“Braveheart”Or “Brigadoon”?

Depending on your age either the Mel Gibson drama, or the Gene Kelly movie musical will likely have piqued interest in Scotland. Why not? And why not? “the heather on the hill”This effect will be visible at least on screen.

However, the current Scotland of a writer is not what one would call it. “an eclectic blend of old world charm and new world glitz.”The latest all-inclusive version is now available Scottish Isles and GlensPackage from CIE Tours. They just won the prestigious Scotland’s Heritage award “International Tour Operator of the Year”Award, but your stay is not limited to only the two main cities of Glasgow or Edinburgh. There are many beautiful castles and picturesque lochs waiting for you to explore.

One of the highlights of the tour:

* The Isle of Iona. One word, otherworldly. This is what you will feel when you leave this holy site, which is famous for its Celtic crosses. The cathedral has been fully restored and 50 Scottish kings were interred during the Middle Ages.

* The 5,000-Year-Old Village of Skara Brae. It’s called by the BBC “one of the most remarkable discoveries in modern archaeology.”One question is still unanswered: Who lived in the complex maze of dwellings hidden under stone dressers, and what did they do?

* The Scottish Highlands. Here Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Highlanders were defeated in the bloody Battle of Culloden (1746). This is also where sheepdogs still herd sheep. After driving along the breathtakingly beautiful shores of Loch Ness, you’ll be able to see all that and more. (Monster alert!

* The Ghost Tour. Tax collectors and bootleggers once clashed beneath the now-famed Royal Mile thoroughfare in the capital city of Edinburgh, which might explain why so many spots are said to be haunted. What we call your tour guide is “energetic accounts”You will find both horrifying and funny details.

* The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The title should not be confusing. This is a massive international festival with the Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop. It features bagpipes and highland dancing, as well military bands.

CIE Tours is a trusted travel agency that has taken millions of Americans on motorcoach trips to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales for over 83 years. Contact your travel agent for more information on these and other packages. You can also call CIE at 1-800-243-88687, visit, or visit. www.cietours.com.