I have been looking forward to sharing a few (maybe more than a few) of my favorite pictures from a trip my husband and youngest daughter and I took to Scotland and Ireland in May.  It is hard to describe  why I felt so connected to the beauty of these countries, especially the highlands of Scotland. How can you not love something called The Isle of Skye?  Of course there was the fact that sheep were everywhere and that any shop I went in enveloped me in the lovely woolly fumes of piles of knitted sweaters and woven tartans.  But more than that, something about the vistas combining huge sky with mountains and seashores or lochs (lakes) and stark white houses that look like monopoly houses because the land is so big, just captured my soul.  And the surprise of seeing, for real, castles popping up pretty much anywhere was always a delight.

One thing that really made an impression on me, was that the history of both countries is so passionate, and granted violent, but seemed to be so connected to the people in their current lives. Granted we were being exposed to it through our Scottish tour guide who was a retired history professor and others equally passionate about about their past.  But there is just something there that is different in how I feel connected to my history.  I might even have to go back and read the battle scenes that I skipped over in the Outlander series.  I will never forget the feeling of standing on the Culloden battlefield where so many died, marked by ancient looking stones telling the name of the clan members that died there. Many of the places we went were powerful and unforgettable and the images are still going through my head.  And the Guinness tasting was ok too, not so much the whisky tasting at 10:00 in the morning. But when in Ireland….

I think it is a sign of a really good trip when even a few months later I have so many images still running through my head.  Of course it helps that I am still working on the travel journal that I took along on the trip.  I only got to day two in the journal while on the trip so I have been gradually adding some favorite images in watercolor.  If you can bear to look at more photos I am still uploading the final of my favorites on my flickr site

I hope someday to be able to go back and renew the connection that I felt while there and if you have a connection real  or imagined I hope you too can pay these green isles a visit.

Eilean Dolan Castle

The Eilean Dolan Castle is a small tidal island where three sea lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland.

Sheepdogs and sheepies

black faced mountain sheep are a hardy breed that probably outnumber the people.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond, the most magical boat trip ever

Stones and Culloden

Clava Cairn standing stones that inspired author Diana Gabaldon in her time traveling Outlander series, see how Erinn is blurry…she almost traveled back in time/ the battlefield of Culloden, flags marking where opposing sides fought


Streets of Edinburgh; I could happily spend a week here taking pictures /  Ian our tour guide in Scotland was almost always in a kilt. Yeah!


Edinburgh Castle, Bunratty Castle, Blarney Castle, Glamis Castle, Dublin Castle, Inverarary Castle, Blair Castle and Eilean Dolan Castle. Clockwise from upper left

colorful streets and musicians

colorful streets and musicians everywhere

Old Library

Old Library at Trinity College in Dublin, where the Book of Kells is displayed

Atholl Palace hotel

We stayed 2 nights at this beautiful Atholl Palace hotel, near the town of Pitlochry, Scotland.  The closest I have ever felt to royalty


schoolgirls of Dublin

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland