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 A Scottish Adventure

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willowsend
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PostSubject: A Scottish Adventure   Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:10 pm

A Scottish Adventure

Introduction:- I would like to introduce two lovely Bulgarian people Veronica and Mitko, a married couple both in their early to mid thirties. I first met Veronica nearly ten years ago when she was working for Switch-homes, an Estate Agent in Varna. I was on a mission looking to buy a holiday property so I was very pleased that she spoke excellent English. As I was staying in a local hotel which she organised for me I was feeling a bit lost and not being able to speak any Bulgarian, I nervously ask her if she was allowed to socialise with customers, she said no problem so I met with her in a Happy restaurant and bar after she finished work. At 9.00pm that evening a guy turn up at our table and Veronica said, I would like you to meet my fiancé and that was the start of our very happy relationship

My wife Sheila and I were invited to their wedding five years ago which took place in Varna Cathedral and we met Veronica’s mother and ninety Bulgarian guests. On all the visits to our villa near Dobrich we meet up with them and have an evening meal, sometimes they stay the night. Earlier this year they moved into a new apartment in Varna and we were invited to spend the evening with them where Veronica served up a Bulgarian moussaka with a little help from her Mum

Veronica’s Mum and Dad parted company within a few weeks of Veronica being born, she has never had any fatherly love and affection, so she has adopted me as her Dad which I am very proud of. When she emails me she starts off, Dear UK dad and sign’s off, your BG daughter. When we were at their apartment I asked her Mum (translated) what she thought of her daughter calling me Dad and the reply I got was, In the time that Veronica has known you she has had more fun, love and affection from you than she has ever had from her biological father, so I am very pleased for her and long may it last

Sheila and I have spent holidays with them in Bruges, Northern France, England and back in June as it was my birthday we wanted to go to Scotland so they insisted on joining us. They drove to Sofia and got a Wizziar flight to Birmingham where they stayed in an airport hotel overnight

Day 1 of our Scottish Adventure:-   We collected them from their hotel at 9.00am and set off on our 400mile journey to Scotland. We stopped for morning coffee at the M6 services and then drove on to Gretna Green which was their first taste of Scotland. Veronica asked me if this was the place where marriages took place. We were all looking around when an official looking gentleman approached Veronica and Mitko and asked them if they would be witnesses to the next wedding, and they agreed
What a wonderful experience for them and a what a surprise that on just entering Scotland to be involved in a wedding and leaving their Bulgarian signatures on the official paperwork, so after a bite to eat and a taste of Scottish beer (called eighty shillings) we moved onto the city of Perth and booked into the Salutation Hotel, built in the 1600s and reputed to be the oldest hotel in Scotland. Having had a long day travelling, we booked into our rooms, went for an evening meal and then retired to our beds for an early night

Day 2, June 10th:- It’s my birthday, so it’s down to the hotel restaurant for a full self service Scottish champagne breakfast, and then the opening of some memorable cards and presents. After breakfast we needed to walk off  our excessive  over eating so we drove to The Birks of Aberfeldy where Scotland’s famous bard Robert (Rabbi) Burns wrote many of his poems and songs. The walk takes about one and a half hours, a little longer if you are unfit like me.
Take a look at this and you will see just how beautiful it is,

THE BIRKS OF ABERFELDY
Approximate Length:
3.5km
Approximate Height Gained: 200m
Nearest Town: Aberfeldy

Waterfalls, woodland, wildlife... and Robert Burns!

This is a beautiful circular walk on clear and well maintained paths, with dramatic drops down into the gorge of the Moness Burn as it runs towards the town of Aberfeldy.  You can start the walk in the town itself, or park in the dedicated car parks just off the road as you leave the town in the direction of Crieff.

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In the afternoon we went to Pitlochry and visited the theatre known affectionately by many as the “Theatre in the Hills”, Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT) is a focal point in Highland Perthshire life, offering a varied and exciting programme of events all year round, then a stroll across the dam hoping to get a glimce of the salmon leaping

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Before leaving we had to have a quick eighty shilling beer in the Old Mill pub which still has a working water wheel
So its now back to the Salutation Hotel for our celebration meal, and it was a real pleasure to see that Veronica and Mitko had the attitude of the old saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do” so they joined us in have the Scottish traditional food. Starters:- Haggis with whisky white wine sauce
Main Course :- Angus sirloin steak and all the trimmings, Desert :- well of course a birthday cake and complimentary champagne supplied by the hotel. They took great pleasure in advertising my age

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Day 3 :-
Continuing our adventure we left Perth after breakfast and made our way going north up the A9 road to Blair Atholl where we visited and spent most of the day in Blair Castle and the Hercules Gardens. There was so much to see and do at this beautiful castle with Veronica capturing every moment with her camera including the Scottish piper. She asked him, is it true what they say about Scotsmen wearing kilts, he made her laugh with the reply, that’s for me to know and for you to find out and then allowed himself to be photographed with both of them.

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We then visited the beautiful Hercules Gardens where Veronica had great delight in pointing out Hercules’s manly parts. This lovely Bulgarian couple are having the time of their lives, just look at the happiness in their faces.

