Driving into Scotland’s “Fair City” of Perth provides advanced training for left side driving skills in more populous traffic. So far so good.
Home of the Scone Palace and the Scottish Black Watch Museum, we are on a mission to track down information about my Scottish grandfather, George Mitchell.
We roam and peruse through the museum, which honors what was once Scotland’s foremost regiment. The Black Watch fought in numerous campaigns around the world since its formation in 1725.
The largest number of casualties, about 30,000, came from grueling trench warfare in WWI. Quite interesting to track the development of weaponry as well.
The only clue we have to find any intel on my grandfather is the date of his death, and that he was a merchant marine after service in the Black Watch. That is, until I shared one of his stories with the docent. George died in 1964 in the US from cancer. When his doctor asked who had performed the previous surgery on his neck, George responded, “It was a Tug with a bayonet in India.”
The docent lit up and laughed. “We have a likely explanation!” He went on to explain that George must have served in the 2nd Battalion, who arrived in France from India. After a miserable winter, they joined what was left of the 1st Battalion, and fought offensives against the Germans at the Neuve Chapelle, Festubert, and Loos. Then, in late 1915, the 2nd Battalion was sent to fight the Turks in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq. There we have it! I honor you, Grandpa!
Time for a long walk. After losing our way in the woods a bit, eventually we find the trail up Kinnoull Hill to the tower for spectacular views surrounding Perth.
Then we enjoy a treat consisting of deep-fried Mars bar with ice cream. I could eat fourteen of them.
Driving out of Perth heading for Edinburgh, a detour to Loch Lommond, mainland Britain’s largest loch, provides a most picturesque walk up to the top of Conic Hill.
Hello Edinburgh! Thank the angels for GPS. Without getting lost, it takes forty-five minutes to drive four miles to our luxurious hotel, and that is with no traffic jams. How did we ever manage to travel like this back in the BI (Before internet) days using large maps in the car?
Outside of enjoying a break from driving for three days, our room at the Parliament House Hotel provides perfect views from the comfortable king bed!
Let the games begin: Drinks at the Guilded Arms Pub, and then oysters and lobsters at Café Royal.
Oh, we will not soon forget our favorite takeaway, the “Oink” for delectable roasted hog.
We burn off a bit of two nights of excessive celebration with long walks to the Castle and Cathedral, followed by a hike to the top of the Crags for views of this magnificent city.
This post wraps up four weeks of adventure in Scotland but stay tuned as we drive south to explore Wales.
Thank you, Abundant Universe!