Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey – ipl: Information You Can Trust

Forty-fourth Lighthouse Expedition

July 15-30, 2004
Scotland with the United States Lighthouse Society

July 15, 2004, Thursday

1:45 pm (EDT)
Our daughter, Andrea, and grandson, Hayden, picked us up at home and drove us to the airport.
2:50 pm
We arrived at Metro airport in Detroit and said our farewells to Andrea and Hayden. We checked in and dropped off our luggage. While going through security, they went through both our carry on bags. Don had forgotten about a little tool bag he carries and they took a small pocket knife and a cork screw. Glad to know they are on the ball! He just wished he’d packed them in his checked luggage. By 3:15 pm we were at our gate. We had a long wait but we ate some dinner while waiting for our flight to be called.
6:30 pm
Our little commuter plane, Air Canada Jazz, left the airport with about 20 passengers on board.
7:40 pm
We arrived in Toronto.
7:55 pm
After 3 shuttles, we arrived at our gate for our flight to Scotland. The FIRST gate. There were to be 3 more gate changes before we reached our final gate. While we were waiting, we met up with some other members of the tour group – Mary and Phil Borkowski (who had 6 gate changes while they waited) from Ann Arbor, Nancy Johnsen and Donna Basso (who just made the flight) from Minneapolis, and Lynne and Jim Millies (who drove to Toronto) from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. We finally boarded our Air Canada flight at 11:05 pm.
11:35 pm
Our plane left the ground – one hour late! During the flight a man became quite ill. There was quite a bit of commotion in front of us as he was attended to. There was also a very fussy baby on board who finally fell asleep just as we were leaving the plane. So under the circumstances, we did not sleep during the flight.

July 16, 2004, Friday

10:40 am (BST, Scotland Time)
Funny thing, the airport in Glasgow didn’t have a gate for us either, so they parked us out on the tarmac away from the terminal. We were an hour late and the man who was ill needed to be taken off the plane first. In the mean time, we sat on the plane – for another hour. The Scotland Public Health Department came on board and said while they didn’t think the gentleman had an airborne illness, they were going to take some precautions. Each passenger had to fill out a brief itinerary where they could be reached while in Scotland and we were each given a card with the Public Health Department phone numbers in case we were to become ill while in the country. Thus a physician could call and get details about the kind of illness the passengers had been exposed to. (Fortunately none of this information was needed.) We were shuttled to the terminal, had a long wait for our luggage, went through customs and were delighted to find Iain MacDonald, our Scottish guide for the tour, waiting for us. We went to the bus and there were other tour members who had been waiting for our plane to land and be "released" for about 4 hours. They were happy to finally see us. We felt bad that they had been waiting so long, but it really wasn’t our fault.
12:45 pm
We were finally on the bus and on our way to Edinburgh.
2:15 pm
We arrived at the Royal Terrace Hotel in Edinburgh. We got to our room (very small) and organized our belongings as best we could. Our room was on the third floor and it overlooked a beautiful garden and a very large chess board – the kind people walk on to move their pieces. We got a map of Edinburgh and took off walking to see some of the sites near the hotel.
7:30 pm
We had a great dinner in the hotel dining room where the entire group was assembled. Our traveling companions for the next two weeks would be: Helene Agnew from Norwood, PA; Ron and Pat Bandock from Collingswood, NJ; Donna Basso from Mt. Iron, MN; Phil and Mary Borkowski from Ann Arbor, MI; John and Donna Bowie from Milton, MA; Don Broadbent from Petaluma, CA; Ken and Margie Conard from Louisville, KY; Holly Dahms from Menomonee Falls, WI; Bev Dobosz and daughter Debbie Dobosz from San Jose, CA; Henry Harding and Pam Perry from Pheonix, AZ; Dave and Phyllis Idell from Milton, MA; Dorothy Jarczynski from Clinton Twp., MI; Nancy Johnsen from Minneapolis, MN; Al and Jean Krueger from Sonora, CA; Wally and Sue Miiller (yep, two i’s and 2 l’s) from Wilmette, IL; Jim and Lynne Millies from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI; Carol Nettleton from Maplewood, MN; Shirley Reeve from Rochester Hills, MI; Kathie Renard from Thurmont, MD; Shirley Roberts from Greenville, SC; John and Nancy Sampson from Ft. Meyers, FL; Dan and Donna Serven from Ozark, MO; Dave Snyder, our tour leader from the USLHS from San Francisco, CA; Len and Jan Stahlgren from Louisville, KY; Ron and Nancy Stewart from Whittier, CA; Howard and Joyce Sykes from Durham, NC; Johanna Trowbridge from Haddon Heights, NJ; and Mary Wheeler from Irvine, CA. Most everyone was pretty tired after traveling from various parts of the U.S. (although some had arrived the day before) and we went to bed early.

July 17, 2004, Saturday

7:30 am
Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
9:00 am
We had a bus tour of Edinburgh with Iain and a bus driver named Robert. We went to the Port of Leith first and then headed toward Old Town Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Castle is high on a hill and can be seen from most anywhere in Old Town. The town grew up around the castle first and then kept expanding. What they call New Town was mostly built from 1760 to 1840. The wealthy people moved out of Old Town to New Town. New Town is mostly Georgian architecture as the town was being built during the time of King George IV. We passed the statue of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (better known as Sherlock Holmes) and the Conan Doyle Pub where it is said he frequented. We also passed the building for the Northern Lighthouse Board which is the group responsible for all the lighthouses in Scotland. They have a cute lighthouse model on the front of the building. When they were contacted about our visit, the group (as well as the tour in 2003) were denied access to most of the lights. We could photograph them but not enter the towers or climb them. They are not quite as "friendly" as other counties we have visited. They sighted "safety and insurance" problems as their reason. Other sites on the bus tour included: residence of the First Prime Minister on Charlotte Square, beautiful churches (most of them The Church of Scotland which is Presbyterian) statue of Kathryn Sinclair who started a school for servant girls – the only monument to a woman in Scotland, the home of the author Robert Lewis Stephenson, a monument to Sir Walter Scott and a statue of Abraham Lincoln in a cemetery to honor those Scots who died during the American Civil War. Other sights we saw: a statue of Robert Burns the Scottish poet, The Palace of Holyroodhouse which is the Queens official residence when she is visiting Scotland (Balmoral Castle is her private property), and the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, the little dog who sat on his masters grave for fourteen years.
10:25 am
We arrived at Edinburgh Castle for our tour. The weather so far seemed to be typical of Scotland: Rain, then sunshine and then light showers again. We enjoyed walking around the castle. There were lots of people as this is one of the major visitors attractions in the city.
12:00 pm
We were back on the bus and arrived at the Museum of Scotland at 12:10. After a brief visit there, we started walking back into Old Town and shopped on the Royal Mile. Our son-in-law, Duffy Baxter, asked that we bring him some "Baxter" tartan. After stopping in several shops and having no luck we arrived at the Scottish Woolen Mill and discovered that the Baxter tartan is no longer being made. We found some "Baxter" items with the family crest and picked those up for him along with a poster showing the old Baxter tartan. We ran into Dave Snyder along the way and he walked along with us. We took his picture with a fellow dressed as one of the Scottish warriors from "Braveheart" era. We also found the Greyfriars Bobby statue and took a picture there. The three of us stopped at The Royal McGregor for lunch. We found with the current exchange rate that things are very expensive in Scotland. When we exchanged our money, it was just about $2 to the pound. Thus a £4.99 hamburger became a $10.00 hamburger for us! It kind of took the fun out of shopping and eating!!! After lunch Dave went on his way and we did some more shopping and sight seeing. We found the Hard Rock Café and bought our son David a T-Shirt. He is getting quite a collection from our travels.
5:30 pm
We returned to the Royal Terrace Hotel.
7:10 pm
Dinner was on our own this evening. We walked to the bottom of the hill and ate dinner at the Bronx Diner. A little bit of New York in Edinburgh! Don had the fish and chips and Diana had the lasagna and neither were very good. We returned to the hotel and crashed. We were still trying to adjust to the time change and we had had a very busy day with lots of walking.

