Scotland Week Kick-Off NYC: Kilts, Music, Scotch, & Food
Well, it’s finally here! Scotland Week has arrived and last night I had a blast with a group of Scotland Week Ambassadors who have arrived to NYC to help kick it off.
Among them was the alternative, hip-hop group Stanley Odd, from Edinburgh, who featured songs from their second album Reject and who helped to keep the energy high. I also met and got to taste the treats being served by Chef Michael Smith, of the Three Chimneys, in the Isle of Skye.
The First Prime Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, was also present to announce the fun to be expected during Scotland’s Homecoming 2014, a year-long celebration of Scottish traditions, customs, and events.
The scene was everything Scotland; from the food, to the music (also performing was Rachel Sermanni, truly angelic voice. Loved her performance!), to the artisanal dry gin and scotch by Bruichladdich (FYI, try their Uber Provence Whisky, it’s pretty spectacular) and of course the many men in kilts.
Traveling to Scotland? Check this out!
For those of you fortunate enough to be traveling to Scotland soon, check out this travel deal being offered by Celtic Tours called the Highland’s Explorer & Isle of Skye travel experience:
Celtic Tours is offering a “Highland’s Explorer & Isle of Skye” tour, created with VisitScotland in honor of National Tartan Day (April 6).
Rates start at $1,118 per person, based on double occupancy. Driver tips not included. Savings from $165 to $455 depending on the departure date and type of lodging.
During the 6-night trip, travelers will experience the dramatic mountain scenery of Assynt, the remote white sandy beaches of the Northern Highlands, the ancient pine forests of the Cairngorm National Park, and the romantic beauty of the Isle of Skye. A particularly fitting itinerary for those who are eager to see why VisitScotland has announced 2013 as “The Year of Natural Scotland.” Includes:
o 6-night accommodations (2 nights at a three-star Edinburgh hotel and four nights at choice of B&B or hotel)
o Arrival and departure transfers in Edinburgh
o Transportation throughout trip by Mercedes mini coaches; Professional driver/guide
o Daily breakfast, except on day of arrival
o Discount card to restaurants, attractions and shopping
o Travelers spend the first evening in Edinburgh before heading north to the charming highland village of Dunkeld on the banks of the River Tay. Followed by Cairngorm National Park and the ancient pine forests of the Rothiemurchus estate. Explore the beautiful shores of Loch Insh before visiting Eilean Castle, the banks of the famous Loch Ness and the village of Dores for some “Nessie” spotting!
o The following two nights are spent in Ullapool, featuring a visit to the far northwest highlands and the grandeur, expanse and wildness of the mountains of Assynt. See Europe’s oldest landscapes from the stunning white sand beach at Achmelvich Bay to the traditional fishing village of Lochinver.
o Next, head south to take in the drama of the River Droma as it plunges 60m down into the Corrieshalloch Gorge; experience “tropical” Plockton where palm trees grow along Loch Carron; and then travel over the sea to Skye and the delightful harbor town of Portree, for a two-night stay. Explore Skye, including the wild north of the island, the Old Man of Storr, the mountain pass of the Quiraing and the island’s most westerly point at Neist.
o Following the Isle of Skye, the journey heads south with highlights including the famous stronghold of Eilean Donan Castle (used in the film “Highlander”), the rugged mountains of Kintail and a drive down through Glen Garry past Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Explore spectacular Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan MacDonald in 1692, before stopping in Killin for refreshments beside the Falls of Dochart. Final evening in Edinburgh, including private airport transfers.
When: Various travel departure dates between May 14 – September 3, 2013.
For more information and itinerary ideas, please check out the official Visit Scotland website.
To read about my travels to Scotland, please read Exploring Brave Scotland.
In the meantime, enjoy this fun week of Scottish heritage. If my night with the Scot was any indication, it will, as it always is, be a blast!
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