Touring vs. Visiting

When I accepted the invitation for this pulpit swap with the Kirriemuir Old Parish, our family made the decision to spend our time in Scotland in a different way from out previous trips. The last two times we crammed as many side trips as we possibly could to as many places as we could check off from our to do list. We traveled to Skye, the Shetlands, Loch Lomond, Loch Ness and every place in betwen. “This time around, we’re going to stay close to home, not venture too far from Kirriemuir, and drive somewhere everyday” we told ourselves.

Well, we stayed close-ish to Kirrie but we didn’t quite live up our decision to not travel as much.

Since arriving in Scotland, we have visited Edinburgh, Brechin, St. Andrews, GlenIsla, GlenClova, GlenProsen, Aberfeldy, Pitlochry, Montrose, Stonehaven, Stirling, Perth, Aberdeen, Ellon, Arbroath, Inverness, Fort George, and just about every place in between.

We’re exhausted but so thankful for this opportunity. Instead of traveling really far away from Kirriemuir, we’ve made a big circle around Kirrie and traveled in every direction until we had seen and expereinced just about every place and great site within an hour and a half radius.

So today, we’re resting. We slept in late, had a great breakfast in town, and are now enjoying a quiet morning in the manse. Life is very, very good. 

My church experience here in the Kirk of Scotland continues to be eye-opening. My next post will focus on the parish system. The idea of a minister for every person in Scotland is fascinating and so different from our member-based approach. Not sure which is better or worse yet…just recognizing the differences.

This weekend will be full of festivals. We’re heading to the Arbroath Seafest on Saturday and after church Sunday we are all participating in the Cortachy Highland Games. Denali bought new Highland Dance shoes and kilt hose to where so she can compete in Highland Dance. All of us will be racing in the “Overseas Visitors Competition.” I’m hoping it’s just the four of us…then I think I’ll have a chance.

Here’s an update on the last few days:

Tuesday – Church activities most of the day and a drive up GlenClova in the evening. 

 Wednesday – Triumphant return to University of Aberdeen (what, no parade for us?), the Brewdog brewery in Ellon, Tolquhon Castle (our FAVORITE caslet so far) and hanging out with my German brother Robert in Stonehaven. 

 Thursday – Incredible tour of the Blackwatch Museum and Castle with Ronnie Proctor. What an amazing man! 40 years in the BlackWatch, starting at age 15! Thank you for the wonderful tour, Ronnie! 



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