July 18, 2004, Sunday

It’s very sunny today and they are predicting 70 F.

7:50 am
Breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 am
The bus left the hotel and headed towards Leith.
9:10 am
We arrived at a spot where we could see the Inchkeith Lighthouse off shore. This is a photo opportunity only, and not a very good one at that. The light is located in the Firth of Forth and was built in 1804. We left 5 minutes later.
10:00 am
We arrived in North Berwick. Along the way we viewed the Tantallon Castle from the bus. We could see the Isle of May Lighthouse way off in the distance. We could also see the Fidra Lighthouse, but it too was a long ways off in the distance. Fidra Light sits on an island in the Firth of Forth and was built in 1855.
10:30 am
The boat left the dock and we headed toward Bass Rock. The wooden boat is forty years old and along with our group there were some others so the boat was quite full. The captain, Chris Marr, is also the attendant of the lighthouse.
11:00 am
Arrived on Bass Rock where the Bass Rock Light is located. Because the tide was out, it was not an easy climb from the boat to the dock area. Some people chose not to make the climb. However, they were able to get good photos from the boat. Bass Rock has the largest colony of gannet birds in the world! Believe me, they were everywhere. The top of the rock is white due to lots of birds and bird droppings! We were able to get into the tower and the view of the shore line was beautiful. The lighthouse sits on the side of this large rock island located in the Firth of Forth. The lighthouse was built in 1902.
12:00 pm
The boat left Bass Rock and returned to North Berwick at about 12:30.
1:00 pm
The group walked from the boat dock to the Grange Restaurant for an excellent lunch. Diana had the salmon and Don had the gammon (ham). The food was great, but the wait for service was way too long. Lunch took two hours!!!
3:10 pm
The bus left North Berwick. The weather was beautiful.
3:15 pm
We got closer to the Fidra Lighthouse, but there was not time to stop for photos, much to Don’s dismay.
4:00 pm
We arrived at the Roslyn Chapel. This beautifully ornate chapel is known world wide for it’s unique carvings. It was built in 1446 and is full of symbolism of Biblical stories, Knights Templar and Free Masonry as well as some pagan images. The chapel is used for weekly services for the Scottish Episcopal Church. The chapel is in the process of renovation, so it was surrounded by scaffolding. As we left the chapel we passed the Roslyn Bio Center where "Dolly" the sheep was cloned.
5:20 pm
We arrived back at the Royal Terrace Hotel. The temperature was 72 F! Nice day!
7:30 pm
We had dinner in the hotel dining room. We had chicken and wonderful lemon tarts.
8:55 pm
Don and Diana walked to the Palace of Holyroodhouse which was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Tours are available, but we were there after hours. When the bus drove by yesterday, there wasn’t even a place for the bus to park so we could take pictures. This evening there were no cars around and we were able to get pictures from several angles. The Palace is best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots. These days the Royal Apartments are used by The Queen for state ceremonies and official entertaining. We arrived back at the hotel about 9:25 pm.

