On my last day in Scotland, we planned to take it easy. I went for a jog in the morning, enjoying the cool temperatures and bright sun.
We set out around noon for Scone Palace (pronounced //), which is located within Lora's shire (read: county). The driveway leading up to the palace rivals that of Glamis: long, winding, and lined with strong, lush trees. The palace gardens were once tended by Lora's current neighbors - a neat connection. The palace itself is currently a primary residence, so the tour took us through just the middle floor. Moreso than the other palaces we visited, this one seemed like a home because of the current family pictures and other memorabilia.
After the tour, Lora settled down with tea and cheesecake while I walked the gardens, playing photographer.
This trip to Scotland continued to confirm in my heart my deep need for quietness and time alone, away from the chaos of everyday life. I treasure so many moments of reflection and prayer these past few days away from the constant demands of work and the logistics of life. I have breathed deeper, smiled more often, and appreciated God's creation more fully.
As my stroll around the gardens came to an end, I found Lora sitting on a bench and joined her to read for awhile.
Around 3:00pm, we packed up and drove to Drummond Castle to explore the gardens. The excursion was planned last-minute after I saw a picture of the garden in a travel book at Lora's house. In the picture, the garden looked immaculately maintained and symmetrical in every sense of the word. After paying the entry fee, we climbed up to a balcony that overlooked the gardens. When I stepped up to the rail, I was speechless.
I have never seen anything like this garden! In a way, it made me think of "Alice in Wonderland." It was incredible. Here I was on the last day of my vacation, thinking we would just pass some time with these two final sites, and I was blown away. I took so many pictures and breathed in such fresh air. I wish I could take you back there with me. You would forget everything else, even if just for a moment.
The trip would not have been complete without the perfect final dinner at Chatni. And so ensued my second Indian food coma, now a firmly established tradition. I ordered Chicken Shiraslik and naan, same as last time. The chicken was smoky and tender, served on a bed of peppers and onions (think Indian fajitas). The naan, covered in melty butter, was about the size of a tricycle wheel...and I savored every bite.
Finally satisfied, we made the final drive home, where I packed my bags, Skyped with Mom and Dad, and prayed for a safe trip home.
Favorites: gardens, flowers, naan