I originally started the Wandering Dawgs blog as a way to keep friends and family updated as we traveled from Georgia to Alaska in 2013. Six years later, the blog is still going strong. We’re not traveling as much in our RV anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.
On this day six years ago, August 1, 2013, we were nearing the end of our stay in Alaska. That day, we drove from Glacier View, Alaska, to Valdez, our last major Alaska destination. I remember that drive was one of the most spectacular drives of our Alaska journey.
There were mountains and glaciers along the way.
We had lunch with a view.
As we got close to Valdez we descended a long steep grade through Keystone Canyon and saw jaw dropping scenery as we drove by. We couldn’t stop while towing the fifth wheel so I took these waterfall phtotos the next day when we drove back up the highway for a closer look.
Our four days in Valdez were a great way to end our Alaska adventure before we began our return trip to Georgia.
The drive from Inverness to our next destination, Aberdeen was not very far. To get there all we had to do was stay on the same road through about 50 round-a-bouts. The drive took us through several pretty villages and beautiful countryside. We were in desperate need of a laundry so when I spotted a self serve launderette at a gas station we pulled over and washed clothes.
The beautiful old trees and gardens surrounding the MacDonald Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen made me feel like I was on a country estate. The hotel was once a private home and later converted to a hotel. Although it is supposedly haunted we didn’t see any ghosts. While we enjoyed a delicious dinner in the dining room there was a wedding going on in another part of the hotel.
The next day was another short driving day. Before we left Aberdeen we were talking to the father of the groom from the wedding the night before. He lived near Aberdeen and gave me some insight about my Scottish ancestors who emigrated to America from the area. He also recommended we stop at Donnottar Castle on our way to Fife.
I’m so glad we took his advice. We ventured off the main road to visit the castle which sits on a cliff high above the North Sea. The fog made it really eerie.
It was early afternoon when we arrived at Fernie Castle in Fife, our home for the night. We enjoyed having time to relax and enjoy the castle and the beautiful grounds. The castle was haunted but alas, we never saw a ghost there, either.
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland
Huge Yew tree at Fernie Castle
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland
The bar at Fernie Castle was once a storage area for castle
There are Highland Cows, a horse and goats on the grounds of Fernie Castle. One of the things on my bucket list for Scotland was to see a Highland Cow up close and personal so I thoroughly enjoyed watching them and taking lots of photos. Hamish was not shy and came over to see what I was doing while the Heather ignored me and kept on eating her grass. I fed Hamish some potatoes and other vegetables but when I tried to pet him he nudged me gently with one of his horns to let me know he didn’t like it.
Hamish the Highland Cow at Fernie Castle, Scotland
Feeding Hamish the Highland Cow at Fernie Castle, Scotland
Horse at Fernie Castle
We said good bye to Hamish, Heather and Fernie Castle and continued on to Edinburgh for our last two nights in Scotland. The city is built on hills with Edinburgh Castle at the end of the Royal Mile on top of one of the hills . The walk to the Royal Mile from our hotel was down steep stone stairs and through an alley. We spent a day and a half wandering along the Royal Mile.
Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland
Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
Bagpiper on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Yes, there are unicorns in Scotland
In case you need to call someone while strolling the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland
Our small tour bus with Rabbie’s Tours departed Inverness early on a Saturday morning for a 12 hour tour across the Scottish Highlands. As we rode from place to place our guide Colin filled us in on Scottish history and folklore.
Soon after leaving Inverness we were riding along with views of Loch Ness to our left. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one on the bus who was searching for Nessie, more commonly known as the Loch Ness Monster. We didn’t stop at Nessieland, a small theme park.
Our only stop on Loch Ness was at historic Urquhart Castle. The castle is undergoing some restoration and we did not tour it. It was our last chance to see Nessie and she wasn’t cooperating.
Most of the day was spent on the spectacular Isle of Skye. There are dramatic mountains and cliffs, charming seaside villages, and gorgeous scenery all around the island.
We stopped in the town of Portree for lunch and a view of the harbor.
A few people on the bus brought back some beer from the Isle of Skye Brewery.
Our last stop on the Isle of Skye was the town of Kyleakin. It was raining as we walked around the waterfront with a nice view of the the Skye Bridge and the Kyleakin Lighthouse.
It rained most of the way back to Inverness. When we arrived in Inverness that Saturday night the restaurants and pubs were hopping with young people out on the town. We found a restaurant with no wait, had a quick supper and called it a night after a long but fantastic day.
It was really sad leaving beautiful Ireland but the time had come to move on to Scotland. We boarded the Stena SuperFast VII Ferry in Belfast for our 2 1/2 hour voyage to Cairnryan, Scotland. The ferry was huge with lounges, restaurants, and even free WiFi. The seas were calm and the sky was clear for the entire trip.
As the ferry was passing by our first sighting of Scotland, we saw the Corsewall Lighthouse.
We picked up our rental car at the ferry dock and were soon traveling on Scotland’s roads on our way to Glasgow, our first destination.
Glasgow is a huge city, much bigger than I thought it would be and we only had one full day to explore. After a good night’s rest we enjoyed our first Full Scottish Breakfast before starting our sightseeing. Henry tried the haggis with eggs, I passed on the haggis. We set out on foot to explore the area around the hotel. Our wandering took us to the Museum of Modern Art, George Square and the Glasgow City Council Building.
We decided the best way to see the highlights of Glasgow would be to take the Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour. The tour was about two hours around the city, making a few stops along the way. If you got off, you could get on another bus to continue the tour. The top deck of the red double decker buses were open and a guide pointed out places of interest as we went. The city is an interesting mix of old and new.
The next day our adventure was a ride from Glasgow to Inverness in our rental car. After a few wrong turns and a ride through the Glasgow suburbs the scenery got better and better as the day went on.
Inverness is a much smaller city with the River Ness running right through the center of town and a castle at the top of a hill. The name Inverness means “mouth of the Ness”. We arrived early enough to take a walk beside the river.
Next up, a full day bus tour through the Scottish Highlands.