In search of Jamie

‘Twas a bit chilly this morning. But it was indeed sunny and that’s two days in a row Scotland! Thank you!!

A bit of an unglamorous start to the day… 1 1/2 hours in a laundrette!! We were getting desperate for clean clothes, so sadly this was a necessity. However the lively Scottish lady running the place was happy, cheery, and entertaining (at least we think she was, we only understood half of what she said). Time flies when you’re having fun!

Grahame’s family descended from these parts, so it was time to do a little exploring! We headed to Broxburn, then Uphill and Bathgate. All places we had heard of over the years.

Broxburn church

We had a few addresses but weren’t overly successful as streets no longer existed.

We visited a few cemeteries and found a few Marjoribanks headstones. We thought the Martha Marjoribanks one might have been Grahame’s aunt who died here before the family came to Australia. We found the gravestone but the facts didn’t add up.

Probably related somehow

We did spot quite a few names of possible relatives and names that have been incorporated into the family such as Walker, Lynch and Ballantyne.

Grahame’s mum had a placemat that had this set of buildings on it. (We think! ). She had asterisked one as a family residence. Should have done a bit more research!!!

Bathgate

Being canal folk now, we couldn’t go past Falkirk without stopping off at the Falkirk wheel. An imposing structure, it picks up a big bathtub full of water containing a canal boat, rotates, and deposits the bathtub and its contents higher on a different canal. The 24 metre wheel replaces a flight of 11 locks which would take almost a half day to negotiate. Now the process takes about a couple of minutes.

Around she goes
Pink tourist boat on the way up.

It was time to head north to Inverness. Our plan is to drive the North Coast 500, a route around the north of Scotland, over the next five or six days before returning to Edinburgh and our flight home!

The route starts and finishes in Inverness, but we will adapt it slightly and see what happens.

The drive north was spectacular!! The autumn colours in the forests, the stark bleakness of the bald hills, the fast flowing streams and rivers, the dark stone cottages clumped together, the sheep and cattle grazing in green, green paddocks, an occasional waterfall, walking trails leading off into the distance. And SNOW!!

The Cairngorms

We arrived at our Airbnb just outside Inverness in time to see a young deer grazing in the paddock outside our bedroom window.

Bambi

We walked down to the Culloden Moor Inn for dinner. A distance of about 2 kms. And yes it’s next door to the Culloden Moor battlefields. Didn’t see Jamie Fraser ( Grahame has his eye out for Clare) or any of the other Jacobites. Maybe tomorrow.

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