| Scot­land

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - History Repeated -

ON TO SCOT­LAND, AND THE FIRST PORT of call took us to Glas­gow, which is just 46 miles by land to Ed­in­burgh. By ship it took us four days — four fas­ci­nat­ing scenic days to sail through the Ir­ish Sea, around the Orkney Is­lands at the north­ern tip of Great Bri­tain, and down the North Sea to the vicin­ity of Scot­land’s cap­i­tal. In Glas­gow, the Kelv­in­grove Art Gallery and Mu­seum of­fers an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of art, ar­ti­facts in­clud­ing stuffed an­i­mals and a World War II fighter plane, and a Glas­gow his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive.

The next port of In­ver­gor­don was a jumpin­goff point for a glimpse of Scot­tish life and his­tory away from the big ci­ties. We walked the bat­tle­field of Cul­lo­den, where Bon­nie Prince Char­lie’s brave High­landers were cut to pieces in the last gasp (un­til re­cently) of hopes for Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence. Nearby Caw­dor Cas­tle shows how a for­ti­fied struc­ture that be­gan more than 500 years ago can evolve into a bright, roomy, an­tique-filled home that seems to in­vite vis­i­tors to perch on the sofa for a cup of tea.

No doubt Ed­in­burgh is Scot­land’s big des­ti­na­tion, re­ward­ing vis­i­tors with a rich his­tory span­ning nearly 1,000 years. A walk­ing tour might start at Holy­rood Palace, as­so­ci­ated with Mary, Queen of Scots and still the place where Bri­tish roy­als bed down when in town. Then head west along the his­toric Royal Mile, lined with me­dieval stone struc­tures, to Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle, which looms over the city and houses Scot­land’s Crown Jew­els. Lastly, visit the city’s New Town. “New” is a rel­a­tive term — this part of the city was laid out in the 18th and 19th cen­turies in a Ge­or­gian ar­chi­tec­tural style and is con­sid­ered a mas­ter­piece of ur­ban plan­ning.

Around ev­ery turn and in ev­ery port along a Bri­tish Isles cruise, a bounty of sto­ried sites awaits to re­mind you of cen­turies past. Take time to leisurely take in the views and learn abun­dant les­sons in his­tory.

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