Monday, June 28, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010: Inverness to John O'Groats and Back

Saturday, June 26, 2010 (Sandra): I would call this a landscape day. We enjoyed the stunning beauty of the northern interior highlands, the farthest eastern point of John O'Groats, and then the coastline of eastern Scotland. A simple granola/yogurt breakfast got us started. The green scenery of the rolling huge hills was amazing. The rolling, curving 'single carriage' roads with passing places were quaint. We saw stone wall ruins and endless miles of stone fences. We stopped and watched a sheep-herding competition. The border collie dogs are so intelligent. Beautiful beaches dot the coastline along the northern and eastern coastlines. Another stop included the demonstration of police dogs at a local animal shelter. The dogs are trained to attack the right hand of the suspect. At one stop Karannina and I picked little daisy flowers and I made her a daisy crown to wear. Throughout the day we developed the habit of screaming whenever we drove over a cattle grid which caused great laughter. Sheep, sheep, and more sheep are everywhere. However, we see no lamb or mutton in the grocery stores and very few items of clothing are made of wool. What happens to all these sheep? We need to investigate. It was rather disturbing to see a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - a place where it seems they are dismantling the nuclear waste place. We did not do any beach combing nearby for obvious reasons. Scottish people are well known for their whiskey and we saw many distilleries that could be visited by tourists. We listened to the Gaelic radio station and the music sounded similar to the music we hear from the eastern coast of Canada. The day ended with terrific football - a game between U.S.A. and Ghana, with Ghana winning!!!
Mag, the bearded boarder collie.

Alex discovering little creatures.

Picking wild daisy for the daisy crown.

Mom's work being displayed on the Northern Beach of Scotland by the two most beautiful women of the Schönwetter clan. That's what dad says.

The police dog demonstration at the animal shelter.

John O' Groats' - Northern most point of Mainland Scotland.

(Karannina's perspective): Today we spend 10 hours on the road traveling from Inverness to John O' Groats and back taking two different routes. First stop we were able to see a sheep dog (border collies and bearded border collies) contest. A dog with the shepherd's commands using a special whistle is to get the dog to drive three sheep through an obstacle course. One of the dogs that I was able to pet, bit me on the hand (it wasn't that bad). Mag, the bearded border collie, was so focused on wanting to round up the sheep, that when I petted her, she bit me. Next stop we got to see what a police dog's job is: the dog found the hidden objects (cell phone and a wallet) in tall meadow grass based on smell. The dog was also instructed to attack the assailant on the right arm preventing the assailant from attacking. This was part of the animal shelter exhibit. The next stop was John O' Groats. We took a family picture of sign post on the most northern part of Scotland. What was really funny is that there is a person who makes money from tourists by guarding his sign, taking pictures for tourists. Otherwise the sign is vandalized. We were able to take a picture without paying for it - thanks to another tourist. While Alex and dad do the beach combing thing, mom and I buy souveniers; I got a cross-stitch puffin bookmark that I need to make. Sheep, sheep, and more sheep and their lambs, lambs, and more lambs. We had Scotish strawberries and ice-cream for supper. We drive back to Inverness and watch the USA-Ghana football game - yeah, Ghana wins 2-1! Ghana has a really good goalie who saved most of the shots that USA made

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