As promised in my previous post, the Island of Hoy was our next quest! Our intrepid companions did us the favor of planning the day trip to this gem of an island. Hoy is one of the Orkney Islands; there are no direct links from mainland Scotland so you have to take a ferry to the … Continue reading Isle of Hoy: Home of UK’s Tallest Seastack
I didn't have a huge hankerin' to go to the Orkneys but friends really wanted to go, so we though we'd give it a whirl. We were glad we did.. There was the nice drive up the coast from Inverness to John O'Groats.. yes thats the name of the town on the northern most tip … Continue reading Way up in Orkney: Those Islands off the Northcoast.
We came to Switzerland to hike. We are not super fit, but we have boots and lots of good ideas so it was going to epic, right? Well actually, yes, it was epic. That is the kind of place Switzerland is. The Swiss have, for centuries, been making the Alps accessible to normal people-- and … Continue reading More Cow Bell: Hiking in Switzerland
The timing of our Switzerland trip worked out so that we could see Stage 17 of the Tour de France as it was taking a 'de-tour' through Switzerland! Amazingly I found cheap lodging near the route so our scheming began. Every Tour stage has 2 parts: the caravan and the actual race. The caravan parade consists … Continue reading Chasing the Yellow Jersey: the Tour de France in Switzerland
Our Swiss adventure began in July. This was my first time in the Alps and I was SO excited to glimpse them from the plane! When we landed in Geneva, we grabbed a train to Bex, just south of Aigle. As we passed along Lake Geneva through Lausanne and Montreux, I was astonished at the … Continue reading Switzerland: Steep Tiny Villages with Cheese.
I began reading 'Brother's K' in July of last year. About 450 pages and 8 months later, the plot finally took off in a discernible direction. The only thing that kept me going all the way to the end on page 1054, was my desire to prove to myself that I could read serious … Continue reading Reading Brothers Karamozov in Scotland
I've had this gig working at a hotel reception desk for over a year now... here are some things I've learned. #1 Knock before entering your new room After check-in, you find the door to your room. Then you knock a few times. Why? Sometimes there are glitches in the hotel computer, sometimes there are … Continue reading Hotel 101: 10 things I’ve learned in the ‘Front of House’.
During our tenure here in Scotland, we've wanted to take in more than just the cliches of Scottish and English culture like bagpipes, pubs and castles. We also wanted to enter into the spiritual landscape both present and past. Recently we undertook a pilgrimage -on wheels- to one of the island's more obviously named sites, 'Holy … Continue reading Spiritual Tourist: Two-stop Weekend in Northumbria
One thing about ancient civilizations is that the people that made things out of stone get remembered a lot better than the people that used only wood or earth fixtures. The people that lived in Scotland 2000-3000 years ago were believers in stone as is evidenced by the hundreds and hundreds of stone sites that … Continue reading Lonely Stones of the North
We were bemoaning the gradual decline in international airline quality as we transited through Heathrow airport this week as so many thousands have. As our plane taxied for seemingly miles, we caught a glimpse out the window of the 'old' terminal. This was Terminal 1, which closed in June 2015, whose hallways looked like brown … Continue reading Heathrow Happens