Places I Remember with Lea Lane

Scotland: Highlands, Lowlands, Islands -- And In-Between

March 29, 2022 Bruce McAlpine and Rhona Paterson, who grew up near Edinburgh, share secrets and pleasures of their home city, plus Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, and all things Scottish. Season 1 Episode 55
Places I Remember with Lea Lane
Scotland: Highlands, Lowlands, Islands -- And In-Between
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bruce McAlpine and his sister Rhona Paterson grew up near Edinburgh. They share their love of Scotland with Lea, and they cover cities, countryside, islands and all things Scottish.

After describing Scotland geographically,  we start by talking of the Scottish character, and go on to the delights of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scottish foods, Scotch whiskey, the Highlands (is there really a Loch Ness monster?). Also the 800 or so Scottish islands, focusing on The Isle of Skye.

We also discuss Scottish pleasures such as golf, bagpipes, and festivals.

To end the episode, Rhona and  Bruce share special memories of Scotland. And Lea shares two of her memories as well: one involving Queen Elizabeth and an unexpected meeting; and the other, dealing with the question of what a Scotsman wears under his kilt.  (Bruce gives a definitive answer!).
Bruce McAlpine and Rhona Paterson grew up on a sheep farm in the Scottish Borders, near Edinburgh. From there, Bruce studied in Edinburgh before living and working in England, Africa, America and back to England. in finance positions. He currently lives in Oxford with his wife Erica and two children, Grant and May. 

Rhona studied in Aberdeen and after a few years in England moved back to the Edinburgh area.  She is an occupational therapist, and lives with her husband David and two children, William and Fia.

Podcast host Lea Lane blogs at, has traveled to over 100 countries, written nine books, including Places I Remember, and contributed to many guidebooks.

Contact Lea 
@lealane on Twitter; PlacesIRememberLeaLane on Insta; on  Facebook, it's Places I Remember with Lea Lane. Website:

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* Transcript edited for clarity.

Lea Lane  0:04  
Hi, I'm Lea Lane an award winning travel writer and author of Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 countries. On this podcast we share conversations with travelers about fascinating destinations and memorable experiences around the world.

When you hear Scotland What do you think of -- maybe bagpipes kilts, the poet Robert Burns, or maybe Braveheart on film, or time travel to Scotland on the TV show Outlander. But let's travel right now, through information and memories to a country rich with beauty, culture and fun, Scotland's the most northerly of the four parts of the United Kingdom and occupies about a third of the island of Great Britain. The country is roughly divided into the Scottish Islands and the north and west, which are the highest elevations in the British Isles, a brooding wild landscape. The central highlands is a rift valley with coal and iron bearing rocks that fuel Scotland's Industrial Revolution. The southern uplands are gentle Hills interspersed with broad valleys. Scotland also has around 800 islands, many uninhabited. We'll be highlighting Scotland with our Scottish guests, Bruce McAlpine, and his sister Rona Paterson. They grew up on a sheep farm outside of Edinburgh, which has been in the family for generations. Bruce works in finance and studied in Edinburgh before living and working in England, Africa, America and back to England. Rona studied in Aberdeen, Scotland, and after a few years in England moved back to the Edinburgh area. Welcome to Places I Remember Bruce and Rona.

Scotland's retained its national character for centuries. How would you describe it? Bruce?

Bruce McAlpine  1:49  
The character? Yeah, I think there's an independent streak. Somewhat warm, but maybe cold to the outside, or sometimes I think it depends. But yeah, the one word I'd choose would be independent more than anything else.

Lea Lane  2:00  
Absolutely. I think you're also inventive, because I read that you invented the steam engine, the telephone, the TV, penicillin and the bicycle.

Bruce  2:12  
I think yeah, that's creative. Yeah. No, I think that we have that. And that list is just the beginning. I don't know. Did you just mention Dolly the sheep.

Lea Lane  2:19  
Tell me about the cloned sheep. Right.

