First Impressions from Scotland

Lochleven Castle - Kinross Scotland

Inside the walls of Lochleven Castle – Kinross Scotland

Although the ten hour flight to the UK was grueling, the one hour shuttle to Edinburgh was a breeze. We caught a bus from the terminal and transferred to a northbound express bus straight through for 20 miles to Kinross. We walked into a nearby supermarket to ask about getting a taxi, and the sweet Scottish miss at the service counter had a taxi on its way within minutes.

A nice house in Kinross

A nice house in Kinross

The patron standing in line behind me picked up on our conversation and asked where I was from. I told him we just arrived this same day from Los Angeles, to which he replied, “And you decided to come here?” like I was crazy or something. He added, “It rains a lot here, even in the summer.” I said, “I’m from Seattle, so rain doesn’t bother me. We call it ‘liquid sunshine.’ Anyway, we came to Scotland because it is on our Bucket List,” I replied happily. He said, “Your Bucket List is it, just like the in the movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? Well, you will love it then. It is beautiful here!” And just like that we were friends.

The garden across from our hotel in Kinross

The garden across from our hotel in Kinross

As we were waiting outside the store for our taxi, he came over as he exited the store. I had just told Florence of the encounter as he smiled and walked up to us, so I made introductions. He even offered us a ride to our hotel, which we declined because we had all of our luggage and he had a small car.

We were relieved to complete the day’s journey at the Windlestrae Hotel in Kinross. After sleeping over ten hours and eating breakfast, we began walking the town. Everything except a coffee shop and corner grocery store were closed on Sunday. The town air is so fresh! No beeping horns, no barking dogs. Just spotlessly clean streets and sidewalks and quaint architecture.

View of Loch Leven and hills from outside the walls of Castle Lochleven

View of Loch Leven and hills from outside the walls of Lochleven Castle

We visited our first historical site, the  Lochleven Castle. Mary Queen of Scots was garrisoned here in 1567. She made a daring escape a few months after being imprisoned, daring because Loch Leven is the largest fresh water lake in Scotland, and the castle is on an island in the lake. She was re-captured soon after.  If you know any of the history of Queen Mary, you know she was ultimately convicted of treason and beheaded to remove the threat of the claim she had to the throne of England.

We are going to Perthshire on Monday. While there is much to see and do there, our first order of business is to find an apartment. If it turns out to be exciting I will share the adventure.

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26 comments on “First Impressions from Scotland

  1. Michele Ricchiazzi says:

    Let the new adventure begin!!

  2. Robert says:

    Besides the rain, Scotland and it’s people are so wonderful.
    Have a wonderful time. The most unique
    trip of my life was to Spitsbergen in Norway 15 years ago in June. Still freezing at that time.

    Robert
    St. Lucia

  3. ‘Liquid Sunshine’ – I love it! Sounds like a beautiful start to a grand adventure Mike. Celeste 🙂

  4. nantubre says:

    Omg, I wish I was there too

  5. sweetsound says:

    Yay you are here! Does this mean you won’t be staying in Edinburgh though?

    • Mike Lince says:

      We could not get property managers in Edinburgh to respond prior to our arrival, so we are checking out Perth first because we made a contact there – someone with a house to share. We may stay in Perth if it looks good because it is central to much of the countryside we hope to visit. Edinburgh may end up as a weekend outing for us.

  6. A friend in Scotland told me that eating Tunnock’s biscuits is a MUST!!! I look forward to reading your new adventures.

    • Mike Lince says:

      We tried fresh scones with soup for lunch today in Perth. I had cherry almond, Florence had raspberry white chocolate. That will have to tide us over until we find Tunnock’s. Thank you for the tip! 🙂 Mike

  7. jimhornnews says:

    Glad you are off to a good start Mike. Well, you didn’t go there for the weather and you knew what to expect. Good luck with the apartment hunting. You may need one with a good heater before your 6 months are up.

    • Mike Lince says:

      We enjoyed a lovely summer day today with a high of 18°C. We both wore fleece and felt perfectly comfortable! I am still hoping for early snow this year. It has been four years since I have skied. It is something to look forward to. Thanks for your comments, Jim. We fondly remember our dinners in Cuernavaca!

  8. Let the adventure begin! I’m so excited for you and Florence – I think you will love living in Scotland. When we lived in London I spent lots of time working in Scotland – it was a joy! Looking forward to reading all about it. ~Terri

    • Mike Lince says:

      We are enjoying the landscapes and the people as we search for a place to live. We really like Perth, and it is so centrally located to the rest of the country. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Terri.

  9. Love, love, love! Can’t wait to follow along!

  10. jim and nena says:

    It is on our bucket list as well, Mike. I have family roots there and I’m the only one of the sibs that hasn’t made the trip yet! haha
    Still loving your blog.

  11. helliepie says:

    I envy you! I was born there and have never spent as much time in Scotland as I crave. But I see no mention of Glasgow on your itinerary; please don’t let its reputation as “No Mean City” prevent you from visiting. Yes, it’s sort of like the Bronx of Scotland, but even the Bronx has its beauties. There is much to see and hear in the town where I was born. The Glasgow Necropolis is a favorite “haunt” of mine (sorry, it’s early, not enough coffee), as are all the free museums. I married my second husband in a mansion at Park Circus (now a registry office) and a more elegant setting you couldn’t hope to see. Yes, go to the Barras, and eat some Danny’s Delicious Donuts, (Better yet, get a “big breakfast” at the Rumbling Tum) and catch a train at Central Station, by George’s Square. Glasgow gets a bum rap, and some of it is deserved, but it is a place well worth a weekend. If you want luxury while you’re there, try One Devonshire Gardens, the boutique hotel where Mr. O and I had our wedding night. Glasgow has its own charms!

    • Mike Lince says:

      Please note my earlier story posted on July 18 and the two previous stories posted on July 16 and 17 respectively, all written from our week in Glasgow. I think the high point for us was the Mitchell Library although we also enjoyed the Botanical Garden. We also enjoyed finding a natural foods store on Argyle Street. We hit a couple of pubs, too, so we did not slight Glasgow. Thank you for sharing your insights. We are headed back to Glasgow in a couple of weeks for the bagpipe competition, so we may get to try one of your suggested spots.

      • helliepie says:

        I did find your earlier posts, and so I apologize! I really do envy you. I married a Scot in 2000, and had some hopes of living there at least part-time, alas, he died in 2005, and my prospects of getting back “home” are not great now. But your blog is a lovely window onto what I always think of as home. Thanks!

      • Mike Lince says:

        No need to apologize – I was delighted by your advocacy for Glasgow, which, BTW, I agree with wholeheartedly! And I appreciate your sightseeing suggestions. Thanks again for your comments. – Mike

  12. Brilliant stuff! Thank you for checking out my photographer’s blog also – all the best, Michael

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