TRIP IS FULL
Sept. 6-14, 2019
Scotland is a country of unmistakable beauty with its charming countryside, spectacular mountains and deep glassy lakes. It's towering hills have stood for centuries; yet amidst this permanence is constant motion: clouds swiftly rolling across the sparkling blue sky, waterfalls cascading down the hillsides, golden grass rippling with every breeze...
Come with us on another spirit-filled adventure to Scotland!
Sept 6 United Airlines evening flight out of Newark.
Sept 7 Arrive Glasgow International Airport following morning. After collecting our luggage and going through customs, we will be met by our driver. Once on the road, we’ll soon be at Loch Lomond, stopping at its most charming and picturesque village, Luss, with houses dating from the 1700’s. Then back on the road, we’ll stop at Inveraray, a picturesque traditional town of Argyll, an absolute set piece of Scottish Georgian architecture. A short walk north from town, the neo-Gothic Inveraray Castle remains the family home of the Dukes of Argyll. Back on the coach, our journey today will take us to the harbor town of Oban, known as the “gateway to the isles.” Queen Victoria described Oban as "one of the finest spots we have seen." In the late afternoon we’ll be taking the Caledonia MacBrayne ferry over to Mull, and then a small ferry to Iona after crossing over Mull on a local bus!
1st Overnight Iona
Sept 8 We shall have two whole days here on the magical Isle of Iona. This tiny island lies in the Inner Hebrides, and is truly one of those ‘thin places’ that we experience on our Celtic Journeys throughout Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. ‘This tiny island holds a very unique place in the story of Scotland, and kindles the imagination of thousands that journey there each year. To and from its shores have come monks and pilgrims, clan chiefs and kings, artists and crafts people, farmers and fishermen. The island’s community today tries to follow the tradition of all those who have gone before them…’ (E. Mairi MacArthur)
2nd Overnight Iona
Sept 9 The best time to come to Iona is after the tourist season, if you want to feel its magic. The Abbey offers regular services for those who want to experience the far-reaching influence of the Iona community. On the island there are craft shops, tea rooms, and local stores where the islanders buy their necessities for living. For those who want to walk, the south and western parts of the island are well worth seeing. Iona, so exquisitely beautiful, is a haven for photographers, artists, poets and pilgrims. There are few cars, and the pace just slows down to a gentle kind of rhythm. Time seems to stand still…
3rd Overnight Iona
Sept 10 Well, we have to leave behind this mystical island this morning, yet the memories of Iona will be with you for years to come… After the small ferry leaving Iona, we’ll cross over the Isle of Mull once again, and return to the mainland on the CalMac ferry. There may be some time to meander around Oban for some shopping, a good place for finding those sweaters and tweeds! Then we shall make our way into the Scottish Highlands, one of the last known wildernesses of Europe. Glencoe is considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful areas in Scotland, surrounded by wild and precipitous mountains, deep valleys, and wildly rushing streams and waterfalls… absolutely breath-taking. We’ll be staying in a small 4 star hotel on the shores of Loch Leven, in the heart of the Highlands.
Overnight in the Highlands
Sept 11 After one of those big Scottish breakfasts, we shall begin our journey toward Edinburgh. Of course we’ll make a few stops along the way, including the truly awesome Stirling Castle. Its location parallels even Edinburgh Castle's for sheer magnificence as it sits high on volcanic rock, visible for many miles in every direction, a shining example of Renaissance architecture. Visitors can look out from its high stone walls to the battlefields of Stirling Bridge where great medieval armies clashed. Home to generations of Scottish monarchs including, Mary Queen of Scots, the Castle is an enduring and powerful reminder of a fascinating history. While there, we do not want to miss the famous Church of the Holy Rude where John Knox preached and the new infant King, son of Mary Queen of Scots, was christened… then on to Edinburgh for 3 nights, where we will be staying in a victorian mansion in a quiet “leafy” section on the fringe of the city.
1st Overnight Edinburgh
Sept 12 Edinburgh… It has been said that this lovely city is ‘the jewel of Scotland’s crown.’ You will have the entire day to explore! Some of the places you might like to see are of course the Castle at the top of the Royal Mile; St Margaret’s Chapel nearby (the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh dating from the early 12th century); countless shops and tea rooms; St Giles Cathedral; and at the bottom of the Royal Mile is the Palace of Holy Rood, the Queen’s residence when in Edinburgh. It is recommended to begin at the top of the Royal Mile and work your way down! And it might be fun to visit the Queen’s Royal Yacht Britannia, retired from royal service and berthed in Edinburgh…
2nd Overnight Edinburgh
Sept 13 Less than an hour from Edinburgh is one of the most awesome 12th c. monasteries in all of Great Britain, Melrose Abbey. The exterior of this magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig! The abbey is also thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds. Then as we approach the city again, there is a gem of a little church, Rosslyn Chapel, and is definitely worth a visit. The chapel is famous for its decorative art as well as its mysterious associations with the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail. Rosslyn Chapel's mysteries played a significant role in Dan Brown's 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code. And before sharing our last dinner together, we hope to attend Choral Evensong at St Mary’s Cathedral.
3rd Overnight Edinburgh
Sept 14 Return flight to the states. We hope you can join us on another one of our Celtic Journeys to Scotland. You won’t regret it…
COST OF TRIP: $2675 including airfare (shared occupancy)
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