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Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - TR AVEL -

our first day, as we rushed to the cas­tle, we went via a huge gar­den next to one of the main streets, which kind of cas­cades down­wards, al­most like a V-shaped space. There were lovely walk­ways and gar­dens for pic­nics and af­ter­noon lazes, but in the old days, ac­cord­ing to our guide, the space was a dark and eerie lake with all kinds of strange sto­ries at­tached.

The cas­tle it­self is a fortress with a palace within. We went through the lovely rooms where the king and queen lived, the rooms where gath­er­ings took place, the chapel, and the kitchens. Part of the cas­tle has been turned into a mu­seum, with life­like mod­els of the past: the kings, the queens, the work­ing peo­ple, sol­diers, chil­dren and sce­nar­ios from that era. It was beau­ti­fully done and I wish our mu­se­ums in In­dia were like that.

That evening, we went for a walk through the old town. Our guide was ac­tu­ally an ac­tor and, dressed in a black cape and a black hat, he took us past in­ter­est­ing sights and en­acted sto­ries from those eras, com­plete with dif­fer­ent voice tones and ac­cents. This turned the whole evening into a gi­gan­tic tale – a fas­ci­nat­ing way to learn some his­tory.

TOSS­ING THE CABER

There was more his­tory the next day, when we vis­ited the Scone Palace, home of the fam­ily of the earl and count­ess of Mans­field for the past 400 years, and the place of Scot­tish coro­na­tions. The throne at Scone is re­ally just a piece of stone, but a newly crowned king would al- ways walk down the aisle to­wards it in a cer­e­mony at­tended by roy­als and nobles.

Later, we played high­land games in the palace grounds: tra­di­tional games played by vil­lagers, such as toss­ing the caber. The caber is a large 4-feet pole, which you have to pick up, spin around and toss, aim­ing to have it land on the ground in the 12 o’clock po­si­tion. Then we played weight over the bar, swing­ing a block of wood and throw­ing it over a bar placed 15 feet be­hind us, and later we tossed gum­boots into large tyres. Funny games, made fun­nier by the fact that we re­ally couldn’t play them!

We also went for a sa­fari – a drive in the moun­tains of Scot­land. On our way up, we stopped at a mil­i­tary-look­ing camp for a lunch of soup and sand­wiches, and then con­tin­ued to the point we’d been aim­ing for – a look­out point reached by a short walk through some woods.

There was the most amaz­ing view of the lakes be­low – it was just beau­ti­ful! We were 2,000 feet above sea level, and down be­low was a lit­tle vil­lage sur­rounded by green trees. Gor­geous! But by the time we had our phones out to shoot pic­tures, it was all gone. Fog had rolled in and the scenery van­ished. That’s the Scot­tish cli­mate for you – the

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