We spent two days in Edinburgh to get accustomed to the time change, then headed to Inverness to meet the group. The organized trip began in the Highlands, and included the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye. We visited unbelievable sea bird colonies, (I took about 100 pictures of puffins) and on a day trip to the Shiant Isles, we followed a school of dolphins which swam around us for about a half hour. We visited ancient sites too, such as the Callanish Standing Stones, and dined really well on world class cuisine. The Scottish countryside and sea scapes are stunning and everything was in bloom while we were there. I had a wee dram every night, and even tried some brands which we'll never see here in Connecticut. I did think of Deborah Crombie's book, NOW MAY YOU WEEP very often while we were there. It was a super vacation and I feel very lucky to be able to travel to interesting and wonderful places from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. There are so many places I want to go! We hiked the Great Glen Way in Scotland ( Ft William to Inverness) several years ago. We, as in my husband and me. The last portion of the trip from a town on Loch Ness to Inverness we opted to get a ride. The lady driving us was a big Outlander fan and casting was still going on at the time. In fact they had just announced who would be playing Claire. So there we were, discussing the books, while my husband sat there clueless. Scotland is beautiful and we want to go back and see more. I would also like to see more of England besides London, although London makes a good trip by itself. We haven't visited Europe at all except for a driving trip back in 1999 where we traversed a quarter of Spain. I'd go back there too. I'd like to take a cruise on the Nile and see all the antiquities. I think it'd be neat to tour Morocco too. And I'd happily go back to India and see a different area on a tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that sounds like a fabulous trip Pat! and you are a great traveler...

      Delete
  24. Coming in so late again. Sorry. Lucy, I love the pictures of your trip and enjoyed them on FB, too. Scotland is one of the places I most want to go after England. I'm hoping to find someone to go to England next spring with me and visit London and Devon and Cornwall and Oxford and maybe a couple of more English places, then at least stop in Wales somewhere, and then possibly do a quick couple of days in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love that you met my friend Liz Weir. I'd love to go visit there, but settled for sending her home with my storytelling CDs. <3

    ReplyDelete
  26. I can only handle my sister in spurts so I'd probably end up traveling alone, but I'm used to it. Years ago I wanted to visit England and Scotland, still do, but have added Norway to my list. Before I cross the ocean, I'd like to a train trip across our continent. One that I can get off of to spend a couple days and then continue on a different train.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I'd like to see Norway too. And trains seem like such a good way to travel

      Delete
  27. Thank you for sharing your pictures & trip with us. I'd love to visit Iceland some day.

    ReplyDelete
  28. We went to Glasgow and Killearn in Scotland in April to attend a lovely wedding, and it was indeed a magical experience!

    ReplyDelete