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07/28/2010

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Actually, I arrived in Stirling abut two days before you did. Stirling was the third and last stop of my two-week trip in Scotland, after Inverness and Aberdeen. I had already taken a day excursion to Edinburgh, and walked in Stirling.

Among other things, I had gone up the Wallace Tower. I thought that climbing it was scary then, and coming back down even more dangerous. I went to the University of Stirling campus, looked around, and asked about you. You had not arrived yet. Everything was new and modern, except the president's home. Apparently it was the home of the former landowner.

We went to Perth one day. I do not remember much about it, except that it was a pleasant town.

The next day we went to South Queensferry and saw the Forth Railway Bridge, which I regard as one of the architectural icons of the world. It was overdesigned, and conspicuously overdesigned, because it had been built a few years after a disastrous railroad accident on the collapse of another bridge in Scotland. We went to the local museum, which I liked, and had lunch at a well-known old pub, that had once been a coaching station.

Then we visited Dalmeny Castle, the home of the Earls of Rosebery. We did not have as much time as I would have liked. The Fifth Earl of Rosebery, who was a Liberal Prime Minister for a short time, had married the only child of one of the Rothschilds. Eventually, much of the Rothschild art collection had found its way to Dalmeny.

We ate dinner twice at my hotel, the Terraces Hotel. It was the second-best place where I ate in Scotland. The best was my hotel in Interness, on the River Ness. (I believe I had fish caught in the river a time or two while I was in Inverness.) The third night we went to a chain steak house which I believe had been recommended, but was my worst meal in Scotland.

One small story. I had told the people at the hotel about you, but some people do not get the word. We had eaten dinner at the hotel the first night. In the morning, I came down for breakfast. The waitress, who had served us the night before, asked, "Is the lady coming down for breakfast?" I told her that the lady was not coming down, because the lady was not there!

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