Scotland Tour: Hey, Pharaoh, We're Up Scotland

07/23/2013 05:43 pm ET Updated Sep 22, 2013

We all know about Stonehenge and England's famous stone circles. But I didn't realize Scotland had its fancy-pants knuckle-draggers, too. (That's your cue, caveman sympathizers.)

At Clava Cairns, set in a peaceful grove of trees just a few minutes' drive from Inverness, are the remains of three thought-provoking stone igloos, each cleverly constructed 4,000 years ago with a passageway that the sun illuminates, as if by magic, with each winter solstice. Wandering through these, knowing they're as old as the pyramids, was a trip highlight (one of many).

One thing I love about our tours is that each day, our hardworking guides have several of these little treats to spring on us. They set the historic context, then turn us loose. It's as if we hiked there ourselves, but still had a professor on call. This is one of the reasons why so many of the people who sign up for our tours start their request for our sales material by saying, "I'm not the tour-taking type, but..." and find our tours just right for their independent style.