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Scotland (June 1, 2002)

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We are now in Scotland! Dad keeps talking with a Scottish accent. We went to Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian's Wall was a big wall that Hadrian (a Roman Emperor) made to keep the Scots out. The Scottish people: a) painted themselves blue for battle and fought the Romans, who got really annoyed; b) thought that Hadrian made the wall to keep the Romans out. We went to the Roman Army Museum. Mom gave me a weird test paper, but I didn't have a pen to use. The museum was full of field trips and it was very hard to move. Because of this Mom and I got separated from Joss and Dad. We accidentally started a movie by pushing a button (it did say "push here") before trying to find the other half of our family. We found them somewhere around the entrance, and they said they had been outside. Dad gave me a pen and I filled out the test thing. It turns out that I got sixteen points -- just enough to become a legionnaire.

We also took a walk up to the actual wall, but it was so windy up on the hill that Joss almost got blown away. By the time we got back to the car, it was raining.

We spent four days at the Hebrides Islands. We went to Iona, but we had to go on a 45-minute ferry ride to the island of Mull, where we then took a long 70 minute bus ride to another ferry station, which took us to Iona. There was a big abbey there, and while Mom and Dad went inside, Joss and I played on a big hill.

Then we went to Staffa and Lunga. We went through the same first part (ferry, bus, ferry) before we got to Staffa. The island was like a big rock crystal with grass growing on it. We walked along the edge to Fingal's Cave. It was a bit darker there, and the waves that came in smashed against the end of it and it was very fun. We didn't have enough time to explore the top of the island, but we went to Lunga Island.

And on Lunga Island there were (and still are) puffins! Puffins are little birds that look a bit like penguins (they have black and white) but are much smaller. They look sort of like a 3-D cartoon. There were also shags, but Joss called them "Burpers" because they made a burping sound if you got too close to their nests. They build the nests under rocks, so they are really hard to see. I kept telling them "I you wouldn't hiss at me then I wouldn't even know that you were there!" and "Quiet, I'm nowhere near you!" Then there were rabbits, but then we had to go.

At Inverness, we went to Loch Ness. Loch Ness is a big lake where people believe there is a big monster called Nessie. We went to the Loch Ness Museum. We walked through rooms, and in each one there was a little movie. There were lots of sightings of Nessie, but some of them were faked. In the shop, we saw…THE INTERLAKETIC STUFFED NESSIE ARMY! Nessies and Nessies and Nessies and more Nessies, key chain Nessies, Nessie pins (these we bought)… and to lead them all was a giant stuffed Nessie (this we did not buy, though we could have for 50 pounds).

Last we went to the Falkirk Wheel. The Falkirk Wheel is a big wheel that cranks ships up and down. This is the first thing that moves boats from one water level to another that is not a lock. Unfortunately, the museum was closed and it was raining so we left.

Scotland was interesting and was full of new fun things to do, and I am sad to leave (though now Dad will stop talking with a Scottish accent…)


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