Day 12 and 13 Kilravock

September 27, 2011

This has been an interesting day.  We had our first tourist incident that turned out OK in the end but could have become a nightmare.

Before we left Tulsa, we purchased some travel VISA cards.  These are cards that you pre-load with a certain amount of money.  We were told these were safer than using our regular bank debit cards or credit card, because, they are protected if lost or stolen.  Well, guess what?  We lost one.  We’re not exactly sure how or when it happened, but it may have been left in our hotel in Stirling.  We didn’t discover it was missing until Brian went to pay for our lunch this afternoon.

We still had money on the card so obviously, we wanted to have access to it.  We had about an hour of panic when the bank and VISA both told us that they could cancel the card but the only way we could have access to our funds was to go by the bank that originally gave us the card and pick up a new one.

REALLY?  What part of, “I’m out of the country”, do you not understand?

Four long international phone calls later we finally got things straightened out. I’m thinking,  it should not be so complicated.  Bottom line…I wouldn’t recommend VISA travel cards.

OK-enough of that.

I am writing this tonight offline (Tuesday) and plan to put it online tomorrow.  The place we are staying, Kilravock Castle, only has Internet in the car park (aka parking lot) and I don’t really want to sit out in a cold, dark lot to write this.

Here I am on the grounds of a 14th century castle with my 21st century computer.

Our day, started off with rain.  What a surprise.  But even through the rain we could tell the landscape was changing.  As we drove further into the highlands, the hills became steeper and the land less populated.

Castle in the rain. Taken from the car.

Our drive from Stilrling to Inverness, near Kilravock was about 3 hours. We are very close to the North Sea and Loch Ness, which we hope to explore tomorrow.  Along the way here, we stopped at a nature preserve called, Killiecrankie.  We just took a look around because it was still raining, but they have some good trails, for the experienced hiker.  They also have some beautiful birds.  Some of these are definitely not seen in Oklahoma.

Killicrankie woods.

Formerly unidentified bird. I've been told it's a British Robin. Much smaller than ours in the states.

We are here at Kilravock because one branch of my family, the Rose family, owned this place for centuries.  It was built over several hundred years beginning around 1200.

The family home.

This tower was built by the 7th Baron of Kilravock. (Grandpa Hugh Rose). Mary Queen of Scots stayed here. We climbed the narrow spiral stairs to her chamber. They wouldn't let us photograph inside, though.

Kilravock from the road.

Kilravock from the back.

When I first discovered this a few years ago, I started dreaming of coming here.  I never really thought it would be possible but here I am.  We’re staying in the former  carriage house just a few yards from the castle.

The Carriage House

It has three bedrooms ours is the Primrose Room and just across the hall is the Heather Room.  That would have been fun to have that room.  The room is not fancy but it’s HERE at Kilvarock!  So that’s fine with me.

Primrose room

Our room is the only one in use in this part of the building so we have the place to ourselves.

Our lounge. You can see Brian in the mirror.

We walked around grounds this afternoon.  The garden contains a variety of trees, plants and animals.  One of the trees is supposed to be about 350 years old and it is rumored that the poet Robert Burns used to come visit and may have a family connection here.

Path through the garden.

Another path through the garden.

Nearby the castle there is a field with some of the local Scottish Cows.  They don’t look like Oklahoma Longhorns.

Scottish cow.

This evening we had dinner at the Cawdor Tavern and since it was my birthday, I had a little dessert.  Crème brulle with raspberries, a chocolate cake thingy and chocolate ice cream.   Heavenly….

Forbidden dessert.

And speaking of heaven, even though we started with rain, we ended somewhere over the rainbow.

Somewhere over the rainbow...

September 28, 2011

Right now, Brian and I are sitting in our rental car in the “carpark” at Kilravock Castle.  I have a good Internet connection at the moment but don’t have the cable with me to add photos so those will have to wait until tomorrow.

A brief overview of our day:  We got our indoor tour of the castle.  We were only allowed to take one photo in front of the fireplace.  There are painting of my ancestors all over the walls and I couldn’t take photos.  Guess I will have to google them.

Fireplace in the Kilravock entryway. This fireplace was a gift to one of the Barons but somebody didn't like it because it was left outside for a hundred years or so. It now stands in the reception area.

Then we headed out toward Nairn, where my immigrant ancestor David Rose was born.  We checked a cemetery there but no luck on finding his parents.  Then we went on to Inverness for lunch and shopping.

After lunch we drove around Loch Ness.

Beautiful Loch Ness.

Funny thing is, I actually saw something off in the distance moving fast and creating a wake behind.  It was pretty far away so all I could see was the wake and a dark shape moving through the water above it.

Could it be Nessie?

When I zoomed in with my camera I could see it was a person on a jet sky.  My imagination ran away with me for minute there.

We ended on the battlefield of Culloden.  A stark, sad place.

Culloden battlefield.

We were standing in the middle of the field with the wind blowing the long grass and listening to our audio guide that they gave us at the visitor center when…suddenly, my cell phone rang.  What a jolt!  It was  just a friend calling from Tulsa who didn’t realize we were in Scotland at the moment.

Oh, and Brian ate haggis.  I have the photos to prove it!

Brian with haggis. Can't really see it on the spoon but it's there.

Brian actually EATING haggis. He says it actually wasn't too bad. They spiced it up a lot. Since it's made of misc. guts and other left over animal parts, I didn't try.


8 Responses to Day 12 and 13 Kilravock

  1. Julie Walker Titze says:

    Very cool Liz. I can just imagine how you feel. Glad to hear you had a nice birthday, at your own Castle, no less! :))

  2. Thanks, Julie. That was a quick response. I just finished it. Don’t know if you saw the final edit. I just added a description of our activities today and will added photos tomorrow.

  3. Karen Walker says:

    Sounds wonderful. When you didn’t post yesterday, I got out my travel guide and read it for a while. Because of Brian’s bridges, I started noticing how may bridges are featured in the guide. It is much more fun hearing about your adventures though. Keep enjoying it all. Karen

  4. Roy Dill says:

    Very,very nice. Sorry we missed your birthday. It looks lovely there. I have wanted to see Lock ness for many years! Maybe Deb and I will go someday!

  5. Julie Walker Titze says:

    How was the Haggis? Brian, I have to smile that you tried it, cuz I can remember when you and I were 6 and 4, sitting at the dinner table in Belle Fouche, choking down the liver and onions that Mom had made for dinner! I think that was the last time she made that awful dish. Funny, I can remember that like it happened yesterday! Some things that really happened yesterday, I have already forgotten!!!! LOL!

  6. Alan Salisbury says:

    Unidentified bird – looks like a Robin – males have red fronts, which turn even redder in winter.
    Sign that Winter is on it’s way – I’m guessing no Robins in Tulsa 😦
    Sorry this is a bit late, but still catching up with your blog, after updating my Ancestry tree.

  7. Marcia says:

    Awesome pictures, my dear Niece! I know how fun it is to do all that looking for relatives. Carl & I did that when we were in Germany but the Grabert we were looking for came from a different part of Germany. I am glad I could finally get on your Blog to keep up with you. A castle on your birthday — how neat is that!!

  8. Alan, your robins don’t look like ours. They are smaller.

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