Bruce  2:23  
The cloned sheep? Yeah, that was near Edinburgh. And I think the list is much longer.

Lea Lane  2:28  
And how about the creative side? Harry Potter Peter Pan? Sherlock Holmes? Yes,

Bruce  2:34  
Sherlock Holmes. Yeah. Oh, and also Robert Burns who we might get to later and and then you've got some of the Enlightenment thinkers David Hume Adam Smith. So yeah, there's there's a whole heritage. I mean, at one point or even now sometimes people call Edinburgh, the Athens of the north, so there's a culture there. Definitely.

Lea Lane  2:56  
Very impressive. Let's talk about some of the must sees for a visitor. There are two major cities we're all familiar with. The first is near your home, that compact hilly capital, Edinburgh. Will you please start us off Rona. With what we shouldn't miss?

Rhona Paterson 3:10  
Well, Edinburgh has a lot to offer, from its cobbled streets to its old buildings to the castle to the modern Scottish Parliament, to Holyrood palace. And then we have Arthur's Seat as well, which is a large area of ground in the middle of which people can climb to the top off.

Lea Lane  3:29  
You can rock climb as well. Yeah,

Rhona  3:32  
Near the top, it is actually quite uneven under foot, but it makes it all the more of an achievement when you get to the top and the views are spectacular. You can see right down into the Scottish Borders, right across into Fife and across towards Glasgow. It's worth the climb. And you can see the people at the top they're tiny little speckles when you're in the city. I'm looking across, and I think you've climbed it many times, but I haven't done it at sunset or sunrise, but I believe that it's definitely worth adding to the list.

Lea Lane  4:05  
Now why is it called Arthur Seat? Is it what I think?

Bruce  4:08  
I think it's certainly shaped like a seat. You might know that.

Rhona 4:12  
That's what I always assumed.

Lea Lane  4:14  
 I read that it's King Arthur, that some claim it was the site of the mythical Camelot. Have you heard that or not?

Rhona  4:22  
That's as good a story as any good story.

Lea Lane  4:25  
But I like the idea of being able to rock climb in the middle of a city. I mean, that's fantastic. And a very rare thing. About the castle? Are the crown jewels in the castle?

Rhona 4:36  
They are there, yeah. One of my favorite things to do with visitors. It's on the Royal Mile and you arrive and you're just off the top of the Royal Mile and then they take you underground and there's the whole of the preserved 17th century street underneath the ground and it's all still there. And it really is. But you cannot imagine that it's there until you're underneath. It's unbelievable.

Lea Lane  5:06  
I actually did that. I was taken there and it is spooky and fascinating. And one of the best underground situations I've ever been to is that's under the castle right where it was.

Rhona 5:18  
Yes. Just slightly down from the castle. Yeah, it's on the Royal Mile. There's lots of opportunities to go on ghost walks around the old town as well, because there's the old town and the new town. Then the buildings kind of talk for themselves. And as you walk around, and you see lots of different things that came to capture the life that's gone before us.

Lea Lane  5:41  
I like that they call it the new town. I know it's really 19th century, but it's new versus medieval times. So it's an interesting neoclassical setting in the new town as well. I took a tour in a sidecar. I don't know if they do that. So someone drove a motorcycle, and I was in the sidecar. And they took me all the way up and all around and it was a wonderful way to see the city. I don't know if they still have those tours, but I loved it.

How about accommodations? I know there's camping, glamping and B and B's and budget hotels. But what's the best hotel would you say, in Edinburgh?

Rhona 6:14  
Well, there is a very nice hotel at both ends. So there's The Balmoral which is at the one end of Princes Street and then there's the Caledonian which is at the other end of Princes Street. And they're both very nice hotels. They often have a kilted or a tartan-trousered man waiting at the door to carry your luggage for you. And they do a very nice afternoon tea as well. But there are two very nice hotels.

