Monday, August 20, 2012

Scotland: Introduction

Well, I'm back.
Cairngorm National Park
We had a wonderful time in Scotland, and I'm planning out a few blog posts on our adventures.  I'm thinking one post will be about the country, one about the cities, and one about the yarn/fabric/wool tradition that really permeates the land and industry in Scotland.  This was our third trip across the Atlantic, and I found myself making many comparisons to our travels to Germany, France, and Italy in 2008, and our short trip to London in 2007 (which predates the blog).  In some ways, this trip wasn't as relaxing as those other trips: we had horrendous issues with our flights, and driving on the other side of the road was a bit harrowing for everyone.   Transportation hasn't been such an issue before; we didn't rent a car when we went to London, and everyone else in Europe drives on the same side of the road as we do.  I don't want to get into too many details on how stressful our flights were, but suffice it to say our journey home involved lost seat reservations, a cancelled flight, being awake for 23 hours straight, and an unexpected overnight stay in Newark, NJ.  And that was just on the flight home.  In other ways, this was a truly fantastic trip, better than any other we've taken: there was no language barrier as in Europe, we were more seasoned travelers than when we went to London, and we got to spend quality time with some very dear friends.  Plus, there's sheep everywhere

A typical view from the car
The strangest part of this vacation is that I didn't feel really rested, or energized, or any of those other sensations that you're supposed to get while on vacation until after it was all over.  Looking over our photos, re-reading my journal in preparation for writing these blog posts, touching the souvenir textiles we brought home, and doing more research on the interesting things we learned are giving me the energy to jump into a new semester.  I truly believe that learning about other parts of the world and getting to know the people who live there makes us better human beings, which is why we choose to travel both inside and outside the US.  I also have a deep-seated love of the British Isles, and I know this journey will add another set of very fond memories to buoy our spirits in the coming months.

Holyrood Abbey
Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh

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