July 19, 2004, Monday

7:30 am
We had breakfast at the hotel. Iain announced we would not be following the printed itinerary for the day. (As it turned out, that happened several days!)
8:45 am
We left the Royal Terrace Hotel and Edinburgh. We now had two buses and our two drivers were George and Gary.
9:10 am
We stopped to view the suspension bridge (and to take a break) that we would be crossing over the Firth of Forth. The bridge was built in 1965. The 1895 rail bridge also crosses the Firth right near by. The buses were parked near Hawes Inn, the scene of Robert Lewis Stephenson’s book Kidnapped.
9:35 am
We crossed the Forth Bridge over the Firth of Forth. We had a very good view of the rail bridge while crossing.
9:50 am
We passed by Loch Leven and could see the ruins of the Loch Leven Castle built in the late 14th century on an island in the Loch. This was where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in the 1560’s.
10:05 am
We arrived and had a tour of Falkland Palace which was the residence and hunting lodge of eight Stuart monarchs, including Mary Queen of Scots. The palace was built between 1501 and 1541, and is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. It includes a beautiful Catholic Royal Chapel which currently holds services and is surrounded by beautiful gardens which were added in the 1950’s. We also saw The Royal Tennis Courts, which are considered to be the world’s oldest. We left at 11:20.
11:55 am
We arrived in the town of St. Andrews. This town is probably best known for the St. Andrews Old Course, the golf course where it is believed the game of golf was played for the first time in the 1400’s. However, St. Andrew’s University, where Prince William now attends, is also well known. It is the oldest university in Scotland. Both of Iain’s daughters attended there. Iain took us on a quick tour of the University area and to the ruins of the St. Andrew’s Cathedral and Priory. We were on our own for lunch. We met back at the buses and left at 1:20 pm.
1:55 pm
We arrived at the Elie Ness Lighthouse which was built in 1908. The buses parked so we could see the light across a small bay. This was only a photo opportunity. We left at 2:10.
2:25 pm
We arrived in the town of Anstruther and boarded the boat the "May Princess." We could see the Anstruther Pier Lighthouse as we left the harbor. We had an hour long boat ride to the Isle of May, five miles out into the Firth of Forth. During the trip we met a young Scotsman, Iain Hamilton, who was going to the island to see the wildlife. He thought it was interesting that we were going there just to see the lighthouses. We could see the lighthouses as we approached the island. The island is situated at the "mouth" of the Firth. It has been a National Nature Reserve since 1956. There are 68,000 pairs of puffins, 7,000 pairs of kittiwakes, 18,000 pairs of guillemots, 2,000 razorbills along with shags and terns. When the boat landed we had a brief talk from one of the naturalists, Therese Alampo, who stays on the island for 7 months of the year. Besides seeing all the birds, we also enjoyed many beautiful flowers and we could see seals out in the water. The first lighthouse there was built in 1636 and is now only ruins of the bottom part of a square tower. It was first lit by coal. The Isle of May Main Light was built in 1816. It looks like a castle. The Isle of May Low Light is down the hill and nearer to the water. It was built in 1844.
5:30 pm
The boat left the Isle of May and we went along the backside of the island where we could see caves and at the tip of the island were many seals.
6:35 pm
The boat docked back in Anstruther.
6:50 pm
The buses left. We did not have time to visit the Fife Ness Lighthouse! Another bummer!
7:05 pm
We passed the St. Andrew’s Old Course again.
7:25 pm
We made a very quick stop to photograph the Tayport High Light and the Tayport Low Light. The buses parked along the highway and those who wanted to photograph them had to run down a steep hill and then climb back up again. These lights were on the south side of the river leading to the Firth of Tay. The buses left at 7:35 pm We passed through the town of Dundee and had a brief glimpse of the North Carr Lightship.
8:35 pm
We arrived at the Montrose Park Hotel in the town of Montrose. We had a much larger room in the "attic." It was a nice comfortable room. We had been expected earlier and the hotel was nice to keep the staff on duty so we could have dinner. We ate with Jim and Lynne Millies and discovered that we had been on a GLLKA trip of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie together in 1993. Small world! After dinner we walked with Dave Snyder and Jim Millies hoping to see the Skurdie Ness Lighthouse. We realized it was much further than we thought. We returned to the hotel at 11:20 and a few minutes later the manager, Allan James, agreed to take a van load of us to a beach area where we could view the light. Dave, Jim, Jan Stahlgren, Margie Conard, Don Broadbent, Carol Nettleton and Holly Dahms joined us for the ride with Allan. It was beautiful on the beach at night and the Scurdie Ness Lighthouse was shining out to sea. We returned to the hotel at 11:40 pm.

July 20, 2004

Andrea and Duffy’s Eighth wedding anniversary.

7:30 am
We had breakfast at the hotel.
8:50 am
We left the Montrose Park Hotel in Montrose. As we drove through the town, we saw a young man with a University of Michigan sweatshirt on. GO BLUE!
9:15 am
The buses dropped us off at the boat dock in Arbroath. Diana was very excited to be in this town. This is the town from which her great-great-great grandparents, Ann and Robert Gibson left Scotland and went to Ontario, Canada with their 11 children in 1834. We didn’t have much time now to look around as we had to get on the boat, Girl Katherine II for our trip to Bell Rock. This was not an easy task. The tide was very low so the boat was not able to pick us up at the usual spot. In order to get on board, we had to climb straight down a 15 foot narrow ladder which was attached to a cement wall. Don was the first one down the ladder and he and some of the others were very helpful in getting camera cases, purses, and backpacks down and also by giving lots of encouragement as each person made the descent from the dock to the boat. This took 45 minutes!!!
10:05 am
The Girl Katherine II with Captain Alex Smith at the helm left the dock.
11:30 am
The boat finally reached the Bell Rock Lighthouse. The rock is a very small island and many ships were wrecked there before the light was built in 1811. A bell had hung on the rock to warn ships before the tower was built, thus the name "Bell Rock." When the tide is high, the water comes several feet up the base of the lighthouse and only the light tower can be seen. The door is 33 feet from the rock base and up a steep ladder. Fortunately, we didn’t have to climb that one! The three keepers were on duty here for a month at a time. It would have been a very lonely place and very frightening during storms. There was netting over the lantern room to keep birds from building nests. We saw lots of grey seals on the rocks and on our way back we saw a minke whale and some porpoise. A Scottish Air Force base is nearby and we got "buzzed." One jet was flying rather low and gave us quite a scare! We also saw loons in the water as we returned.
1:10 pm
We arrived back at the dock and the tide had come in some, so we were able to leave the boat without having to climb back up the steep ladder. There was a small lighthouse on the pier that was built in the 1700’s.
1:30 pm
Iain had arranged for us to have lunch at the Bervie Chipper Restaurant. Diana ate quickly so she could walk around the old part of Arbroath. She even made it to the ruins of the Abbey.
3:05 pm
A tour of the Signal Tower Museum was given to the group by Fiona Guest. Diana arrived about 10 minutes later and was in on most of the tour.
4:10 pm
The buses left Arbroath.
4:35 pm
The buses arrived at an area to park so we could hike to the Scurdie Ness Lighthouse, the one we had seen from the beach the night before. Those who didn’t want to make the hike were taken back to the Park Hotel in Montrose. It took about 20 minutes of brisk walking to hike to the lighthouse. There was a nice path along the River Esk and it wasn’t a difficult walk. The Scurdie Ness Lighthouse was built in 1870 and is a very tall tower of 128 feet. On the way back to the bus, it started raining. Good thing we carried those umbrellas with us!! We left at 5:50 pm.
6:00 pm
The bus arrived back at the Park Hotel in Montrose.
7:30 pm
We had dinner at the hotel and I’m sure they were happy to have us arrive on time this evening. We had lamb and ate with the two couples from the Boston area, David and Phyllis Idell and Donna and John Bowie. They were happy to be in Scotland and not home trying to fight traffic and road closings due to the Democratic National Convention going on in Boston. We had a great day of sunshine, clouds and some rain and nice warm temperature (for Scotland!)

