McKenzie's Travel Journal

A journal of interesting places and things I encounter by traveling the world

My Journey to Scotland

on April 22, 2012

Last month my Grandad drove us to Scotland. We took a journey back in time and went to the places and homes my Dad grew up in. They kept moving a lot so we went to a lot of cities and towns all over Scotland. We drove past the schools and play grounds my Dad went to, really cool.

inverness

Inverness

My Dad was born in Inverness Scotland. Inverness is famous for the Loch Ness monster. People say that the Loch Ness monster is a creature that lurks around lake Ness or Loch in Gaelic, Gaelic is an old language the Scots use. There are so many tourists in Inverness, just to experience going to lake Ness searching for “Nessie” . There are so many websites dedicated to this legend. We went to lake Ness ourselves to catch a glimpse of Nessie but there was no sign of Nessie : ( .

Lake Ness

Loch Ness, Inverness Scotland

where are you Nessie?

Someone actually made a sculpture of Nessie and put it under water and a scuba diver thought it was real! XD.

On the way to Inverness, we stopped by for a quick tour of Tomatin whiskey distillery . Scotland is famous for fine Whiskey production. We learned about the process and looked at the machines used to make Whiskey. They say the older the whiskey, the better it tastes, we saw one as old as my Dad.

this is where the malt gets processed it’s made of copper

whiskey barrels

me inspecting the malt!

Kinross

We visited my Aunt Emma and her family in Kinross. From their house you get a good view of Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1567, in Loch Leven castle.

At my Aunt Emma’s house we played, sang, and spent time with my cousins Thomas, Arran and Benjamin and of course Uncle Allan and Aunt Emma.

singing with Arran

view of Loch Leven from Aunt Emma’s house

Kinross

We also went to Glenrothes, Perth, and, Dundee, where we met my Aunt Dawn, she gave me one of

Nana’s bracelets which I will treasure forever.

Inverness with my cousins and my brother

Inverness

with Aunt Dawn

Edinburgh

After tracing Dad’s roots, we went to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It’s beautiful! We went to Dynamic Earth first. They have 14 interactive galleries that take you back in time form the Big Bang to what the future may be. My favourites were:

Time Machine:

You board the time machine to begin your journey back 15,000 million years. Historical events pass before your very eyes, back 50 years, a thousand years, millions of years, before the life of the dinosaurs and even the formation of the universe, back to the time of the Big Bang.

time machine

Time Machine at Dynamic Earth

Shaping the Surface and the Volcanoes:

At this exhibit, the floor shakes mimicking a volcano eruption, and on the next room, you move through into the cool blue light of a craggy ice cave. Take a flight over glaciers in and around the icy and dramatic landscapes of Norway and Scotland. The power of natural forces are revealed as you discover how our landscape has been shaped and erodes by the power of ice.

ice sculpture

touching ice from the Ice Age exhibit

Casualties and Survivors
Here you begin the exploration of the planet and the creatures within it. In Casualties and Survivors you follow the precarious path of evolution and come face to face with some of the winners and losers in life’s struggle for survival. We discover how mass extinctions occurred and what the dinosaurs might have looked like if the meteorite had not struck. Really fun seeing the exact size of the extinct Dodo bird.

they were short back then

The Tropical Rainforest

Here you see, smell, and feel the Rainforest.

Rainforest at Dynamic Earth

I also liked the show dome and the 4D theatre which was so cool.

Next we went to the National Museum of Scotland. This is the biggest and best museum I’ve ever been to. It is massive and there is so much to see. It showcases Scotland’s bright minds too like Alexander Graham Bell, James Watt, James Clerk Maxwell, Alexander Fleming, to name a few. It made me proud of my Scottish heritage, half of me 🙂

The exhibit on Natural World was so fascinating. The animals were life size and a lot of them are taxidermy, so so cool to see it. There were exhibits on Scotland, World Cultures, Arts and Design, Science and Technology. We saw Dolly, the famous cloned sheep. We all wished we had more time to view the museum, but it really was so big, you’ll need 2 days!

Later that night we ate at Rabbie Burns pub. When we travel, part of the adventure is trying out the local cuisine and Scotland has unique dishes. In Inverness we had Scottish Haggis with chips. Haggis is oats mixed with sheep heart, liver, lungs, and spices, and onions. It gets boiled, seasoned, rolled in batter and fried, then eaten with chips (french fries). It was surprisingly yummy if you’re brave enough! At this pub in Edinburgh, they put it in Nachos and it was awesome. My brother won’t try it, but I did. I should probably tell you who Robert “Rabbie Burns” is, he is regarded as Scotland’s national poet. He is a poet and lyricist. You have probably heard of the song Auld Lang Syne which is often sung on New Year’s eve; he wrote that. Hogmanay (the last day of the year) celebrations started in Scotland.

The next day we went to see the Edinburgh castle and then watched a football match.

enjoying my haggis nachos

watching Scottish football in Edinburgh

Glasgow

The last city we visited is also the biggest, Glasgow. At Foundations Glasgow, we watched an interactive video on how Glasgow came to be the city that it is now. It showed how the city was built and rebuilt. Shipbuilding used to be the main industry, today it is one of Europe’s top financial centre and home to Scotland’s leading businesses. It is home to many museums as well. We went to the Kelvingrove Museum at the University of Glasgow. Their collection had a fascinating collection of Art and Science.

at the Kelvingrove Museum

TARDIS (DR.WHO?)

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