Friday, October 29, 2010

Edinburgh: Part Deux

Edinburgh Castle.  The statue of the knight is Robert the Bruce.  The chapel is the oldest chapel in the UK and only holds about 20 people maximum.  There are both inside and outside views of it.

Park that our B&B was next to and where they made the first rules of golf.  View from Edinburgh Caslte.  In the Christmas Shoppe.  Richard and Liz Manson.  In front of JK Rowling's house.

Edinburgh is the City of Hearts.  We literally drove right up to the gate of Edinburgh Castle the night we got there.  It was awesome!

Edinburgh: Part Un

 The pope visited Scotland.  He started in Edinburgh then drove to Glasgow in his pope mobile.  We started in Glasgow and drove to Edinburgh to avoid the crowds.  We passed the cardinals that came with him.  There were 2-4 police officers on every bridge on the motorway.  It cost Scotland £8 million to have the pope there for one day.  It was pretty controversial and one of the only things discussed on the radio for 2 weeks...that and the church leader who threatened to burn Qu'rans in Florida...

Views of Edinburgh and Arthur's Seat a.k.a. Pratt's Hill, to the missionaries, who traditionally climb this at the beginning and end of their mission.

Scotland Edinburgh Mission home--now the Scotland Ireland Mission (as of July 1, 2010).   
Notice Joseph McConkie on the plaque.


June Wilde took us to Nardini's, a fun art-deco ice cream shop in Largs.  It's been there for years and is really famous.  It was delicious--thanks again June!

In photo: Richard with June, Ben, Bethany and Joy Wilde.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Irvine, Glasgow and Surrounding Areas

We arrived in Irvine after our drive down the west coast.  In Irvine we stayed with the Wildes, one of Richard’s favorite families he met in Scotland.  Jack and June Wilde have 7 children (only 5 living at home) and a very loving household.  We didn’t originally plan it this way but we ended up staying with them for 5 nights.  We stayed longer partly because we both got colds and aches and needed the time to recuperate.  June was great and basically became our mum while we were there.  We had a lot of fun with the Wildes, especially Jack Jr.

We went to church in Irvine and Richard was happy to see the ward had grown since he had left.  Jack Wilde Sr. is in the bishopric of the Irvine Ward and from the pulpit he announced that Richard would be speaking.  We thought he was joking at first but he said he was serious.  Richard spoke for about 10 minutes.  After church we celebrated Jack Sr.'s birthday with the family and June made a delicious Scottish dinner for us including cream of cauliflower soup, steak pie (for everyone but Marijke) and a veggie pot pie for Marijke, roasted potatoes, trifle and diluting juice with sparkling water.  It was delicious and fun to have a traditional Scottish dinner.

Using Irvine as our HQ we were able to see Glasgow (just a little), Kilsyth (Marijke’s ancestors), Dunsyre and Carmichael (Richard’s ancestors).

Richard's Flat

On Monday the Wildes invited the Favliolis (sp?), a family from Slovakia, over foFamily Home Evening.  They are also known as the Raviolis by a member of the ward or the Pavlovas by the Wildes.  The Favliolis had interesting stories to tell about life in Slovakia.  They brought a traditional Slovakian cake with a sort of sponge and hazelnut cream filling/frosting.  We also played a game with flour and a doughnut (see below).  The family home evening was great.
Kylsyth, home town of Archibald Gardner, Marijke's great-grandfather.  The high street was charming and the buildings date back to when he lived there, but the rest of the town was really disappointing and junkie.
House Archibald Gardner was born in--read and see more here.

Carmichael and Dunsyre were the towns of Richie's ancestors.  June Wilde was so sweet and packed us a delicious lunch to go.  Also, that lovely, fairytale mushroom was huge—like the size of a grapefruit!  Spencer and Emily: Carmichael/Dunsyre is the home of Emma Sommerville.

Glasgow University and the Kelvin Grove Art Museum in Glasgow

Some of our favourite people in Irvine: The  Adiars (Hannah, Hayley and Kathleen), Jack and June Wilde, Jack Jr. and Immanuel.

The doughnut game: Fill a bowl with flour then turn it out on a platter.   Balance a mini doughnut on top.  Take turns cutting a piece of the flour away.  Whoever makes the doughnut fall has to get it out of the flour with their mouth—no hands!

*Don't forget you can click on the photos to view them larger, click a second time to see them even larger*

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Richard's First Day

Richard started his internship at the U.S. Embassy in London today.  He can't really mention on the blog what he did today but he enjoyed it and is looking forward to getting some real assignments later on.  He said the people were all nice and there are even some other Utahns working there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Forress, Inverness, Ullapool, Eilean Donan, Isle of Skye, Glenfinnan, Glencoe, etc.

Marijke is a Robertson and McConkie (or versions of it) often associate with the Robertson Clan.  Also pictured here is a mixture of Inverness, the Inverness castle, Ullapool (top left photo) and Urquhart castle.

From Aberdeen we drove to Forres (collage to come) where both of us have family history.  It was a beautiful little town with lovely parks and flowers (holds a flower festival there each year).  From there we went to Inverness which is sort of like the capitol of the Scottish Highlands.  We didn’t spend a lot of time in either of these places as we still had to get to Ullapool where David Crook (son of Tom and Anne Crook in Perth) and his family live.

The drive to Ullapool was really pretty and Richard had never really seen this side of Scotland, even after living here for two years.  Ullapool is a nice seaside town way up in the northwest of Scotland where many people never go.  The Crooks were really nice and treated us like old friends though we had just met them.  They had three kids and they were all in Gaelic schools where all the lessons are taught in the Gaelic language.  Their kids' names were Mhairi (pronounced Vari, the Gaelic version of Mary), Joe and Finlay (pronounced Finley).

Eilean Donan Castle and drive to Isle of Skye
 We told the Crooks we wanted to drive from Ullapool to Urquhart Castle, then go to the Isle of Skye, and then go to Irvine all in the same day.  They laughed their heads off because they thought our plan was crazy.  We have different perspective on time/distance coming from Utah where it takes 8 hours to get to Denver or 6 to Las Vegas.  We were able to get to see all the we wanted to, even if we didn't have much time to stop or explore.  

Isle of Skye, including Skye Bridge, and the ferry ride to Mallaig...Richard's hair, in desperate need of a haircut, blowing in the wind.
In one day we saw: Urquhart Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, a little bit of the Isle of Skye (it’s pretty big), Glenfinnan Viaduct (featured in the Harry Potter films), the Bonnie Prince Charlie monument (of the Robertson clan) on Loch Shiel (the lake in the Harry Potter films), Glencoe, Fort William and Loch Lomond.  

Our route included a 30 minute ferry from Armadale to Mallaig which is fun for someone from Utah who almost never sees water.  Driving on the Isle of Skye was interesting on the single-track road and alongside the "heeland coos".   They had recently repaved the road and added quite a few pull-out points for passing, but occassionally we'd meet in the middle and one of the cars has to reverse to one of these pull-out points.

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Loch Shiel

All of these places were beautiful and it was great that Richard could finally see them.  We had a lot of fun driving through all these places but the area we covered in one day could really be a full week of sightseeing.