First day of the tour started with a terrific breakfast and I do love the Scottish porridge. Our first stop was Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. It seems like the majority of castles or palaces we visited did not allow photos inside. Not sure if it was a flash could do damage to the items inside but we could take photos outside or from the windows aiming outside.
This castle has 3 floors and areas were built during different centuries. The three floors have different styled columns – Ionic, Doric and Romanesque. The royal family still comes out to this palace and when they do, the tours obviously are halted. However the gift store is always open. Our tour guide, Richard, told us that Prince Charles loves to visit and goes on early morning walks. The Queen also attends the local church when in town.
The statue in front has had some added features. The Abbey in the back still stands minus the roof.
The palace is worth the visit especially when you have a wonderful tour guide. Richard had so much information like how the swans were named by the Queen, Sally and Sid. It is believed that she named the swan Sid after Sid Viscous after the lead singer in the Sex Pistols. The gates surrounding the castle are quite ornate.
Across this palace is a more modern government building. The gift store had some beautiful items but when you are starting off the tour, you need to remember not to buy huge, expensive items that could get broken or damaged in your suitcase. My purchases were confined to tea towels, thimbles, pens and postcards.
After a delightful group lunch, we were driven through the town for a panaromic tour. We went past the Greyfriar Bobby statue. This was a dog that sat at his master’s grave for over 14 years. Such devotion. People pat or rub his nose so it is quite shiney.
Our evening group dinner was the first one where we met each of the tour group – how long had we been quilting, where we lived, other craft hobbies, etc.
As always, we are given instructions on when to have out bags outside the door and when to meet at the bus. The nice thing about the tours is you meet terrific people, learn about other areas and you see the country from a comfortable bus. Celtic Quilt Tours, LLC, obtains the best drivers and tour guides. You don’t have to worry about driving on the other side of the road, traffic signs or skinny little roads.
Day 2, we were on the road to Perth and the Black Watch Museum. We started off with a Sashiko class taught by Susan Briscoe. You usually see sashiko on indigo or navy blue material. We were given tartan material and the pattern was a thistle. This was my start and I did finish it once I got home. It is very relaxing and just the opposite of redwork – meaning you stitch right to left as opposed to left to right.
The Black Watch Museum also provide luch for us. We were given a bowl of soup and 4-5 different types of sandwiches. The tour gave a background on their uniforms, where they were stationed throughout the centuries.
We were also told that the blue/green tartan plaid was great to blend in with the water and the forest so your enemy could not find you easily. The red tartan was also good for hiding any wounds.
The Black Watch Museum is worth the visit.
The towns also have beatiful baskets of flowers handing on buildings or in planters. Just gorgeous.
So if someone asks you to go to Scotland, just go. The people are wonderful, the scenery is terrific and the food is great.