Subject: Re: Scotland-Ireland
I did a tour of the UK with my boyfriend this summer and we spent a good week, week and a half in Scotland. Such beautiful country (especially the Highlands) and incredibly friendly people.

My ideas for don't miss things in Scotland are the Orkney Islands...followed by the Isle of Skye. The lochs are nice, but these islands are outstanding. We took a small guided tour of the ancient sites in the Orkneys given by a self-professed pagan who confessed to sneaking into some of the sites to conduct his own ceremonies.

The sites that we saw were Skara Brae ( a marvelous archaeological site, which has been remarkably well-preserved), Maeshowe (a tomb or treasury of some sort with ancient Viking runes carved in the stone), and several of the magnificent standing stone rings.

The landscape is wind-swept and desolate; there are not many people who live on the islands so you see expanses of rolling hills and plains dotted with sheep and farmhouses. Be prepared for stiff winds and cold temperatures, depending on what time of year you are traveling.

The Orkneys can only be reached by a ferry, and once you're there, the buses can take you between the two main towns (I can't remember their names). B&B's are rather easy to find, and they are really quite reasonable.

Mandy Huffman