ImageI have always wanted to go to Scotland.   I was named for a great grandmother whose roots were there, and everything I have read about the place has attracted me as well. Finally, over the fourth of July weekend, Marty and I landed in Edinburgh.  We spent five days including time in the city, a trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness, and a tour along the North Sea coastline and to Alnwick Castle over the border in England, where scenes from Harry Potter and other movies involving English castles were filmed.

Edinburgh is just a lovely city, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.  We stayed right off the Royal Mile, which is the main tourist area.   Wandering down the street exploring, we found a placard on the sidewalk advertising a literary tour of Edinburgh.

The tour, led by local author Alan Foster (pictured below), was delightful.  We visited the medical campus where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle found his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes in the person of Dr. Joseph Bell, his teacher, as well as the bar where Robert Louis (that’s Louis in the French pronunciation) Stevenson hung out, the coffee shop (owned by her brother-in-law) where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, and places where Sir Walter Scott and Conan Doyle lived.  The red stand is where Ian Rankin’s character Inspector Rebus stops for coffee.  Here are some pics from our walk:DSC_0404


DSC_0407DSC_0390DSC_0387 DSC_0385The Highlands landscape is breathtaking.  We took a boat ride on Loch Ness, but like millions of other suckers, did not get a glimpse of Nessie.  The ride, however, was well worth it.