Dalhousie Castle was one of those incredibly special moments you hope for on a journey. We reserved time with their Falconry extension in the morning, and found our way in the cold, windy rain to their camp out back of the hotel. Tom, our birds of prey expert, was a great kid who clearly loves the animals. He gave us as much time as the weather permitted with two amazing owls and the smallest of the raptors on property (the Kestrel) before we had to call it quits. We were both a little dejected that we didn't have the chance to fly the massive African eagle, the Peregrine Falcon (THE fastest animal in the world) or the Red-tailed Hawk, but it'll be our excuse to return to Dalhousie for a stay one summer very soon.
Coming in from the falconry experience chilled and damp, we asked to sit and have a cup of coffee and some tea before heading back to the city. The gentleman we asked led us on a tour of the 800 year old castle, sharing the dungeon come wine celler, the courtyard come reception and two stunning smallish ballrooms before escorting us to the property's library where coffee and tea service were waiting. The man, Alister, turns out to be a proud member of Les Clefs d'Or, an exclusive international organization of the top conceirges in the hospitality world.
We spoke for a while, and traded stories. He's looking forward to retirement in just a few short years. He plans to have a goat, says they're just wonderful creatures. We shared our plans for France, and he cooed over the thought. His eyes lit up and he was full of thoughts on what we could do with our goats. We laughed, and felt our meeting was no accident. He left us to our break, sitting overlooking a rolling Scottish hillside and dreaming of what the future holds.
Alister's passion for his job and his industry, and his excitement for our possibilities help propel us forward. For a seasoned professional with more than 50 years global experience to be downright giddy at the mention of our goats, we must be on to something...
For more information or to visit to Dalhousie Castle, check out their website.