Cathy's Christmas in Europe
On the 16th December 2017 my daughter, Stephanie and I set off together for a trip of a life time. Our destination was Scotland, England and France for a cold Christmas.
Our first stop was Scotland. Once we landed it was straight to the railway station to head up to Inverness. At Inverness we were greeted with snow and the beauty of an old historic city. We walked along the quaint streets with very old buildings and churches, and the fast flowing Ness River. While in Inverness we went on a tourist trip to Loch Ness, in the hope of being the “ones” to see the monster, but no such luck! We also went to the relics of Urquart Castle. The ruins date back to 1296.
We left the Castle went to the Battlefields of Culloden where the Jacobites (Scottish) and the English fought over the lands of Scotland in 1745. This was a cold and eerie place where up to 2,000 men died. We got to the site quite late in the day so the sun was setting at 4.30pm, so it added the solemness of the land. At this point, after seeing old buildings built with crude materials and the harsh land of this battle, it struck me how strong my forbearers must have been to survive this harsh environment.
We left Inverness and it was off to Edinburgh to see the amazing sites of the old city and the new city. Once again it was constantly looking up in amazement at the large castles, churches and other buildings, all built with bare hands of no doubt the working class. Edinburgh Castle is a must see, perched on the top of a rocky hill, watching over the city. A highlight of Edinburgh was the light filled Christmas Markets with the smell of mulled wine and hot foods, this was a real treat on a cold winter’s night!
Once we left Scotland it was off to London to see the sites and experience the long and colourful history. We mostly took the Hop On Off buses which covered most of the main London attractions. We saw Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court, so have to say there were lots of “WOW” moments! It was hard to take in the beauty, detail and history of these buildings along with the magnificent gardens that surrounded them. During our journey around London we got to see many other well known landmarks and gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the English history.
While in London we went the West End to see Wicked the musical, this was such a treat to see this musical that has been playing for 10 years.
Along with the many sites, we had to “hit” the shops; this is a true advantage of travelling with another woman, there was mutual time enjoyed to shop. We visited Harrods which was another experience in itself, could not believe the riches of many of their goods for sale and the many people that flocked there just to look and of course buy.
Once we left London, it was off to Paris, by this time we were feeling a bit travel weary but we soldiered on! We just walked everywhere in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, Basilica de Sacre-Couer, Arc di Triomphe, and The Louvre, and of course the shops! We only spent three days in Paris so it was trying to fit in as much as we could in such a short time. After Paris we headed home.
This was such an amazing holiday to see the history of these countries and especially I got to do this with Stephanie, we were able to create some very special memories together.