But still, I look at the ocean beyond my deck and see a colder Scottish sea. I look at the Coast mountains across the passage and they morph into older Highland ones, and in the echoes of my mind, I still hear a faint swirl of pipes. I may be done with my holiday, but it isn't done with me. When we travel, we bring home little pieces of everything we experience.
Some memories are to be expected-feeling the atavistic pull of Stonehenge, experiencing the vastness and beauty of the Highlands, scanning the Loch for a trace of Nessie, and watching for a windy Scottish day (not an unusual event) to confirm the answer to the question of what a Scot wears under his kilt.
There is also the strangely unsettling feeling that comes with standing in an Irish graveyard, staring at a headstone honouring the long dead of my own family. Realizing the smallness of the world on discovering our greeter at The British Museum is from a town a stone's throw from where I live. And watching a late-night drama and seeing the scene portrayed on the television is identical to the view from our apartment window- a progression of bridges along the Thames.
I hope these memories never fade, but I'm not taking any chances. I'm sorting through the hundreds of snapshots I took and saving them with the hope that digital retrieval will be possible with the technology of thirty years hence. Then too I'll have all the photos taken by other members of my group.
Oh, and best of all, there's planning the next trip.