Saturday, December 5, 2015

Travel Trivia

Many people keep copies of restaurant menus, matchstick covers, or some small memento of a place they have visited.  We like collecting drink coasters from bars.  Not sitting and drinking away your trip, but rather chatting with the bartender about fun things to do and see, striking up a conversation with the stranger next to you, and trying out the house drink specialty. 

Our Scotland tour host picked up all the passengers early evening at the Glenmoriston bar and drove us out to the Caledonian canal to board the barge.  The hubby, me and our two travel partners decided to indulge a few hours early at the bar before the scheduled pickup time.  We met Robert, the bartender, listened to music new to me (Kygo) which I loved, and tried the week’s special drink.  Details were documented on the coaster (see photos).


Here are a few more coasters collected over the years (below—Darwin, Australia; Singapore[yes, we had the Singapore sling at Raffles hotel/bar], and Kauai).  We have not been very disciplined about collecting the coasters and we have missed a lot of locations, but will try a little harder in the future.  The coasters are used back home and it is a fun way to remember details of the trip.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Starting in Inverness

It has been four months since our trip to the Scottish Highlands.  If I do not take the time to journal this, the bits of information will be forgotten….


Inverness is the hub for visiting all the sights and sites in the Scottish Highlands.  Not necessarily a tourist destination by itself, we still found the city charming with cute little stone houses and grand ones and old churches with ancient tipped, sunken headstones.  Many people pooh-pooh Inverness, but I thought it was wonderful.  The hubby and I would have an early breakfast and walk the residential neighborhoods (the photo above right captures one of the homes along our walk).

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Especially loved the old used book store, Leakey’s, in Inverness.  Using an old converted church, the shop is stocked from floor to ceiling with used books and antique prints.  Peeking in between the bookshelves are stained glass windows with the streaming light filled with dust from the old paper.  And of all things, a large wood burning stove to take the chill off sits right smack in the middle (chilly seems to be a year-around thing for Scotland). 

[Photo  of Leakey’s from Pinterest, photographer unknown.  Too busy looking at books and prints to fiddle with the camera! The photos above I actually took/obviously.]

We have a friend (Hi, Tom), who loves to read every day and loves to collect hard back books.  Tom and Kate’s living room has bookshelves also from floor to very a high ceiling filled with books (but they don’t live in a church/smile).  I believe Leakey’s should be one of their bucket list places to see.  It was on my list!  I walked away with a small print of two kilted Scotsmen fishing in a loch (circa late 1800s).  It is now framed and hanging proudly in our living room.

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