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Places to visit in Scotland

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To:   Marilyn Siperek: MSiperek@aol.com
From: Robert Sinclair Rodger: rodger@is.dal.ca
CC:   Sinclair list: sinclair@zilker.net
Date: 10 July 1998

Marilyn: In response to your e-mail request, dated 3 July 1998,
seeking advice on places to visit during your brief visit to
Scotland in August: the "images" of Scotland include the lochs;
the glens; the mountains; the trout and salmon rivers; the
heather; the deer and highland cattle; the military places,
people and memorials; the ancient abbeys, universities and
castles; and not least are Scotland's two greatest exports --
Scotch Whisky and the Scottish people.  How can you capture
even a glisk o' a' that in less than a week?

I suggest that if you are anywhere near the highland capital of
Inverness, you visit Culloden Battlefield which is about five
miles south-east of the city.  There you'll see the quiet moor,
an ancient cottage, and the numerous memorials to about 1000
highlanders who died there on Wednesday, 16th April 1746,
defending the lost Jacobite cause and their Bonnie Prince
Charlie.  The National Trust for Scotland has an office on the
site with a lot of information.

Of course, you must visit Edinburgh, Scotland's capital; and
about to re-establish the parliament it lost almost 300 years
ago.  You must visit the Castle not only to see the little kirk
dedicated to St. Margaret (of whom we Sinclairs are particularly
fond), but look out over the battlements beside the big gun Mons
Meg at the New Town.  Princes Street directly in front of you is,
I think, somewhat less elegant than it was forty years ago, but
still worth viewing with its gardens, the Scott Monument, and
the Mound where the headquarters (maybe too military a word?)
of the Church of Scotland is to be found.

A walk at least part way down the Royal Mile from the Castle is
rewarded by all the specialty shops (you can even buy a canned
haggis and have it sent to the U.S.A.; so you can REALLY
celebrate Burns' birthday next January), St. Giles Kirk, and
the Parliament Building.  I would go a little further, off the
Royal Mile, and visit Greyfriars Kirk - not just because I was
married there in 1953, but because it was at the centre of
Covenanter actions in the 17th century - and some of my
Lockhart ancestors are buried there.  You may have seen the
Disney movie about Greyfriars Bobbie, a little dog who used to
visit his master's grave in the kirkyard, and to whom a little
fountain was dedicated.

August is the month of the Edinburgh International Festival of
Music and Drama; so it will be particularly busy.  Part of that
Festival is the International Tattoo which is held in the evening
- at dusk - on the Castle Esplanade.  You should try to get
tickets to this inspiring show - you will never forget it.

I have not mentioned the glories of Glasgow (where I was born);
Aberdeen abune them a'; the highland gateway Perth (where my
regiment had its depot); nor the now-much-cleaner bonnie Dundee
-- but you will have to take a second visit to see those, and
the rest.

I hope you all have a wonderful time, and that the weather is
good to you.

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