Kept meaning to blog about what we did on holiday, though the thought of what could potentially be a longish post has put me off... I will blog though, possibly some people care. :)
We went to a place called Croy, which is near Inverness (in Scotland) - a map is here
if you want to see exactly where! We stayed in a cottage called The Bothy
, a very neat and modern conversion with everything you could ever want - including a log burner...
On the way up we stopped at Wallfoot
for the night, had a look at Hadrian's Wall. The place was fine, nothing amazing but quite comfortable. I'm glad we did stop halfway through the journey, it's a long way to the Highlands!
On Saturday 12th we arrived at Croy. I had a bit of a wander around, but we didn't feel like doing much by the time we got there.
Sunday 13th we headed off to the Black Isle, went to the Seal and Dolphin centre (basically a little hut) and drove around a bit.
Monday 14th we went to Spey Bay, to the Whale and Dolphin centre
there. The weather was beautiful, blue skies and really warm. We didn't see any dolphins, even though we borrowed binoculars from the centre. We did learn about the largest ice house in Scotland (we had a tour) and also learnt about whales and dolphins...
Tuesday 15th we headed off to Loch Ness, where we went round the Loch Ness Centre
, learning all about the various 'sightings' of the monster and how unlikely it is. It was a very cleverly done exhibition. And then we went round Urquhart Castle
. On the way home we went to the Falls of Foyers, which weren't anywhere near as exciting as I thought they would be from the hype. I've visited better waterfalls in the Lake District and Wales. ;)
Wednesday 16th, another beautiful day, went to discover Cairngorm Mountain
. We went up the funicular railway and enjoyed a lunch in the highest restaurant in the UK (at 1097m above sea level). Was disappointed by the camera obscura. On the way home we stopped at Lake Garten where some ospreys live (though sadly they had just left for Africa). It was beautiful though, even without the ospreys!
Thursday 17th went to Fort George
, which was particularly poignant because the funeral of a Black Watch sergeant killed in Afghanistan was taking place. Bagpipes really are very mournful things. It was an experience, though I didn't feel we could look around while things were going on (seemed disrespectful) so spent a lot of time standing out of the way watching. It is an interesting fort, though, built after Culloden. After looking round we went to Culloden battlefield
, which we walked round, but it was a very sad sort of place. We didn't go into the visitor's centre (cost £10 to get in) but did buy a book to learn more about it at home. I guess the battle had to take place, otherwise it would have meant our Civil War dragging on even longer, but I'm not totally well informed, so...
Friday 18th was the best day - we finally saw those elusive dolphins! We paid to go on a boat trip - went on this trip from Avoch
. We were soaked by the spray when the drove quickly, but it didn't matter because we saw at least 10 different dolphins swimming around in the Moray Firth. Three or four were swimming in front of a container ship (apparently they like to play with the bigger ships). Our boat was too small to be interesting. :) We also went to Beauly Priory
and the Beauly Gallery and Kirk Coffee Shop
- a place full of interesting things and very good coffee...
Saturday 19th we headed off back south. Stopped overnight at Tillmouth Park Hotel
, which was easily the poshest place I've ever stayed at! It's a Grade 2 listed house in parkland with a big castley folly in the distance. Brilliant. Very posh dinner, too, did feel a little out of place! I'm not use to being waited on. Rob had haddock and poached eggs for breakfast, it was that posh. :)
Arrived back in Leicester on Sunday 20th, tired after the long drive and kind of glad to be back, though looking at lots of different things (especially dolphins and mountains) was fun.
Thought I would do a brief update about what we got up to while James
was here. And what happened in regards to Ali's
wedding. Otherwise I will never get around to it, especially since I will have new things to blog about after my holiday!
Friday August 28th - James arrives in Leicester, having spent time in London doing exciting things. Ali
, Mat, my brother John and his girlfriend (and our friend) Rachel, Rob and I have pizza.
Saturday August 29th - the day of Hen/Stag fun! In the afternoon various people start congregating together. The girls all go to see The Time Traveler's Wife
at the cinema, then play on dance mats and stuff in the arcades, then go to Frankie & Benny's
for food. The boys all went to have Chinese Buffet and then run around in Megazone.
Sunday August 30th - after church Ali
, Mat, Rob, James
and I went to Nottingham to see Warhammer World
. We went into the strange bar and looked at lots of lovely painted figures...
Monday August 31st - Ali
, Mat, Rob, James
, John, Rachel and I all went to Bosworth Battlefield
, looked round the excellent exhibition (made especially funny since Mat got stuck in some chain mail
- apparently it's for children) and also ate in the Tithe Barn. Yum! Then we went back to Ali's
where we had BBQ. Mark joined us as well, which was nice. We met him, as we met James, via the wonders of the internet and Stargate SG-1. ;)
Tuesday September 1st - spent time doing wedding preparation including working on the silly lifesize mermaid...
Wednesday September 2nd - went to The Forge in Glenfield for food with Ali
, Mat, Rob and James
. He wanted to take us out for food, which was very nice of him. :)
Thursday September 3rd - had James
round for dinner, and after we'd eaten we made lovely posters to put up at Ali's
Friday September 4th - our five year wedding anniversary! Final wedding preparations underway... Lots of mermaid work, went with Ali
to get the cake, sorted out the quizzes for the train, things like that. Mum and Dad arrive and, along with James, look at what decorations we have to put up in the hall. Rob and I go to the wedding practice at 7pm. It goes well, hooray!
Saturday September 5th - the big day! Get up at 6.30 and go to have my hair done with Ali
. Michael the hairdresser is very funny, he's amused by how terrified we are! He makes it all up as he goes along but it turns out pretty well. At one point he was cutting flowers off of the decorations in his shop to put into my hair. Three hours later we finally leave... Then it's getting into dresses, stuff like that. Trying not to panic. At about 1.15 the bridesmaids leave for the church, driven by Piers. When we've been there a while Ali
turns up. There are photos, then we parade down the aisle. Scary... A while later and Ali
and Mat are married! Hooray!
Following the church bit, we head to Kirby Muxloe Castle
for a few photos. Then go to the Great Central Railway
for speeches, and a meal on the train. Then the Rothley Centre
for the disco. The Centre had been decorated amazingly using the stuff we'd been making by Mum, Dad, Harriet, Will, James
and my brother John. Brilliant! At a bit past 10pm Ali
and Mat leave. Some time later, having tidied up, the rest of us can go home. Phew!
Sunday September 6th - have a nice rest. Go out for lunch with Mum and Dad. Don't do a lot. Tired...
The rest of the week has been pretty standard, though today we did go on a work outing to Piddington Roman villa
. The museum's excellent and they even let us dig for a bit (not that I know much about actual digging!).
That's about it I think. Bye for now!
So much has happened since my last post! We had been very busy making decorations etc for Ali's
wedding, which was on Saturday. Hooray! She is finally married to Mat. We've also been spending time with James
, who spent a week and a bit in Leicester having travelled from Australia for the wedding. I think he had an ok time, it was hard to be entertaining what with all the stuff going on! Not that I'm capable of being very entertaining anyway. :)
It really did take a long time making all the decorations, especially the mermaid (we were trying to recreate the 'Enchantment Under the Sea' dance from Back to the Future. Mum, Dad, Will, Harriet, James
, and my brother John did a great job of applying all the stuff to the hall, it looked brilliant... Hooray! And I managed to do a passable job as 'Maid of Honour'. And Rob managed to be 'Best Man' and his speech was a hit. So that's good. Phew...!
Oh, and we had our five year wedding anniversary, didn't really celebrate it what with everything going on. But we get to go on holiday on Friday. Yay!