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Scotland Breeze
Prior to the Reformation, Scotland was a Catholic nation. However, for three centuries after the Reformation, no Catholic diocese existed there. It was only in 1880 that the Catholic hierarchy was restored. Bishops were appointed replacing Episcopal vicars and the people of Scotland were once again permitted to practice the religion which was brought back to them, ironically, by the Reformation as headed by John Knox of Edinburgh, who was later ordained as a Catholic priest. Come explore the serenity of Scotland and get a glimpse of where the saints walked, eat the delicious seafood which everyone craves, and breathe the fresh Scotland breeze that one can only experience here, from the Lowlands to the Highlands.
Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Isle of Iona,
Loch Ness/Castle Urqhart and St. Andrews
10 Days - Scotland
Day 1: Depart USA on our transatlantic flight to Edinburgh. Meals will be served on the flight.
Day 2: Upon arrival in the inspiring Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, our Tour Director welcomes us and we transfer to our hotel. Enroute, we'll enjoy a panoramic city tour of this historic, cosmopolitan and cultured city which includes the medieval Old Town and the New Town renowned for its elegant Georgian facades. We will travel through the historic Royal Mile, which winds its way through the Old Town from Castlehill to the Palace of Holyrood House, the official residence of the Queen when she is in Scotland and where Mary, Queen of Scots once lived before losing her head! Passing the cathedral of St. Giles, we will view the city from Calton Hill and see many of the city’s attractions. Plan to visit Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city on volcanic rock and dominating the city-centre skyline. From its historic ramparts, one can look down on the medieval lanes and elegant, sweeping terraces that hold over a thousand years of history, mystery and tradition. A small, 12th century chapel can be found within the compound, in remembrance of St. Margaret, Queen of Scots. Dinner and overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 3: We travel today to Stirling Castle known as the "key to Scotland", where the Wars of Independence were fought and won; it rivals Edinburgh Castle for sheer magnificence, sitting high on a volcanic crag which makes it visible for miles around. There is enough time for a leisurely visit on your own to the Castle where you can hear the key moments of the history of Scotland and of the battles of Scotland’s past including Stirling Bridge where William Wallace defeated the English in 1297, and Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce did the same in 1314. William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson in the Oscar-winning movie Braveheart, is commemorated in the 220 ft. high tower of the National Wallace Monument. Leaving Stirling we head for Loch Lomond, where we will stop at the beautiful little village of Luss, site of the main pilgrimages to Scotland many years ago. We will visit the Luss Parish Church built in the 15th century and on the site of a church from much earlier. See its unusual roof in the inside, which is built in the shape of an upturned boat (there is a story behind this). The Vikings plundered the settlements here and there are Viking graves which lie in the churchyard. Our tour continues tracing the length of Loch Lomond, through Crainlarich to Tyndrum where we will have dinner and overnight.
Day 4: After breakfast, we head north over the desolate wilderness of Rannoch Moor and onwards to Glencoe, with its spectacular mountain scenery, as seen in lots of movies, and cut back to Oban from where we then take a short ferry ride to Craignure on the Isle of Mull, then another ferry ride to Fionnphort, which takes us to the tiny sacred island of Iona. It is a deeply spiritual place which has drawn pilgrims to its enigmatic shores for more than a thousand years. The brilliant blue-green waters and clear light here have inspired poets, painters and pilgrims for centuries. Iona's historical and religious significance dates back to the time of St. Columba, who founded a monastery here and helped to spread Christianity throughout Scotland. We will visit Iona Abbey dating back from the 11th century and celebrate Mass at the "Hill of the Dove", established as a House of Prayer under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church. It was officially opened by Archbishop Keith O'Brien in the spring of 1997, the 1400th anniversary year of St. Columba's death on Iona. Dinner and overnight in Oban.
Day 5: Departing Oban, our journey continues northwards to Fort William, which sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the United Kingdom's highest mountain. We enter the Great Glen, a deep glacial valley, crossing the Caledonian Canal, passing through picturesque villages and the southern tip of Loch Ness enroute to the Kyles of Lochalsh and to Dornie, where we’ll visit Eilean Donan Castle, on the island of Donan, most probably called after the 6th century Irish Saint, Bishop Donan who came to Scotland around 580 AD. This castle, built in the 13th century, also played a role in the Jacobite risings of the 17th and 18th centuries. It is one of Scotland’s most picturesque castles and home to many film locations. Explore the Island of Mist, taking in the Cuilinn Mountains, The awe-inspring Quiraing with glorious views out to sea. The island has been through many geological transformations and we are left with striking rock formations; the "Old Man of Storr" will leave you breathless. We will take in Uig to see the island of Isay (Egyptian for Jesus) and hear why it was named this, amongst many other things to see here. Dinner and overnight in Portree Skye.
Day 6: Leaving Skye and heading for Dingwall we take a beautiful route over Loch Carron to Dromnadrochit where we can enjoy a cruise on the mysterious waters of Loch Ness with a view of the ruins of Urquhart Castle, on the Loch’s shore and the spot of many claimed Loch Ness monster sightings, maybe we’ll see the famous, "Nessie". There is the option of a combined cruise and visit to the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Departing Urquhart Castle enroute to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, we can take in the fantastic highly acclaimed Loch Ness Visitor Centre. Leaving the visitor centre, we make a short stop in Inverness on our way to Dingwall. Dinner and overnight in Dingwall.
Day 7: A visit to a local kiltmaker is ahead of us, so we can learn all about the famous tartans’ (plaids), then, leaving the Highlands behind us, we travel southward head through the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park and the Grampian Mountains to Pitlochry. We’ll visit the Edradour Distillery to sample a wee dram at Scotland’s smallest distillery. We continue our drive to ancient St. Andrew’s, home of royalty and birthplace of golf. See the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course, and proceed to view the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral. Take a stroll around this quaint village full of Scottish craft shops, pubs and restaurants. Dinner and overnight in St.Andrews.
Day 8:

Day 9:
We start the day with mass at the local church, just a few steps away from our hotel. Then, a short drive to one of the neighboring seaside towns takes us to the best place to try some traditional "fish & chips", a delicacy that you will never forget! The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in St. Andrews.

The road unwinds to Rosslyn Chapel, or the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, as it was to have been, founded in 1446 by Sir William St. Clair, third and last St. Clair Prince of Orkney. Then, we continue to Carfin Grotto, built in 1920 as a replica of the Lourdes Grotto for the Scotland people, where we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 9: The road unwinds to Rosslyn Chapel, or the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, as it was to have been, founded in 1446 by Sir William St. Clair, third and last St. Clair Prince of Orkney, then we continue to Carfin Grotto to celebrate Mass, built in 1920 as a replica of the Lourdes Grotto for the Scotland people. Dinner and overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 10: We bid farewell to Scotland as we depart for the airport for our flight back home.
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FIAT Holidays, Inc. 916 N. Western Avenue, Suite 225, San Pedro, CA 90732
Telephone: 310-832-FIAT (3428) with 24/7 text capability, or 310-328-FIAT (3428) Fax: 310-781-9070
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