While we were in Scotland for Mario's Winter Break we visited several Castles, and today I am sharing with you Mario at Eilean Donan Castle - one of the most photographed castles in the world. When we arrived at the Castle, after driving through snow and sleet in the Scottish Highlands, I immediately realized why it's photographed so often - Eilean Donan Castle is a picture-postcard perfect setting on an island at the entrance of Loch Duich. Inside the Castle are many rare artefacts on display - you can't take photos inside of the Castle, but we did see a sword said to have been wielded at the Battle of Culloden - the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. During the time we spent at Eilean Donan Castle we experienced sunshine, snow and sleet - when the sleet started to come down, we decided it was time to head back to Inverness - but we had an amazing adventure exploring the picturesque Castle!
While in Scotland for Mario's Winter Break - in addition to exploring the Loch Ness - we also visited several Castles. Urquhart Castle was once one of Scotland’s largest Castles, however after surviving many conflicts during its 500 years as a medieval fortress, the last of the government troops during the Jacobite Risings blew up the Castle when they left. Urquhart’s iconic ruins remain giving a glimpse into what it was like during Medieval Times as well as offering a glorious view of Loch Ness. We spent a beautiful sunny afternoon exploring the ruins of what Mario called "a Very Old Castle" and it's grounds where Mario had plenty of room to run with his stick ropes. Mario also loved seeing the full-sized, working trebuchet, stone-throwing machine, or catapult as he calls it - just like Angry Birds - very Cool!
To say that Mario is obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster is an understatement - he believes in Nessie and has been talking about going to Scotland obsessively for a while now. So we decided to take Mario to the Scottish Highlands for his Winter Break last month, and our family truly had an amazing experience. As usual, Mario packed his own suitcase with his Loch Ness Monster toys and he saved some space in the hopes of getting a new Nessie friend. We flew into Edinburgh, Scotland and we then drove into the Scottish Highlands through sunshine, rain, sleet, snow and what eventually became a full blizzard; but it was completely worth it because when we arrived in Inverness, it welcomed us with clear blue skies and the sun was shining down on Loch Ness - a large, deep, freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands that is allegedly home to the famous Loch Ness Monster. The first days activities obviously involved the Loch Ness Monster: we visited Nessie Land, the Loch Ness Exhibition Center and took a boat tour on Loch Ness with an interactive video showing us where on the Loch there have been Nessie sightings. We kept our eyes peeled on Loch Ness the entire tour, and at one point Mario was certain he saw a wave on the Loch that had to be Nessie splashing around and playing in the waters below us. What an amazing day we had together - it truly was an unforgettable experience for all of us, but especially for Mario.
It snowed in Düsseldorf last week and to simply say Mario was excited to play in the snow is a serious understatement! The snow was perfectly wet and fluffy, ideal for building a snowman and having a snowball fight. We had a blast running, playing, making snow angels and building a snowman (who Mario named Socky) together. Mario and I had a blast and it reminded me of playing in the snow when I was little in Minnesota. I enjoy seeing Mario so happy and knowing he is able to experience all weather and many cultures of this amazing planet that is our home. Then, later that evening it rained and as quickly as the snow came it was gone! We are still hoping for more snow before Christmas, though it looks like it will be a rainy and grey Christmas in Düsseldorf. However, It will be bright and cheerful in our home!
Merry Christmas and I hope you and your little ones have a bright day full of joy & love!