Lea Lane  6:37  
There are two unique properties you should check out even it's just to get a drink at the bar. One is Finga.  Have you heard of it? it's a boat, you can actually live on the boat. It's in the port of Leith there. 23 luxury cabins and a lighthouse bar. You can go there for tea or a drink and it's really interesting as a form of lodging in the city. The other one is called Prestonfield house. I don't know if you've heard of that one. I actually had dinner there once. It's wickedly dramatic. It's very glam, very opulent, lots of silk and wall coverings and velvet. And it's really one of a kind. So again, pop in and look at it even if you don't stay there. It's really special.

Bruce 7:17  
That's where our parents had their wedding reception in Prestonfield house so we know that one.

Lea Lane  7:23  
Do you agree with me? Yeah, no,

Bruce  7:25  
it's a special place.

Lea Lane  7:26  
Very over the top.

Rhona  7:28  
Yeah, we sent them back there recently for their wedding anniversary. And the one thing that I will remember is in my parents wedding photograph. They have a peacock in the photograph. And then if you go back now they have peacocks walking around on the grass outside Prestonfield house.

Lea Lane  7:41  
Wow. Okay, let's go on to Glasgow, which is Scotland's port city on the river Clyde. It's in the western Lowlands. It's known for its Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture, which is a legacy of the city's 18th century to 20th century prosperity due to trade and shipbuilding. Bruce, how would you differentiate Edinburgh and Glasgow,

Bruce 8:01  
So Edinburgh really, culturally, it's quite conservative and can be thought of as being quite cold. In contrast to that Glasgow is, is really thought to be much warmer. And that has been my experience, too. People that are more open and friendly. And yes, it rains more, but there's maybe a greater warmth to it, where Edinburgh. I mean, we can talk about some of the history there, but it's kind of you know, that's where the Queen stays when she's in Edinburgh, rather than in Glasgow, and there's the castle and the crown jewels and everything, but Glasgow's culture. Most of the times that I've been in Glasgow have actually been to listen to live music at the Barrowlands. And that's where bands stop rather than being in Edinburgh. And then there's the School of Art and the most famous I think, is Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Lea Lane  8:47  
One of my favorite architects in the entire world. I love Glasgow because of Mackintosh, What is his specialty? What makes him so special?

Bruce  8:57  
The designs are kind of straight lines, and very modern.

Lea Lane  9:00  
His take on Art Nouveau. If you like Frank Lloyd Wright or any of that era of 1900 or so, he's just got a special way of doing it. His wife actually did a lot of the work. I studied him a bit and she doesn't get a lot of the credits. I'm going to give her some credit right now, Mrs. Mackintosh! But my favorite house that he has done is called 'a house for an art lover. You can go in there. Look at it, see the natural light and space he was designing at a time of dark you know, interiors, heavy, overstuffed things, and it is so light and beautiful. And there's a restaurant where you can dine Alfresco, and very lovely in the summer.

A couple of other things in Glasgow that I liked, besides what you mentioned, is of course, the Scottish opera or the ballet and theater, a lot of that. There's also a city center mural trail with lots of street art. It's really great. Botanic Gardens -- 50 acres of them with 12 glass houses with all kinds of interesting tree ferns inside. And this Pollock Country Park which has 360 acres, and it has herds of cattle right in the city, which you can see automatically so it's really kind of cool. I think it's a city you don't think about, you think of Edinburgh like you said it's more famous, but Glasgow has got a lot going for it.

Bruce  10:19  
And the other thing I do, two main football clubs, Glasgow, Celtic Glasgow Rangers, and it's as intense a rivalry as you'll get anywhere, so I know sometimes people come to the UK to watch the Premier League. But if you were in Glasgow, and you could get a ticket to watch another, either of those teams play I mean, so that's a real experience. So that's another sort of variant that you don't get anywhere else in Scotland.

Lea Lane  10:45  
Okay, let's talk a little bit about Scottish food. Tell us some specialties that we only find in Scotland.

Bruce  10:51  
Probably everybody knows haggis. I don't know. Did you have it? Lea when you arrived?

Lea Lane  10:55  
Yes haggis? Tell me about it. What is haggis?

