Just one hour from our local airport and we were in Edinburgh - Scotland's capital.
The skyline dominated by both the castle and Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat being the remains of a very ancient volcano rising 250m (822ft) above the city.
The Scott Memorial - built in 1840 following Sir Walter Scott's death in 1832. A competition was held to design the monument and one entrant entered under the name of John Morvo - the name of a medieval architect who designed Melrose Abbey. Morvo was in fact George Meikle Kemp, a 45 year old self-taught architect. Kemp had feared his lack of experience would disqualify him, but the design was popular with the judges and Kemp was awarded the contract to construct the monument. Bill Bryson described it as looking like a "gothic rocket ship". No time to climb the tower - our destination - the "Highlands" where we planned to take some interesting railway journeys as many of you had guessed.
This pretty packhorse bridge straddles the River Dulnain in Carrbridge diagonally across the road from our hotel in the Cairgorms. The river water is an amber colour due to the peat. It makes the water extremely soft which leaves your hair silky and smooth eliminating the need to use hair conditioner.
This plaque was badly scratched but it does show how the packhorse bridge was used. It was erected 300 years ago because there was no point at which the river could be crossed when it was in full spate. This caused distress and hardship to the locals, and burials at the Church across the river often had to be delayed. Here you can see a coffin being taken over the bridge.
It's all rather lovely and peaceful with the river gently flowing by, and the sun shinning brightly high up in the blue sky.