July 21, 2004, Wednesday

8:00 am
We had breakfast in the hotel in Montrose.
9:05 am
The buses left the Montrose Park Hotel and we headed north traveling along the North Sea.
9:35 am
We arrived at Tod Head Lighthouse. The road was very narrow and the buses had a difficult time turning around at the wall near the lighthouse. They got both of them turned around and people scattered to get pictures. The lighthouse is on a cliff and there were lots of sheep nearby. The best views of the lighthouse were from the rocks near the water’s edge. The Tod Head Lighthouse was built in 1897. Right after we got back on the buses, the sun came out!
10:35 am
We arrived at the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. This castle was the setting for the 1991 filming of "Hamlet" starring Mel Gibson. The buses left at 11:10.
11:15 am
We arrived in the town of Stonehaven for a morning break. By the time we left at noon, it was very sunny and warm.
12:20 pm
We arrived in the city of Aberdeen. This city is a major seaport and ferries depart from here to the Shetland Islands. It is Scotland’s third largest city and the major industry is North Sea Oil. The Rivers Dee and Don run through this city.
12:30 pm
The next stop was Girdle Ness Lighthouse located at the harbor entrance in Aberdeen. This light was built in 1833 and stands 121 feet tall. It is located near a golf course and there is a road which goes around the wall of the lighthouse. There was a pillar nearby and Dave Snyder climbed the pillar and took pictures for anyone who wanted to hand him their camera. The wall was blocking part of the light tower and the view from the top of this pillar gave an unobstructed view. After Dave climbed down, Don got up there for more pictures.
1:05 pm
We left Girdle Ness. As we drove through the city, Iain told us some of the history of the city. It started as a herring fishing port.
1:30 pm
We were dropped off at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum for a brief visit there and then we walked along Union Street and did some shopping. We also had lunch.
4:05 pm
Once back on the buses, we toured more of the city. We passed Marischal College which was founded in 1593 and is the second largest granite structure in the world. We stopped at the Cathedral of St. Machar, started in 1131. The present structure dates from the 15th century. The heraldic ceiling contains 3 rows of shields depicting the notable sovereigns of Europe and the noble and ecclesiastical households of Scotland. There were also many beautiful stained glass windows. We were there about one half hour before leaving at 4:50.
5:20 pm
After viewing more of the city from the bus, we arrived at the Hilton Aberdeen Treetops hotel in the outskirts of Aberdeen.
7:30 pm
We had dinner at the hotel with Mary and Phil Borkowski. They will be staying on in Scotland for an additional 2 weeks to view additional sights and see more lighthouses. Boy, are they lucky!
9:30 pm
We finally had a chance to play TIC. This is a card game which we have taught many people on our travels. Dave Snyder, Carol Nettleton, Jean and Al Krueger joined us with Nancy Johnsen kibitzing. We were in the bar area of the hotel and the waiter was nice to let us use a couple of tables even though we didn’t order anything. He brought us two pitchers of orange cordials (diluted orange juice) which was very refreshing. We played until about 11:00 and then called it a night.

July, 22, 2004, Thursday

7:45 am
We had breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 am
The buses left the Aberdeen Hilton Treetops Hotel in Aberdeen. We were once more heading north along the coast.
9:50 am
We stopped for a long range photo shot of the Buchan Ness Lighthouse.
10:00 am
We arrived at the Buchan Ness Lighthouse. We were told not to cross the bridge as this is private property and the owners are not inclined to allow visitors. While others were out photographing, two nice Scottish ladies, Barbara and Mary were curious about the sudden group of photographers descending on their quiet village of Boddam. They said we could cross the bridge as long as we didn’t try to go through the gate. The dogs wouldn’t have welcomed us anyway! They are disappointed about the appearance of the light since it was purchased by an English couple. Barbara said "They’ve let it down." Mary was from the Shetland Islands and she left there due to some religious difficulties. She is so happy to be living in this village and thinks very highly of Mary who "took her in and befriended her." We wanted to get a picture and they finally agreed with Mary hiding behind me as she felt she was not dressed properly. They told me I was "alright" due to my Scottish heritage. Several others talking with them told of their Scottish heritage too, so they also became "alright." We so enjoyed this opportunity to get to know these dear ladies. We left Boddam at 10:35.
11:10 am
The buses parked and we began the long trek over the sand dunes to see the Rattray Head Lighthouse. The light was built in 1895. This tower stands on a 46 foot high brick base and in total is 120 feet above the rock. When the tide is in, it is completely surrounded by water. When the tide is out, you can walk to the base of the tower. The tide was out while we were there. Several of the photographers went down the dunes to get pictures from the sea level. I was surprised to find this large sand dune in Scotland. After viewing and photographing the light on this beautiful sunny day, we went to Ratty’s Tearoom. Some of our group had tea and scones. They also have a Bed and Breakfast there. We left at 12:15 pm.
12:20 pm
We stopped to take pictures of some church ruins. We decided to call it "The Little Kirk of Rattray" since we didn’t know the real name. We left at 12:30.
12:55 pm
We arrived at the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse and the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh. We were divided into two groups, with one group viewing the lighthouse and the other having lunch; then the two groups switched. We went to the lighthouse first with Lawrence as our guide. The many concrete posts near the lighthouse were used to dry fishing nets before the nylon nets came into use in the 1970’s. The old light tower is part of the remains of the castle belonging to the Fraser family. The base (castle part) of the old lighthouse is 500 years old and the walls are a meter thick. The light was built in 1787 and was the first built by the Northern Lighthouse Board. The "new" light was built in 1929 and does not have the aesthetic appeal of the old light. At this location in Scotland there are 17 hours of darkness in January and 6 hours of darkness in July and winds here can reach 140 miles per hour! The Shetland Islands are 12 hours away by boat. The lens of the old light weighs 4 1/2 tons and has 2 bulls eyes. We climbed 69 steps to the lens area. After viewing the light, we went to the dining room of the Museum for lunch and had very good fish and chips.
2:55 pm
We all gathered in a conference room for a presentation by Bob McIntosh who is a civil engineer for the Northern Lighthouse Board. He had a power point presentation showing many of Scotland’s 199 lights. Eighty-four are considered major as they can be seen from at least 15 miles away. The board is working on modernizing several light stations as places where people can stay. The presentation was over at 3:30 and the buses left the museum at 4:15.
4:50 pm
We arrived in the town of Banff at the Banff Springs Motel. From the window in our room we could view the ocean and the beautiful countryside.
6:30 pm
We left the hotel to return to Fraserburgh.
7:10 pm
We arrived back at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses for a wonderful buffet. We could not believe all the food! We were entertained by the Ugy Folk Society group consisting of four guys and a gal. We enjoyed their various instruments and the many Scottish songs they performed for us. As we were getting ready to leave, there was a beautiful sunset that we could see through the windows.
9:50 pm
Buses departed the museum and we returned to the Banff Springs Hotel at 10:30.