Bruce 10:58  
Well, I mean, haggis is a delight. It's got oatmeal, and then it's got some other bits and pieces in it.

Lea Lane  11:04  
And pieces that make it different. Yeah.

Bruce  11:08  
Historically, those bits and pieces were things you might not want to eat. They offel. The whole thing was cooked in a sheep's stomach but I think now it's maybe higher quality and seasoned. Love haggis. Rona. do you love haggis?

Rhona 11:23  
If you pair it with a nice creamy whiskey sauce then potentially. I'm not sure...

Lea Lane  11:29  
I think if you put anything with creamy whiskey sauce it tastes good.

Bruce 11:33  
The funny thing is that Rona was born on Robert Burns' birthday and on Robert Burns' birthday you eat haggis, right? That's what you do. Well, you do other things to you. You toast the haggis and you read poetry and you drink whiskey or whatever.

Lea Lane  11:45  
That's famous around the world. A local place here not far from my house toasts Robert Burns on his birthday with all that stuff. I think they even serve haggis. So that's really interesting. Now, tell me about cock o leeky.
Bruce 12:00  
Oh, cock o leeky soup.

Lea Lane  12:02  
I know what it is. Chicken soup with leeks. Cock o leaky. How about stovies? I look these things up. It's a potato stew. Okay, these are just interesting things.

Bruce 12:16  
I think usually made with leftovers. So it's a way to use the leftovers. This is the thrifty Scottish which I should have said that would be another characteristic right?

Lea Lane  12:28  
You use all the parts of the animal which today is the right thing to do. We all know that. So you're ahead of your time on that one. Everybody loves Angus beef, scones, shortbreads. They're wonderful foods that I've eaten many times at fine restaurants. Scottish salmon, of course, nothing better. I think we have to mention something to drink. Since we're mentioning food Scotch malt whiskey. This is very interesting. What do you guys think of it -- do the younger people drink scotch?

Bruce  12:55  
I think everybody can drink it. I mean, I'm not a massive drinker. But I need to have the ones that are lighter in color.

Lea Lane  13:03  

Rhona  13:04  
Yeah, so there's a distillery less than two miles from my house. They've recently done it all up. It's a beautiful place to visit and their frequent tours come from Edinburgh. So if you're in Edinburgh, you can get a tour. And it's yeah, it's a really nice experience to go through and see the process and learn about that. So we have done that.

Lea Lane  13:30  
it's very nice, and you get to sample and it smells delicious. So as of 2020, there were 134 Scotch whisky distilleries operating in Scotland, and you can visit many of them. If you have the time, I would warn you that you can get tipsy pretty fast when you go to a few of them. Be aware of that one way to visit them and the country, without driving, is to take the train. The most luxurious is the Royal Scotsman luxury overnight train that I took. It was a 720 mile journey all around Scotland, including distilleries and golf courses and castles. It was just great. And it even has a spa on board. So it tells you what kind of experience that is. It's very Edwardian and very beautiful. So if you ever do that, that's something to aspire to. Let me ask you about the Scottish Highlands boosts there's castles over there. Can you tell us about some of them?

Bruce 14:21  
The main one that people see is Elan Donan Castle, which is the one that sort of sticks out into the loch, which I think is the most picturesque. Another one that I've enjoyed is Dunvegan castle on Skye, right when you come up coast there are ruined castles and at various points on the headlands. And so yeah, I mean, there's a history of castles and people love to take the pictures and they they evoke emotion and

Lea Lane  14:48  
Do you have to pay to go in or how does it work?

Bruce  14:50  
I don't know that we went into the Elan Dornan I mean Edinburgh Castle or Sterling are the ones that are more active. You do have to pay but then you get more for your money. If it's a ruined castle you're not really getting anything beyond what sits there. You get your picture here, your picture for free. Yeah.

Lea Lane  15:06  
Okay, so tell me we're talking about the Highlands. What about the Highland Games? There's some unusual Scottish sports that are played at those games during the summer. And I've seen pictures of them. Do you play in some of these sports?

