Sunday 14 June 2020

The Tour That Should Have Been - ORKNEY

Following the planned Edinburgh tour that was scheduled for this year - before we were all placed into a worldwide time out, I had planned a tour to Orkney. I love Orkney. The landscape, the sea, the history, the people and the much more relaxed pace of life. I was really looking forward to introducing others to this beautiful corner of the world. 

A small group of us had planned to travel together from Edinburgh, stopping at Arbroath to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. One of the tour participants has ancestral ties to Arbroath so it was going to be an opportunity to connect with and learn more about one of her ancestral towns. 

A visit to the Abbey, 

a wander around the shoreline

 and lunch at the Brewhouse 

where we could enjoy a plate of Smokies. 

Then it was going to be onto Aberdeen for the 7 hour ferry to Kirkwall. In addition to the research time at the Library, Archives and Family History Society, we had plans to tour the mainland. Time at the Neolithic sites of Skara Brae, Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar, and a visit to Maeshowe. 

Time at Orkney Brewery, the Broch of Gurness and a trip across the Churchill Barriers to see the magnificent Italian Chapel. 

We were looking forward to spending time in the ancient city of Kirkwall and the less well known but every bit historic town of Stromness. 

I had planned to take the  overland route back to Glasgow, staying in Kingussie so I could visit the Highland Folk Museum and Stanley Mills. 

The Orkney tour has been rescheduled to May 2021. 

Saturday 13 June 2020

The Tour That Should Have Been

In the world we left behind, before a global pandemic changed our lives and made them unrecognizable, I would have just returned from another set of tours. 

I was scheduled to fly to Dublin ahead of this year's Edinburgh research tour. I have never been to Ireland so was really looking forward to seeing the city and learning more about the history. 

I was booked for a two night stay at the Temple Bar. I was also booked for a night of Irish Storytelling  and was really looking forward to this. I had plans to visit the archives at Guiness Storehouse. I first blogged about the archives many, many years ago. 

I had hoped to see Kilmainham Gaol, Glasnevin Cemetery, the Jeanie Johnston, the Famine Museum, Epic and many other sights that were of interest to me as I was planning my time in Dublin. 

From Dublin, I was flying into Edinburgh ahead of the tour group and was looking forward to catching up with colleagues, visiting family and getting settled back at "home". 

The Edinburgh tour was going to have a bit of an early start as a few of us had registered for a class at the Scottish Genealogy Society. In addition to 5 full days of research, we had 5 full evenings scheduled as well - 2 evening talks by local archivists, a tour of the Anatomical Museum and a guided historic tour of the Canongate. And we were to wrap up with a group dinner at the Dome. 

I had my research list ready for both the NRS and the NLS. I had plans to visit cemeteries, make a quick side trip to Fife to get some photos for a friend with ancestral ties to a coastal village and, most importantly, get caught up with my clan - the tour participants who have been with me time and time again, and were coming back for even more. I was looking forward to hearing about their discoveries, discussing research ideas, enjoying points of interest in the city, sharing laughs and creating memories. 

I would have blogged every day to keep those of you unable to join us up to date with our adventures. I would have posted to Facebook to share my journey with family, friends and colleagues. And by now, I would be basking in the wonder of it all while creating a scrapbook to hold those memories dear. 

The Edinburgh tour has been re-scheduled to April 2021, with a back up date in Sept in the event we are once again under travel restrictions. Stay tuned....