- Raven Sinclaire
The Days are Dreadfully Short
Several years ago, Steve and I decided to visit Scotland in February. The days are dreadfully short and the weather is, well, what others would call dreadful. Still, after going there in every season, we remember this trip as the most magical, our favorite.
There wasn’t a tourist anywhere to be found so it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We rented a car and drove southwest with no agenda. We sipped whiskey in Kirkcudbright which sounds nothing like it’s spelled and sat by the wood stove eating homemade soup in Wigtown, a village filled with almost nothing but bookstores. The pub was closed but we didn’t know and walked right in. The owner said she’d just made some soup and would love to feed us, so her dog lay across our feet as we dipped crusty bread in chowder so delicious, that I dream of it still.
We hiked on the Isle of Arran, wrapped from head to toe in layers of wool, and saw gorgeous red stags and frozen waterfalls. We learned that no one locks their doors or cars on the island. In fact, people share cars so the keys are left in them cause it’s more convenient. We did a whole lot more before driving north, to the very tip top of Scotland, John o’ Groats.
We stayed a couple of nights in a grand castle on Sinclair Bay for only a song…not
even a whole song but maybe a quarter tune. After a divine dinner served in front of an enormous roaring fire, the manager told us to “have a wander. Open doors, find secret stairs. You’re the only ones here!” We explored. The next day we had a personal invitation to peruse a private Templar/ St. Clair library in a lighthouse by the ruins of Girnigoe, one of the earliest seats of clan Sinclair. We were just finishing exploring the ruins when this wee horse came to say hello. Sometimes the Universe knows just what you need.
The castle we stayed in is no longer open to the public. The lighthouse library is also no more. But there are more treasures to find and when I recently asked Steve what he wanted for his upcoming birthday, he said “Would you take me to Scotland?”
“Always,” he said. So here we go once more, in a couple weeks. I need to scout out some new tour routes so you'll keep coming back with us...
...which reminds me, we had a music tour this past September who loved traveling together so much that they have mostly filled up the 2024 Island Tour. There are two double rooms left. Maybe they are for you? The itinerary is not completed yet but we will visit the Isles of Skye, Stornaway, Harris, North Uist and Barra as well as a surprise stop. This is still a Chuck Brodsky Music Tour so there will be great music! If you would like to take one of these last two rooms, simply book using Chuck's deposit link and send me a note to tell me you want the Island Tour.
Meanwhile, check out dates for our brand new History and Ancestry tour as well! It's a tour built around YOUR family's history so space is limited.
I'll let you know how we find February in Scotland when we return and I promise to gather some new and lovely experiences with you in mind.
Until next time,