Bruce 15:20  
Well, I can start with the tossing of the Caber. So that's the huge tree trunk that you you hold, --someone who's stronger than me -- and tries to throw that sort of up and over: the one that I always think of when I think of the Highland Games.

Lea Lane  15:35  
There's also the hammer throw. Hammer throwing. Yeah, yeah. I think these are practical things, right. They become games because the people are competitive. And it sounds like they needed to do these things for one reason or another.

Rhona 15:49  
Yes, when horseshoes over a pin as well. So that would be like, I guess it's things that are around and have been around for a long time because it is a tradition.

Lea Lane  15:57  
Right? Well, it originated in the 19th century and there are pipe bands and Highland dancers and it sounds like a lot of fun even if you don't throw the Caber. Now also in the Highlands, something very familiar. The Loch Ness Monster affectionately known as Nessie, supposedly lives in Loch Ness up in the Highlands. It's described as a large long necked creature with one or more humps. Have you guys seen it?

Bruce  16:24  
I have not seen it.

Rhona 16:26  
I've been looking for it, but we didn't see it the day I was there.

Lea Lane  16:30  
I mean, it isn't.

Bruce 16:31  
I think it is real. I think it is real, but it's hard to see, very hard to see.

Lea Lane  16:35  
It's real. A big thing living in a lake but nobody's seen it. Okay. Okay.

Rhona  16:40  
There's photographs from the past often.

Lea Lane  16:44  
I've seen them but I'm not sure. I've seen those photos. Okay, I'm gonna keep not knowing whether it's real or not. I didn't think it was real. But now I think it might because you said so. Alright, let's go from the Scottish Highlands to the Scottish islands. There are several hundreds of them, most of them remote and hauntingly beautiful. The four groups are Orkney to the north, the Shetland Islands, also to the north, and most North, and the Western Isles: the inner and outer Hebrides. All of them have rugged landscapes, fishing villages, remote Gallic speaking communities. What are the differences between those groups?

Bruce  17:20  
The biggest difference is geographically, right, so Orkney and Shetland are sticking out the top and kind of closer to Norway or to Scandinavia. And so you've got this Norsk influence and they have their Fyre festival in Shetland and January. And then I think in Orkney, you've got the Scarabrae which you may have read about this.

Lea Lane  17:37  
Yes. The 12th century Vikings. Yeah.

Bruce 17:42  
So those are there. And I mean, I think it's tough. It's a tough landscape, right? Just because of the exposure to the wind and all the rest of it. It's when you go to the Western Isles, you've got the Gulf Stream coming up the that the western side of Scotland and yeah, I mean, it's obviously still wild and you can go and do wild camping and fishing and all the rest of it, but it's more traditionally what people imagine as the Scottish Highlands and Islands, where they're all linked up with ferries, and you can go and explore.

Lea Lane  18:09  
the Hebrides, right. Yeah.

Rhona 18:11  
Beaches are spectacular, like truly spectacular colors, the clear water and the white sand.

Lea Lane  18:18  
How cold is the water? Yeah, can you swim or just walk along the beach?

Rhona 18:23  
Oh, many people swim in all the land of Scotland. wild swimming is a big thing. Currently, I would say it's kind of taken off over the last few years. So yeah, the temperature of the water does not put people off wild swimming in Scotland.

Bruce 18:58  
Yeah. Well, so. I mean, it's, I think it is a special place that when we were there, the mist was low. There are beautiful mountains,  that you can go hiking in. I guess you need a good day, a day or two to see them. Another thing, there are these fairy pools which you can swim in. I don't know whether you saw there's Dunvegan castle and the gardens and there's all sorts of local fare, so yeah, a great place.

Lea Lane  19:25  
Okay, well, the Outer Hebrides I read that there were no trees because the Vikings destroyed the tree population to prevent the locals from making boats. That's one reason sometimes you don't have trees, they are deforested. Anyway, let me ask you about the Isle of Skye. That's a very, very popular place to go. I've been there. I know you've been there.