July 23, 2004, Friday

7:30 am
We had breakfast at the hotel.
8:35 am
The buses left the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff on a beautiful sunny morning. We enjoyed viewing the beautiful little villages along the seashore.
9:10 am
We passed through the town of Fochabers. Diana had so hoped to be able to stop at the Baxters Store here to do some shopping for our daughter and son-in-law. We passed the store, but there was no time to stop. There are only 4 Baxters stores in Scotland! The Baxters have been in business since 1868 and produce fine soups, sauces, preserves and condiments. Several of the hotels had little jars of Baxter jam on their breakfast buffets. (We did bring a few of those home.) We also found cans of Baxter soup and a large jar of mint jelly in a grocery store which we bought to give to Andrea and Duffy. It just would have been fun to have been able to stop there since we weren’t able to buy Duffy the Baxter tartan he had wanted. The store in Fochabers is the original and has a restaurant, deli, gift shop, and food shop. As we traveled along, Iain told us of many of the animals who inhabit Scotland: red and grey squirrels, mink, wolves, fox, deer, pheasant, snakes (grass and the poisonous adder), and of course many species of birds.
9:30 am
We stopped in the town of Elgin to photograph the Elgin Cathedral. This was the last area of the country to embrace the reformation and was a strong Catholic stronghold. We left 5 minutes later.
9:50 am
We arrived at the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse in Lossiemouth. This is another light located on a golf course. We parked near a golf pro shop and the owner was very interested in lighthouses. Dave Snyder gave her some information about the USLHS. We were not given very good directions on how to reach the lighthouse and ended up having to climb a fence! We found the right path and returned to the buses and left at 10:45.
11:05 am
We spotted a nimrod plane taking off from the Kinloss Air Force Base located nearby.
11:30 am
We saw the Cowdor Castle off in the distance. This area was a Campbell Clan stronghold.
11:45 am
We stopped at the Clava Cairns, ancient burial grounds, for pictures. This area dates back 5000 years and the graves were known as passage graves.
12:10 pm
We arrived at the Culloden Battlefield. This is where Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite army were finally defeated in 1746. We had lunch in the visitors’ center there. The buses left at 1:25.
1:35 pm
We crossed the bridge over the Moray Firth in Inverness and headed north along the shore of the peninsula.
2:00 pm
We reached the Chanonry Point Lighthouse built in 1846. It was very windy and the clouds were very ominous. There was a large crowd of people on the beach watching dolphins out in the water. Across the large bay was Fort George. It was built after the battle of Culloden for the army of George II and is still an active army barracks. We left at 2:30 and it started raining. As we traveled along, we could see several oil rigs in the Firth.
2:55 pm
We arrived at the Cromarty Lighthouse and it was sunny again. We had a short walk to the lighthouse and were met by Mr. Douglas Matheson. He is 83 years young and has been the attendant keeper since 1985. This location is also a seal and dolphin research center for the University of Aberdeen. David Lusseau spoke to the group about the work being done there. Dolphins are identified by their fins. Therefore they can be photographed at a distance and still be identified. The research center also determines the migration path of whales for the oil industry. We were able to climb the 37 steps in the lighthouse tower and view the surrounding area from the walkway. This lighthouse was built in 1846.
4:00 pm
In order to save some time, the buses dropped us off and drove around the firth while we viewed the lighthouse. We took the Ferry from Cromarty to Balinpaling across the inlet from the Moray Firth to Cromarty Bay. The water was very choppy and it was windy. We saw several oil rigs in the firth and the bay. Some of the group got their shoes very wet as they were leaving the ferry! The buses were there to pick us up and we left at 4:20.
4:45 pm
We arrived at the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse. This light is located at the very tip of the peninsula between the Moray Firth and the Dornoch Firth and was built in 1830. It is 135 feet tall and has two red stripes on the white tower. Mr. Tom Lane has been the attendant keeper for 12 years. He was formerly an aircraft engineer. He said the job is similar "only the nuts and bolts are put together in a different way." The former keeper’s dwellings are owned or rented out since the light was automated in 1986. One couple from the United States visits several times a year, staying a month at a time. There are 182 steps to the top of the tower and it is the second tallest on the mainland of Scotland. Mr. Lane is the attendant keeper for the 4 lights we saw this day. Many birds from Scandinavia migrate here in November. We left at 5:45. We enjoyed the pretty countryside as we headed south to Inverness.
6:50 pm
We arrived at the Palace Milton Hotel in Inverness. This is a very old hotel but it had nice accommodations.
8:00 pm
We had a lamb dinner at the hotel and wished Lynne Millies a happy birthday. Someone said she was 39, but she didn’t seem that old to us.

July 24, 2004, Saturday

7:30 am
We had breakfast at the hotel and afterwards walked around Inverness Castle. We met Carol Nettleton there, also taking pictures. We got a good view of the hotel from across the river on the bluff in front of the castle.
9:00 am
The buses left the Palace Milton Hotel in Inverness and we headed toward Loch Ness.
9:15 am
We arrived at Loch Ness and enjoyed driving along the west side. Loch Ness has the largest volume of water in Scotland and is very deep and very cold. It is 30 miles long and runs along a geographical fault line. Iain told us about Nessie the Loch Ness Monster who has been spotted in the Loch by several people since 1930. However, Nessie must have been sleeping during our visit, since we didn’t see her.
9:20 am
We stopped at a viewing spot in the road for a photo of Urquart Castle in the distance. A bag piper in full costume was there, and it was another good picture opportunity. We left about 5 minutes later.
9:35 am
We arrived at Urquart Castle and saw the 8 minute film in the visitors center. The castle had a colorful history being much sought after as a good fortress. This area was a MacDonald stronghold, one of the powerful highland clans. After the film, the screen was lifted and the curtain opened and we had a wonderful view of the castle. We walked to the castle, now in ruins, and then took a boat ride on Loch Ness on the Jacobite Cruise boat to Clansman Harbor arriving there about 11:00. The buses left 5 minutes after that.
11:15 am
We went to the original Loch Ness Visitors center and we found a stuffed Nessie and story book for our grandson, Hayden. The buses left from there about noon. Although it was misty, we enjoyed our trip south seeing waterfalls, beautiful rocky hillsides and lots and lots of sheep. By the time we got to the West Highland area, it was raining hard.
1:10 pm
We arrived at Eilean Donan Castle. This castle was built in 1214 as a defense against the Danes. It was in ruins for 200 years but restored by Colonel MacRae of Clan MacRae in 1932 and is now a clan memorial containing Jacobite relics. We had lunch there and then toured the castle. It did stop raining before we left at 3:00 and shortly afterwards the sun came out.
3:10 pm
We stopped for a photo of Kyleakin Lighthouse from the top of a hill. We will be visiting this lighthouse tomorrow.
3:20 pm
We stopped to pay the very high toll for the Skye Bridge as we entered the Isle of Skye. The rocky and hilly area of this island is so different from the eastern side of Scotland, which is so green and lush. We only thought we’d seen lots of sheep before. Wow, they were everywhere!!!
4:30 pm
We arrived at the Tongadale Hotel in Portree. The hotel is an old building with a bar and dining room on the first floor. The stairway to the rooms was right in the middle of the bar. The rooms were small and the bathroom a challenge, but this was the best shower we’d had so far. We had a chance to walk around town and went to the visitors center. This was where we found a clan map which indicates the Baxter family was connected to the MacMillan Clan. If we’d only known this before! So we started looking for a MacMillan tartan for Duffy. (We did find a tie and a scarf for him before leaving Scotland.)
7:30 pm
We all met in the bar for drinks before going into the hotel dining room. Diana had the salmon and Don had the chicken casserole. Both were very good. After dinner we played a game of TIC in the small lounge on the second floor. Phil Borkowski joined us along with Al, Jean, Carol, and Dave. This was Phil’s first time and he caught on quickly. Dinners were so late that we only had time to play one game in the evenings!

