Whimsy wanders Scotland….

Our Scotland experience continued; the chilly weather  easily dispelled by the warmth of spending time with our daughter & long-time sweetheart, Bret.

The University of Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall is worth another look, with a better view found online.  When our daughter graduated, we watched  the ceremony via live video feed.  And though we’d been in awe of the televised grandeur,  the hall is more magnificent in person.

What a magnificent setting in which to hold a graduation ceremony.

Isn’t this amazing?  What a majestic setting in which to hold a graduation ceremony.

For days we roamed Edinburgh on foot, seeing the sights & popping into whatever small shop struck our fancy.  Went to the Royal Botanical Gardens (established in 1670) beautiful even in cold early springtime.  Admittedly, we best appreciated the warmth inside their beautiful Glasshouses!

RBG Glasshouses  Orchids

Jurassic  Cocoa tree

Acres of  Glasshouses to wander, with various biomes: Alpine, Desert, Tropical, etc.  I suspect dinosaurs lurked among those Jurassic-type ferns!  And hey look where your chocolate comes from ~ COCOA trees!  See the hand-size green pod just above the white sign?  The pods grow on the tree’s trunk, and hold the seeds which become all things deliciously chocolate.

We visited the National Museum of Scotland, and could have lingered days among the fascinating exhibits.  Lil’ Whimsy got carried away at a display of her ancestor’s skulls.  She was a bit overwhelmed, and later (quite!) settled herself with a glass ‘o Pear Cider!

Sheep skulls Pear Cider BLISS

FYI – Rekorderlig Pear Cider is a drink of heavenly bliss!  Such a clear, crisp pear flavor, hints of vanilla… it’s magic on the palate.  If anyone knows where I can find it in Portland ~ or anywhere in Oregon~ please do share your info!

Ever onward…because vacations are effort and you rest after returning home, right?   Princess Leia yarn buns.  Cobblestones & architecture everywhere.  Museum of Childhood ~ where Lil’ Whimsy hung out with buddies.  Can you spot her?

Princess Leia yarn buns More cobbles Architecture Childhood museum

We had a captivating private tour of Broughton Ales, led by their gregarious Sales & Export Manager, Bret Retallick.  Broughton is a swell micro-brewery just beyond Edinburg, between the towns of Biggar and Peebles.   Serious beer devotees have toured & blogged about Broughton Ales – so for in-depth analysis & better photos inside the brewery, visit This Blog.    Bret explained the brewing process step-by-step, showing us Mash Tuns, Fermenting vessels, Hot Liquor tanks (so not what you are thinking!), and handfuls of grain, hops flakes & pellets.  I must say, it did smell yeasty-lovely in the fermenting rooms.  We ended with beer tasting in the visitor’s room, and once again, Lil’ Whimsy was in-her-cups!  Jenna got on a Kegger too!

Broughton Ale vats  Hops for brewing

Ale vats  IMG_3326  Whimsy in her cups  Jenna on a kegger

Heading back to Edinburgh, we did see plenty of sheep, though (darn) never had our road blocked by them.

The Highlands  Inquisitive sheep

More sheepy adventures to come…. when Whimsy goes to the Scottish Highlands!  And Amsterdam!

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