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Having left a memorable day at Blair Castle we travelled further north to Kingussie where we were to stay for the next two nights.

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A very homely and comfortable place to stay where the owners could not do enough for us and made us very welcome. Having got settled in we strolled down to the main street and found a nice place for our evening meal. The following is the review I left on their website  My wife and I had two friends from Bulgaria with us so it was interesting to see what they would choose to eat  it
We all enjoyed the food so much that we went back the next evening and this time we all ordered Cullen Skink, (smoked haddock soup) it was very thick and gloopy that the spoon stood up in it, but again an excellent choice. The waitress was very pleasant and assertive and the food was not over priced. If ever we are in the area again, would certainly return
Day 4:- Veronica and Mitko actually had an itinerary which I put together for the whole week, so they knew where we were going and what we were doing except for today June 12th. About mid-morning we drove to Aviemore and continued to explore the area by road, driving up to the Cairngorm mountain cable car, where it was requested that we went to the summit, but I had to make an excuse as to why we couldn’t. Actually there was still snow on top of the mountain in mid June. At 12.45pm I parked the car near to Aviemore station where we were going to board the 1.00pm Strathspey Steam train  http://strathspeyrailway.co.uk/  for a Sunday excursion which included a full Scottish Sunday lunch and champagne. This was their surprise and don’t they look happy.

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Now, it’s back to our Kingussie accommodation and another evening at the same restaurant for more Cullen Skink
Day 5 :- It is now time to start heading back south so we have got a 100 mile drive to our next port of call  which is Stirling and look for our over night stay. When we found it (thanks to satnav) what a pleasant surprise it was especially the price, 9 Glebe Crescent, Bed and Breakfast has been welcoming guests for over twenty years. Built in 1876, this Victorian home has been sympathetically refurbished to showcase all the grandeur a Victorian house possesses – high ceilings, beautiful cornicing, fireplaces, centrepiece roses and stain glass windows, and what a lovely welcome we got from the lady of the house. We could not stay in Stirling without a visit to the castle and the Wallace Monument . There was so much to see and do that the whole day was spent at the castle which included a guided tour [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] click on the link and you will see what I mean..........
It’s our last night of our adventure so we have our final Scottish meal at The City Walls Restaurant which was within easy walking distance from our overnight stay.
Day 6 :- After a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast we got packed  and commenced the journey back to our home in Oxfordshire, travelling through Edinburgh and the beautiful scenery of the Scottish Borders, stopping off in the picturesque Lake District for lunch. It is worth a mention that the weather was kind to us as it was hot and sunny and a pleasure to sit outside with a pie and a pint.

We arrive safely back at our house.
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The next day we took them back to Birmingham Airport to learn that their flight was delayed so they had a stressful ending to their Scottish Adventure arriving at Sofia Airport at 3.15 am and then the drive to Varna
.........................................................................................................................

This is the email I received on their return

Dear Dad,

First of all, thank you once again for the great experience we had in Scotland. This trip did not just meet our expectations but over-delivered due to your undoubted organizational skills and your exceptional care to make us happy, in which you thoroughly succeeded. Having in mind Sheila's health condition I know how much effort this cost both you and Sheila and we are more than grateful for your patience and understanding. So once again thank you for all the great work you did and for all the unforgettable memories you made for us!

Bryan, I just wanted you to know that we hadn't expected you to pay anything for us and we would have gladly covered any expenses you had made for us for this trip. However, as your decision is to make us a present we accept it and as I said we would be very happy to be able to make it up to you somehow. What I should add is that we would have never accepted such a great present from anyone we didn't feel that close to. And you should already know how close we feel you are!


I checked all the pictures I had taken and I may say there are excellent ones. And what's even more important is that we have great photos of us four! I believe that these photos are to be a great memory for all of us from this amazing trip.

Bryan, thank you for having you in my life! I think it's God's work!

Love you both and sending you warmest hugs and kisses,

Your BG daughter Veronica
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nu2bg
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PostSubject: Re: A Scottish Adventure   Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:41 pm

Wow Brian you really are a gent and that couple look so happy. It just goes to show that there are nice people in Bg and this young couple prove it. I can imagine they were amused in some ways by the customs in  Scotland S:SK: what an adventure they have had and not to mention you and your wife also enjoying the country and what it has to offer. Well done Brian it's lovely to read positive stuff like this which can only improve the relations with Bulgarians and us Brits.
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Roadworker
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PostSubject: Re: A Scottish Adventure   Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:22 pm

Excellent fantastic and all things good, what a great read that was and what an adventure for your friends, I bet they will be talking about this for years to their own children. I would think this would be amongst there treasured memories and something they will also share with friends and neighbours. I think what you have done there willowsend in a marvellous and selfless thing and you should take a pat on the back for the happiness you and your wife will have given them
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stigofthedump
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PostSubject: Re: A Scottish Adventure   Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:49 pm

What a great thing to write Brian you really are a very good person to have done all that for your Friend's I should think they well very happy with their holiday in Scotland and you hospitality it just goes to show that there are still good people on the planet
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