July 25, 2004, Sunday

8:00 am
We had breakfast at the hotel and then walked around the harbor area. It was a beautiful sunny morning. We were divided into two groups. The first bus left at 9:00 and we left on the second bus at 10:00. Each group would be visiting the Kyleakin Lighthouse, but they could only take half of the group at a time.
10:50 am
We crossed over the Skye Bridge again but turned around before the toll booth and drove back a short distance to park near the gate to the Kyleakin Lighthouse.
11:00 am
We started our tour on this tiny island under the Skye Bridge. John McCrae was our guide. The island is a small nature preserve and one purpose is to teach children about ecology. The Kyleakin Lighthouse was built in 1857 and was used as a model for lighthouses where building is difficult because of unusual conditions. This lighthouse was built without mortar. We were able to climb the tower and go out on the walkway. The view of the Inner Sound and Loch Alsh was beautiful on this sunny morning. The lighthouse keepers’ cottages can be rented and there was a family staying there for a week with three young children, who were playing on the rocks near the edge of the water.
12:05 pm
The bus left for the town of Kyleakin. We could see the Castle Maol high on a hill next to the firth. This was the home of Saucy Mary. It is said she made the boat captains pay high tolls when passing the castle to get out to the Inner Sound. The castle was a stronghold of the Mackinnon clan from the 12th century and is now in ruins. We had lunch in Kyleakin, a Double Magnum ice cream bar. We had discovered this delightful treat while in Sweden in 1999 and we were so happy to find them again. (We also had yogurt and chips.)
1:05 pm
The bus left with our group and returned to Portree arriving at 1:50. Diana shopped, Don walked around town and napped.
6:05 pm
We left Portree for dinner at a nearby hotel.
6:30 pm
We arrived at the Skeabost Country House. This was a very elegant hotel with beautiful gardens and a golf course. We had a wonderful 4 course meal, sitting with Nancy Johnsen, Donna Basso, Dorothy Jarcznski and Shirley Reeve. Diana had salmon and Don had duck.
9:30 pm
We returned to the Tongadale Hotel in Portree and took a short walk as it was a beautiful evening and we were SO full from dinner.

July 26, 2004, Monday

7:55 am
We had breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 am
The buses left the Tongadale Hotel in Portree. The skies were overcast. As we traveled along, the buses had to stop because of cattle in the road. We also saw peat drying in the fields. Iain told us it takes 5000 years for peat to form. Later in the day we saw people in the fields cutting the peat and stacking it to dry.
9:15 am
The buses stopped so we could photograph the rock formation "Old Man of Storr". (I guess someone with a good imagination could decide that piece of rock looked like a man.) As we drove along the narrow road, we could see the lighthouse on the northern tip of the Island of Rona. It was too far away to photograph. Beyond the island, we could see the mountains on the mainland.
9:35 am
We stopped again to photograph the "Kilt Rock" formation. This formation was a little more believable. It was a large rippled rock which did look like the pleating on the back of a kilt. This was the only time we were bothered by the tiny mosquito like insects called "midges." Iain warned us that if you kill one, 10,000 more come to the funeral!
10:10 am
We saw the ruins of Castle Duntulm, the main seat of the MacDonald clan. Again we were stopped because of sheep and goats on the road. As we drove along, we could see the Outer Hiberdes Island of Lewis and Harris. It was on this island that the Harris Tweed was crafted. The men did the weaving and the women did the knitting.
10:15 am
We stopped at the Museum of Island Life on the northern tip of the Isle of Skye near the town of Kilmuir. There were several thatched cottages and they depicted the life of the people on Skye who lived in "crofting" communities. Also nearby was the grave of Flora MacDonald. She was honored for her bravery in saving Bonnie Prince Charlie from the Red Coats by dressing him as her maid. She was born in 1722 and died in 1790. We left this area at 11:20. A short time later we stopped to get pictures of a "heilan coo" (highland cow.) These cows have very long and shaggy hair.
12:35 pm
We took a tour of the Donvegan Castle which was the seat of the MacLeod Clan chiefs for over 800 years. It is said to be Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle. On display there is the "fairy" flag believed to have been given to the MacLeods by the woodland spirits and reputed to have brought good luck in battle. After touring the castle we had lunch before boarding the buses again at 2:25.
2:40 pm
We stopped in the little community of Colbost. Mr. Nick Carter (no relation that we know of) came on the bus to tell us a little about the Neist Point Lighthouse. He is from the Northern Lighthouse Board and is the attendant for the Neist Point Light. There were three keepers stationed at the lighthouse at a time and they worked in one month shifts. These days Mr. Carter makes two trips a month to check on the light which is on the most western point of the Isle of Skye. We left the town of Colbost at 2:55.
3:15 pm
The buses drove us as far as they could and then we began the hike to the Neist Point Lighthouse. This light was probably the most difficult to reach of the entire trip. It was a long hike, very steep hills and near very high cliffs. Mr. Carter explained that this was not a walk for the "faint hearted." Several of the group chose not to make the hike. There were several spots from the edge of the cliffs for beautiful photographs of the lighthouse. It took between 30 – 45 minutes (each way) to walk to and from the lighthouse. It was worth the walk. The Neist Point Lighthouse was built in 1909. We left at 4:50.
6:15 pm
The buses needed refueling. When Don figured the liters to gallons and the exchange rate, gas was about $6.40 per U.S. gallon. Guess it’s not so bad in the U.S. after all!
6:40 pm
We crossed the Skye Bridge (The toll for buses was $82.00 each way.)
6:45 pm
We reached the Kyle Hotel in the town of Kyle of Lockalsh just over the Skye Bridge.
7:30 pm
After dinner in the hotel, we walked around the town for a few minutes and then played TIC with Dave Snyder, Carol Nettleton, Al and Jean Krueger and Jim Millies (Jim, a first time TIC player, won. How’s that for beginner’s luck!)