It's a beautiful place and you can get there by bridge. It's one of the few places that you could drive to, which makes it especially nice. When I was there. I stayed at the house of the Laird of the McDonald clan. He had his house into like a lodging. So he was there with his green tartan, and his wife was doing cooking lessons. And he was talking all about the clan. So it was really interesting. I learned all about that clan. And while I was there, Barbra Streisand was staying there with her beau at the time, James Brolin, and I guess this is a great place to have an affair because it's so far away from everything and nobody was there. No paparazzi and I thought this is where you should go. Very smart.

Anyway, there are other interesting things about Scotland -- tell us about golf. The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland, right?

Bruce  20:11  
Yeah, at St. Andrews is the home of golf, and you can go to St Andrews and play the old course. But there are many other courses. So I mean, the special thing about St. Andrews and the other courses in Scotland, the famous ones, are the links golf where it's very dry. What is that? It's the normal game of golf, but it's usually beside the sea where the ground is hard and dry. And if you imagine your average golf course, it may have big wide fairways. And if you make a mistake, you're not punished. If you're on a links course, if you you get it wrong, you end up in thick, sort of sand- dune-type grass and the fairways are narrow and hard. And it's hard. There are many sand bunkers so you can end up hitting the ball under those and as I say They're characterized by being around the coast, and there are lots that you can pay to play, but also there are many courses where Rona stays including Muirfield where they play the British Open and others have the open courses, so Carnoustie or Turnberry, you can pay to play on as well. And I'd also just say that the golf is an every man's game and Scotland so many of the local towns will have golf courses that are affordable to play on. And so it's not just going to a links course you could take your clubs and play in small local courses and, and have a lot of fun just experiencing it the way that people experience.

Lea Lane  21:32  
Sounds like a real golfer would love to do that. Like one of the things you should do. Play Yeah,

Bruce 21:37  
You definitely could. There's yeah, there's all sorts, they're all very different.

Lea Lane  21:43  
When I think of Scottish music, I think of the bagpipe, and Annie Lennox. But anyway, the bagpipe came from the 16th century where various clans had established these pipers and later the instrument was used in wartime to inflame the passions of soldiers. Where would you hear the bagpipe today?

Rhona  22:00  
You hear it on the streets and there's always a pipe or a lone Piper standing piping in Edinburgh on the street so you would see them on the Royal Mile or round about Princes Street but yeah, typically now it would be an event. Some people have what's known as a Ceilidh  which is like a Scottish Highland dancing party. And you may have a piper in there to provide the music and obviously, as you said, a Scottish wedding  often a piper would pipe in the bride and groom.

Lea Lane  22:28  
That sounds nice. I think the sound of a bagpipe is very haunting and fun. I always think of Scotland, of course, when I hear it. Now, how about some festivals? I know you've both been to Scottish festivals. Rona, what are some of the ones you've enjoyed?

Rhona  22:43  
I think like for me, the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, which runs through the month of August. It's just you know, it's amazing because it brings in comedians, it brings in art, it brings in street performers from around the world. And it's all in one place. And it's so accessible. You can spend the whole day just ambling around the streets and watching people perform. And you can book and go and see people and yeah, it's just the atmosphere, it's something you have to kind of experience. And I thoroughly recommend visiting Edinburgh at the time of the festival.

Lea Lane  23:18  
How about Hogmanay, what is that?

Rhona  23:21  
Hogmanay is our New Year's celebration. So again, it's just a really good opportunity to celebrate and have fun. And there's a well known street party in Edinburgh that's around about Princes Street and across the bridges that cross on top of the station and also over Princes Street Gardens and it looks up towards the castle and then at midnight, there's a very good fireworks display which comes out of Edinburgh Castle. Lots of people visit from again, all around the world. But we have, Bruce and I have both been as well. So locals really enjoy Hogmanay.

