Warwick was very nice and York was too, But, as the old poem goes, “My Heart is in the Highlands.” It was so good to see the mountains again after such a long time away. From York we took one more train to Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh is a lovely city and our stay there also included a Loreena McKennitt live performance. Edinburgh castle is huge, almost beyond belief! With Paul as our guide we visited Inverailort, Achnacarry, Glen Finnan (gathering place for the 1745 Jacobite rising), and the wonderful “West Highland Museum” at Fort William. Paul, Mike and I managed to put way a bottle of scotch whisky one evening after eating the worst supper ever at a local pub : ) The poor old bugger was 86 years old and as he said “he let the fryer get away from him.” Our food was almost fossilized. But he had some good stories to tell of the commandos coming to his place during the war. Sad to say, Inverailort STC is in ruins and fast approaching complete loss. The house is in private hands and the owner seems to have no care for its historical value or the intrinsic value of such a once beautiful house. We were saddened by its current state and uncertain future. The seven-mile drive into the estate and the sheer cliffs behind it gave us pause to think of the daunting training facing anyone determined to become a commando. Remember these lads were all volunteers.
The old Achnacarry STC is still the private home of the head of the Camerons and could not be viewed but from outside the fence. There is a fine but small museum off to the side catering primarily to those of Cameron blood. It is well worth the short drive. The drive back to Edinburgh was enlivened with sleet, rain and about 4 inches of snow. My daughter and son in law did all the driving allowing me the luxury of sitting back and taking photos and visiting with the MacDonald. Paul made the entire trip north an incredible historical adventure. His knowledge of the area, places, events, and people is phenomenal. Paul and I established a very close bond. He gifted me with two lovely agents daggers he made, and a great book titled “Scottish Fencing,” which I highly recommend! It was with a sense of sadness that we turned our faces to the west for America, the same sadness I felt the last time on leaving my ancestral home. I hope you enjoy the photos. Paul we can never thank you enough for taking the time away from your work and spending it with us. The presence of your company was a grand gift, and sorry we drank all of your whisky : (