July 27, 2004, Tuesday

7:00 am
An early breakfast at the hotel.
8:05 am
The buses left the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lockalsh. We passed the Eliean Donan Castle again. As we continued along, we noticed a great change in the scenery as the hills were much greener here than on the Isle of Skye. We passed the Five Sisters Mountain range, drove through the Glengary area, along the shores of Loch Locky, and saw a memorial to the Commandos of WWII before stopping in the town of Spean Bridge. We had a few minutes there to shop and have a morning break and left at 10:00 am. It was very misty and the clouds were hanging low in the hills.
10:10 am
We passed through the town of Fort William.
10:45 am
We took a Ferry across Loch Linnhe to the town of Corran to view the Corran Lighthouse. This light was built in 1860. We had just a short time there before catching the ferry back to the buses. The buses left at 11:45. It was very foggy by this time and it was disappointing, as we knew we were missing some very beautiful scenery. Iain told us about the many battles which were fought in the Valley of Glencoe between the MacDonald and Campbells and McKeans and the Campbells. The area known as the Rannock Moor has a very spongy soil and legend has it that an entire Roman Legion disappeared there. We were also able to get a picture of a tree that grows out of a rock as the bus traveled along. We could see many hikers and Iain explained that this hiking trail is known as the Highland Way which goes from Glencoe to Fort William for a distance of 90 miles.
12:35 pm
We made a stop for lunch in the town of Tyndrum and the buses left at 1:35. We passed through the area of Rob Roy MacGregor. He was an outlaw and leader of the MacGregor Clan. Sir Walter Scott recounted his exploits in Rob Roy which was first published in 1818.
1:50 pm
We drove along the shore of Loch Lomond. It is only 5-6 miles wide at its widest point and about 23 miles long. This Loch is probably the most famous of Scotland’s Lochs for the song "Loch Lomond"; "O ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye. But me and my true love will never meet again, On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond." We listened to a tape of the song and other Scottish melodies as we drove along. The drive along the loch was beautiful with a "tunnel of trees" and we saw jet skiers on the loch.
2:15 pm
We made a short rest stop and left at 2:30. Now the sun was shining.
3:35 pm
After driving through the outskirts of Glasgow, we arrived at the Cloch Point Lighthouse in the town of Gourock. This light was built in 1797 and is now privately owned. The owners were not there but the man painting the rock wall near the lighthouse said we could go on the property to get pictures. This light was situated right along the highway. We left at 4:00.
4:25 pm
We stopped in the town of Largs. This is the town where Iain lives. Every year this town has a Viking Fair. It is located in Ayshire which is known for its cattle and potatoes. Now that we were further south, it was quite warm and the sun was out.
5:55 pm
We arrived at the Quality Station Hotel in Ayr. This hotel was an old hotel, part of which is located over the train station. A Robert Burns statue is near the hotel. Robert Burns is known as Scotland’s "national poet." His song "Auld Lang Syne" is one that many of us sing on New Year’s Eve. He was born in Alloway in 1759 and died at the age of 37. In his short time on earth he wrote 370 poems and songs. On his birthday, January 25th, he is honored all over the world.
7:30 pm
We had dinner at the hotel. Don had the chicken and Diana had the beef. It was a beautiful warm evening and after dinner we walked with Dave Snyder, Carol Nettleton, Len and Jan Stahlgren, Nancy and Ron Stuart and Ken and Margie Conard along High Street and then Esplanade near the ocean. We returned to the hotel at 10:30.

July 28, 2004, Wednesday

7:30 am
After breakfast at the hotel, we took a short walk near the hotel in Ayr.
9:00 am
The buses left the Quality Station Inn in Ayr. We were surprised to get out to the buses and find George, our bus driver, in his kilt. However, he took it off shortly afterwards so I never got a picture of him. He told us a kilt and the rest of the attire which goes with it comes to £1500 which would be close to $3,000. He wore his kilt when he was married as most Scottish men do.
9:05 am
We passed the cottage where Robert Burns was born.
9:30 am
We arrive at the Turnberry Lighthouse. This light, built in 1873, is located on the Turnberry golf course. The buses weren’t allowed to drive much further than off the road, so we had about a 15 minute walk to the lighthouse. We just had to be careful to watch out for flying golf balls. Right near the lighthouse is the half way house for the golf course. The gentlemen there were very friendly and helpful. This course is used for the British Open about every 8 years. The hotel nearby was used during WWII as a hospital and the golf course was used as an air base. Many American forces flew out of this base. There is a monument on a crest overlooking the ocean near the lighthouse dedicated to the men of all nations who died during WWII. The buses left at 10:30.
10:45 am
We had a rest stop in Girvan for about 20 minutes. It was a beautiful drive along the ocean and Lock Ryan. We could barely see the small island rock, Alisa Craig, which has a lighthouse at the base, but it was much too hazy for a picture.
11:35 am
We arrived at the Loch Ryan Lighthouse in the town of Cairnryan. The photographers had to walk along a rocky beach to get pictures. It was near the highway, but it was difficult to get pictures from there. This light was built in 1847. We left 20 minutes later. At this point, we were divided into two groups. One group was to visit the Corsewall Lighthouse for lunch that day and the other group the next day.
12:35 pm
Our group went to the Corsewall Lighthouse for lunch. This lighthouse, built in 1815, is on the northern tip of the Galloway peninsula between Loch Ryan and the North Channel. The North Channel is the body of water between Ireland and Scotland. Corsewall Lighthouse was made into a very beautiful hotel eleven years ago. We had a wonderful gourmet meal of sweet potato soup, salmon, and cheese cake for dessert. After lunch we toured the lighthouse and walked around the grounds. We also found more "heilan coos" in a nearby field. We left Corsewall at 2:35. We then drove from the very northern tip of the peninsula to the very southern tip of it.
3:45 pm
We arrived at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. The other group which did not go to Corsewall today, was leaving just as we arrived. This is the most southern point in Scotland. If it had been a clear day, we could have seen the Isle of Man and Ireland. The lighthouse was built in 1828. This area is also a bird sanctuary, and they are in the process of building a new visitor center. Our bus left at 4:35.
5:15 pm
We arrived at the Castle Hotel in Stranraer. We had a chance to walk around the town for a little while before dinner. Ferry boats go from Stranraer to Belfast, Ireland several times a day. We watched as one ferry unloaded and there were dozens of semi trucks.
7:30 pm
We had dinner at the hotel. Don had the chicken and Diana the steak. This was one of the nicest dining rooms we had on the trip and the rooms were very nice too. There was a little problem with the serving of the meal to Dave Snyder’s table, so we couldn’t start our TIC game until 10:00. We played in Dave’s room with Phil, Al, Jean and Carol.

