Arriving by sea to an incredibly beautiful sun drenched rural landscape was not how I had envisioned landing in Scotland.  I had pictured beauty, yes, but not the type that evoked such feelings of welcome and warmth.  We drove off the ferry into a picture book come to life filled with castles, lakes and incredible panoramas and if that weren’t enough, when I felt tired from driving we pulled over and had the opportunity to be served some of the best smoked salmon I have ever had.  Wild caught, house smoked delicious.  The best part is it is Scottish not West Coast Salmon,  so no fear of neon glow coming from Fukashima, even Darla finally ate Salmon again after years of abstaining!  Needless to say we bought quite a bit and have already eaten it all. YUM


The cute girls behind the counter had perfect Scottish lilts to their voices that made me smile.  It is very rare that I have heard true Scottish accents in America.  Scotty on Star Trek certainly doesn’t count!  I am not sure if the Scots just don’t travel much but I rarely have heard it.  The Scottish I heard was from my grandmother, who was very hard to understand!

IMG_6245Our arrival truly was a series of events laid out in a perfect universal order and much beloved by all.  Could we live here?  It is an incredible place and I want to spend a lot of time exploring but the wet cold may limit that.  We will be “living” here for the next 3 weeks so the weather is something we shall learn to adapt to.  The raw natural vivid landscape is incredible.  I can’t wait to get my camera going!

Cool fact, there is a law called the Scottish right to roam that allows anyone basically the unlimited right to go, hike camp and go across almost all land and waterways unimpeded no matter who owns the land.  IMG_6248Basically you aren’t allowed to invade peoples privacy, leave gates open, cause damage to crops or go cow tipping!   That said, you are allowed to: pitch a tent on any hilltop you have the balls to climb, explore 3500 year old standing stone rings or cairns sitting on tree studded hilltops far from any road.  This is a fundamental right set forth by the Scots long in the past.  Such a different thought process than in America where, as a child I was shot at on at least 2 occasions for trespassing when I was just “creeking”, crawdading, or adventure exploring! (read, picking fruit). ha ha

Now that we have started to settle and “live” here for a day or two and the rains came over the beautiful hills in perfect Scottish fashion;   I realize that there is a cost for the natural beauty and that is the weather!  We hope for breaks to enable us to get to some incredible places but that remains to be seen.  The British Open is playing at St. Andrews a few hours away, might do a drive by on that one, as unsure on the crowds/parking and Bella.  Crazy to think that its happening so close to us.

IMG_1039One of our main goals is both of our ancestry quests here in Scotland.  We have spent countless hours on and have managed to trace both sides of my family here and one leg of  Darla’s. We will be visiting the home parishes and looking at here these people live and when.

It is really a very exciting venture and we will lay it all out as soon as we put a few more pieces together.  Kinda like an episode of Who do you think You are!  I look forward to sharing what we find here and sharing it with you all soon!