Lea Lane  23:55  
Any other festivals? You mentioned the Burns Festival, where you eat haggis.

Bruce 23:59  
So another thing that was invented which is not really a festival, but so rugby wasn't invented in Scotland, but it's a sport played seriously. And the game the seven aside, game of rugby was invented in the Scottish Borders and they're all the local towns have their seven aside tournaments, it was invented in a place called Melrose and you can go and watch that and then partake in the fun with that too. So that's the thing. It's a more open and fun game than the full on rugby in the spring, actually.

Lea Lane  24:25  
It's hard sometimes to learn these games when you come over, like cricket is very hard to figure out. Rugby sounds like it's more fun to watch.

Okay, Bruce, and Rona. The name of the podcast is Places I Remember. So I would love for each of you to share a special memory of your beloved Scotland.

Rhona  24:41  
Yeah, I just feel really fortunate where I live. and it has so much to offer, like the beaches There are two volcanic plugs you can claim to the top of. For me,  just like climbing to the top of them and looking across the Firth of Forth, it's just really lovely to see the beaches and just be active. You can do paddleboarding at the beach. You can do horse riding on the beach, there's just so much to do that I just feel so lucky to have the opportunity to do those things.

Lea Lane  25:20  
 Bruce, what about you?

Bruce  25:22  
Yeah, I'll go more sentimental. So one of the things in Edinburgh that we haven't talked about is the Scott monument, which is to celebrate while there, Scott. So this is a kind of weird shaped spaceship-looking monument that you can climb up in the inside, or at least you could, I'm assuming you still can. But anyway, my memory is of climbing up there with our grandmother, and you get right to the top and when you're right at the top you're literally squashed in this spiral staircase to get to the top and when you get up you're right in the center of Edinburgh but you're able to look down and and see all the people looking like ants on the bottom and then you can see all of the views all around and it's I think because anytime you're in Edinburgh you can see that monument. When I think of Edinburgh, that's what I think of and then I think of climbing it with my grandmother as well. And so it's the Scott monument.

Lea Lane  26:12  
So many people have memories of their family and lovely. I have a wee story or two. I saw Queen Elizabeth way back when she was a young queen. I guess she was on her way to Balmoral castle. No one was around and a car stopped, a black car, I remember, and the Queen was in the car and I was like right next to the car. I could see her so closely and I will never forget how blue her eyes were. That was something I have remembered all my life. She has gorgeous blue eyes.

I have another memory. I think it was 2007, Bruce, when you married my niece. I remember how wonderful the wedding was at the farm. And Rona was there as well, of course. And all the men were in kilts. I'm going to say this: And I did ask them what was under their kilts and they said  -- nothing. And I'm going to ask you Bruce once and for all. Is that true?

That is true.

Wow. I believe I finally got the answer. Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Bruce McAlpine, and Rona Paterson, how lucky I am that we are family. And I'm going to thank you in Scott Gallic. I learned that just because I wanted to speak a little Gallic for you.

This is an appropriate episode to say that many of you have become like a family, listeners to share a common interest in learning more about the world, traveling with an open mind and heart and caring about our planet so that we could continue to enjoy its wonders. As I record this episode. Just a bit over a year since we started, Places I Remember has been downloaded in 120 countries and almost 2500 cities around the world. And we're in the top 5% of all podcast globally. According to Listen Notes search engine. I love to hear from you and I'll reply whether you comment, ask a question or even if you think you'd like to come on the podcast with your special travel memories. Contact me on any of my social media links, which you'll find in each episode show notes, or at my website,

Lea Lane  28:17  
Thanks for sharing travel memories with us. My book, Places I Remember is available on Amazon and in bookstores -- in print and Kindle and I read the audio version. Please subscribe to this podcast and consider giving us a review. Until next time, join us wherever in the world we're going.

Scottish character and creativity
Scottish foods
The Royal Scotsman
The Highlands
Loch Ness Monster
The Islands
Golf, bagpipes, festivals
Special memories of Scotland