Each of the forty-nine members of our WDAV tour group wishes you a wonderful day from bonny Scotland, and it’s great to be able to report that everyone made it here (though not without some adventure in the Philadelphia airport) and everyone seems to be in good health and even better spirits.
Because of weather problems in Philly the day we departed, some of the people who were meeting us there and flying on to Scotland with the group almost didn’t …
…no need to give all the details, but know that two of us (with my being one of the two because of trying to make sure the other member of the pair made it to the Glasgow flight) got on the bird to Scotland with about two minutes to spare! It was a bit harrowing, but we were being looked after, apparently, so everyone made the flight.
Unfortunately, the weather in Philadelphia necessitated our taking off four hours later than scheduled, so we were comparably late arriving in Glasgow. Luther Wade, our tour guru (and host of Viva Voce on WDAV), was waiting for us, along with his gracious wife Marilyn and an interesting, articulate Scottish guide named Bruce. Bruce provided running commentary as the group took a bus ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and gave us some helpful insights into the, er, sites we’d see. Actually; he gave us some funnier insights into the Scots themselves, and that may be ever more helpful than the standard tourist info.
Glasgow is basically an industrial city, but to us, who’d been on planes for most of the previous twelve hours, it had a kind of Shangri-La beauty and attraction. Well, maybe not, but it did seem like a neat city in the short time we were there.
Edinburgh, by contrast, is the historic, cultural, financial and governmental center of Scotland, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the world’s prime tourist destinations. The history surrounds you as you tour the city, and it’s at an interesting point in its history — trying to maintain the best of the traditions that have formed it through the centuries, and trying at the same moment to adjust to the responsibility of being a modern, tech-savvy world center.
This day (Tuesday the 7th, as this is written) is basically the first full day our group has had to explore and spend time as they choose. We do have tickets tonight to the Edinburgh Tatoo–an event which attracts people from around the world–but the day has been a free one, and many in the group have spent it “getting their bearings” in preparation for the three days we spend back in the city at the end of our tour.
Tomorrow we set off for northern Scotland, visiting several towns and historic sites over a three-day period, and it’ll be interesting to get a non-urban view of the country. We expect to be thoroughly steeped in Scottish lore and tradition while we’re doing that part of the trip, and Luther says we’re even going to take a cruise and look for the Loch Ness monster … if we see the beast, and especially if it decides to chomp on someone in our delectable group, we’ll bring back pictures.
Seriously, though, this is a terrific, diverse, interesting group of people, and all of us with a WDAV connection are honored to have played a part in making this trip possible. The group totals forty-nine, and it’s easy to see that all of us care a lot about the station and about classical music. As the trip continues I’ll send more messages your way via the blog (and thanks to Jennifer Foster and Rachel Stewart for making that possible).
Think a good thought and say a little prayer for us, as we journey deep into the heart of this lovely land…