Scotland (Oct. 2015): Abbotsford


In the Scottish lowlands, we visited Abbotsford, the home of 19th century author Sir Walter Scott, who’s historical novels were influential in popularizing and romanticizing Scotland’s past.


The building and gardens were impressive. Rosie got a good view from high up with the hollyhocks.


The interior rooms held an even more amazing collection of treasures, my favorites being the entryway full of armor and wooden sculpture and the sitting room, with its hand painted Chinese wallpaper.






Scotland, Oct. 2015 ~ Rosie & Polly


Remember when Polly went missing and I had to come up with a replacement traveler? Well, Rosie was a great sport to fill in and she ended up having a great trip. But low and behold, who did she find in Scotland but Polly! After she got over the shock of seeing her bedraggled cousin in the heather, Rosie listened to Polly’s story. Polly told the harrowing tale of how she stowed away in a backpack, making it through airport security and the trans Atlantic flight. She barely survived being crammed inside a pocket with a pair of sun glasses and a bottle of aspirin. But, she was glad to not be left behind! From then on, Polly and Rosie were inseparable. They climbed stone walls at Urquhart Castle


visited Melrose Abbey


traipsed through moss at The Falls of Bruar


petted Greenfriar’s Bobby and walked the street of Edinburgh.


They hiked through magical woods…


and visited the site of the Battle of Culloden. Polly and Rosie made it home safely and will rest a bit before their next adventure!


Scotland, Oct. 2015 ~ Rosie


Rosie’s trip to Scotland began with a dramatic encounter with a local bear at a road side pub between Glasgow and Oban. With a combination of perseverance and ingenuity, she was able to excuse herself after lunch and continued on her journey.


She took a boat to the Island of Iona, where she said hello to some sweet cows and drank heather ale.



She loved visiting Sir Walter Scott’s magnificent home, Abbotsford…


and Eilean Donan castle.


She met a piper…


and posed with sets of armor and a stained glass window at Edinburgh castle. Stay tuned for future posts ~ Rosie’s travels will continue here, with an exciting discovery!



Scotland, Oct. 2015 (phone booths)


Were back from Scotland, with many photos to share. This trip was another wonderful Celtic music learning tour with Boston’s public radio station WGBH. We’ve gone on two of their previous trips to Ireland (see archived posts here) and jumped at the chance to join their tour of Scotland.

I’ll begin by showing a series of iconic red UK phone booths we saw in different areas of the country. Somehow, it was reassuring to see the old fashioned booths wherever we went.The first two were spotted in the beautiful village of Plockton, on the west coast.



And on this charming street corner in Melrose…


Scotland_phonebooth-1-3And more on the streets of Edinburgh.


Klimt cave paintings


My Husband and I recently watched the movie “Woman in Gold”. Both of us were awestruck and moved by the true story of a Jewish woman’s fight to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s painting of her aunt Adele (pictured above) that was taken by the Nazis. The movie is beautifully filmed and acted by Helen Mirren, but the real star is Klimt’s powerful painting, which serves as the centerpiece of this drama about family heritage, national identity, justice and the long-lasting devastating effects of WWII.

Seeing the movie reminded me of an amazing exhibit we saw last year in Provence at the Carrières de Lumières. My photos give a sense of the scale of the cave, but they don’t sufficiently convey the powerful experience of seeing images from Klimt’s paintings projected on every surface inside, from under foot to over head. The scenes constantly moved to music, evolving from one image to another. Klimt’s iconic patterns were everywhere, surrounding and enveloping the viewers, who wandered around, room to room, dwarfed by the huge interior walls. I felt like I was inside his paintings. Every year, they feature a different artist’s work and I feel lucky to have seen this special production in 2014!

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