July 29, 2004, Thursday

7:30 am
We had breakfast in the hotel.
9:00 am
We took the group photo in the gardens of the hotel, since we just had not had a good opportunity near a lighthouse. We were surprised to find palm trees in this garden. With the Gulf Stream, the southern part of Scotland experiences nice weather most of the year. About 2/3 of the group wanted to take a tour of the Bladnock Whisky Distillery. The other 1/3 of us preferred to spend the morning in Stranraer. After Don and Diana did some walking around the town (unfortunately most of the shops didn’t open until 10:00), Diana toured the castle in town with Mary Borkowski. By this time, Don had returned to the hotel. It was very warm this morning and we enjoyed the sunshine. At noon the one group had returned from the distillery and we left Stranraer at 12:15 pm.
12:35 pm
Our group went to the Killantringan Lighthouse while the other group went to Corsewall for lunch. The bus had to park right next to the lighthouse. Mrs. Hendry is the attendant keeper there, but her husband, Lewis, met us to give the tour. Princess Anne had visited the lighthouse just the Saturday before. He was impressed that she was in jeans and tennis shoes and was "just like an ordinary person." This light was built in 1900. Mr. Henry was a lighthouse keeper and he showed us pictures of many of the lighthouses where he had served, several of which we had visited on the tour. We were able to climb the 76 steps to the tower and go into the lantern room. There had been a first order Fresnel lens in this tower. The Southern Upland Way Hiking Trail goes right past the lighthouse and this is a popular stop for hikers along the way. We left there at 1:15.
1:35 pm
We arrived in the town of Portpatrick. The Portpatrick Lighthouse was built in 1836 and is a small brick tower on the sea wall in the harbor. There was a camper parked right at the base which made picture taking difficult. We got another Double Magnum ice cream bar for lunch. It started sprinkling before we got back to the bus. We left Portpatrick at 2:35.
3:30 pm
We had a 15 minute rest stop.
5:10 pm
We arrived at the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow. The hotel is located right on St. George’s Square. The City Hall is located at one end of the square and there is a large park with many statues which we could see from our third floor window.
6:30 pm
We walked to a restaurant about 10 minutes from the hotel, called 78 St. Vincent St. We had pork chops for dinner. This was our last time together as a group and we said our farewells and returned to the hotel to begin the task of getting everything packed into our suitcases.

July 30, 2004, Friday

7:30 am (BST, Scotland Time)
We had breakfast in the hotel dining room.
8:30 am
The bus left the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow for the airport. We were surprised that Dave Snyder came down to tell us goodbye. We thought he’d sleep in! Dave was on his way to London for a few days before returning home to CA. Iain told us that the buses had traveled about 1900 miles during our two weeks in Scotland. Since these buses didn’t start with us on the tour until day four, I’m sure we traveled over 2,000 miles.
8:50 am
We arrived at the Glasgow airport and checked in and did some last minute shopping.
11:05 am
We took our seats on the plane. Diana was delighted to have a window seat this time.
11:40 am
The plane left the gate and we took off at 11:50. It was cloudy, so Diana didn’t get to see much out the window. The pilot mentioned it would be about a 7 hour, 15 minute flight.
1:40 pm (EDT)
We landed in Toronto at the midfield terminal. We took a shuttle to Terminal 1 and went through Canadian Immigration. We picked up our luggage and went through Canadian Customs, and put our luggage back on a conveyor belt. We took a shuttle to Terminal 2. We waited for 45 minutes to pick up our luggage AGAIN and then went into another room for U.S. Immigration and Customs. You will never how we felt when we turned that corner and went into a room with what seemed like 600 people waiting to do the same thing. There may not have been 600, but there were a LOT. We were in that room for about 40 minutes. They were calling different flights to the US and when your flight was called, you were able to go to the front of the line. Finally they called our flight to Detroit. We made it through the U.S. Immigration and Customs and put our luggage on another conveyor belt and took the shuttle to Gate E which was in another small terminal. Fortunately when we got there, our flight had been delayed for 15 minutes while they changed light bulbs on the plane. I’m sure that is the only reason we made it to our flight on time and they got our luggage on board.
4:55 pm
We boarded the plane and it took off at 5:10. We had 3 hours in the Toronto airport and we almost didn’t make our connecting flight!!!!
6:20 pm
We landed in Detroit and were able to pick up our luggage in just a few minutes.
6:40 pm
Andrea and Hayden were right out front to pick us up. We stopped and picked up dinner at McDonalds on our way home.
7:45 pm
We arrived home and ate McDonald’s with Andrea and Hayden. They left shortly afterwards as we were VERY tired.
10:00 pm
We went to bed after a 21 hour day (besides it was 3:00 am the next day in Scotland).

Our special thanks to the United States Lighthouse Society and the great leadership of Dave Snyder for a wonderful tour of Scotland. We so enjoyed all the fun people on the tour, about half of whom we had traveled with on previous trips. We also want to thank Iain MacDonald, our Scottish tour guide, for all the information and history he provided about his country. The Scottish people were so warm and friendly and the Scottish country side was beautiful. We have very fond memories of our time in Scotland.

Trip totals: 27 Lighthouses (this now puts us over 500 lighthouses visited), 15 days, over 2000 ground miles and LOTS of air miles.

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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter

Copyright © 1995-2004 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.