“Je suis prest. I am ready…. ” ~ Claire, Outlander
We are both ready. More than ready! After a year of preparation and dreaming, my oldest daughter, Kimberlee Schukraft and I, will be heading to Scotland on Tuesday. Unlike my previous trips where I traced my ancestor’s footsteps through Germany/Poland, we will be “timestepping” into lives of the fictional characters from Diana Gabaldon’s extraordinary Outlander series of Jacobite Scotland.
In case you have been living under a rock, Outlander is the first in a series of eight historical novels by Diana Gabaldon published in 1991. Adapted by STARZ, the opulent series premieres it’s third season on Sunday evening ending a year-long “Droughtlander” period for die hard fans. And yes, you can consider us among the “Outlandish” die hards. Last year Kimmy packed up all five children to spend a day among the splendor of Outlander’s magnificent costumes at the Paley Center in Los Angeles.
Unlike most movie adaptations, the series is intensely true to Gabaldon’s vision. The story revolves around World War II nurse Claire Randall who travels through time to the 18th century Scotland finding adventure and romance with the dashing Jamie Fraser.
Part historical fiction, romance, adventure and fantasy, the series has focussed meticulous attention to detail with true historical accuracy, breathtaking costumes, horrifying Jacobite warfare, and Highlander legend. Even the thread count of ancestral Scottish tartans is captured.
It is no wonder that we have both fallen under the spell of Gabaldon’s books AND the series. And behind the parade of unforgettable characters storylines, the true star of the series is the majestic backdrop of beautiful Scotland. Why wouldn’t we want to see this country ourselves? Scotland’s travel industry has soared since the premiere of the series ~ as well as astronomically-priced “Outlander Tours.” But undeterred, the two of us have put together our own version which began with a map and the books themselves.
Here are some other highlights we are looking forward to:
First Night Dinner at Edinburgh’s The World’s End pub where Claire shared her honeymoon toast with Frank/Black Jack Randall and ironically began her own journey…
A visit to Lallybroch, the Fraser ancestral home on the the site of Midhope Castle.
We’re staying at The Covenanter Inn in Falkland where Jamie’s ghost first appeared to Claire under her window. And yes, we are staying in the very same room!
A day-long drive through the Cairngorns, the beautiful Scottish Highlands with the hopes of a Hairy Coos sighting.
OK, this is not Outlander-related but we had to do this too. High Tea on the Harry Potter Train…
A visit to the Culloden Battlefield where the Jacobite forces of Bonny Prince Charles were defeated in April 1746. A marvelous way to learn Scottish history…
Ahhhh, we can’t forget the stones which were Diana Gabaldon’s inspiration and Claire’s portal to Jamie Fraser….