Once again, I clicked on my old pictures folder and browsed through photos of a dreary vacation in Scotland. The unpleasant Scottish weather and a bunch of out of focus photos suggested I wasn’t really feeling it. Or, perhaps, my iphone needed an upgrade.
Scotland is famous for amazing film locations, battles, history, clans, silver relics, kilts, castles and myths. The stuff I know little about and is way too intense to pretend I know what I’m talking about. It’s the perfect place if you’re a researcher of some kind. I’m not but I’ll tell you what got down:
We landed in Edinburgh where nowhere is too far away. The initial plan was to spend 3 days in Edinburgh and 2 in the Highlands. Edinburgh is charming and all, BUT at some point if you arrive at a time when there is nothing going on, it will eventually do your head in. We arrived at a time when all the cool events had already happened and we didn’t really have a taste for the gastronomic scene either. Salmon waaa?
Every day we walked around the city and through the parks, and checked out the amazing architecture. I didn’t expect to spend 3 hours circling around the Edinburgh castle because my friend wanted to read about each and every exhibit like she was working on a school project. No offense to the castle, but this was one of those experiences where I would have been happier hanging outside the castle. Anyway, the must see castle is mind blowing, pun intended, so it’s worth checking out for an hour.
Finally on day 5, we drove up to the highlands to visit the Loch Ness Monster on the most cliche of routes, suitable for Highland newbies, while our tour guide explained the historical significance of the beautiful sights. We took the full day tour and it was worth it. I wished we took the two day tour because if you really wanna experience the Scottish Highlands, you need to be out there for at least a week, experience the train ride, camp in the woods, get bitten, etc..
I’m gonna keep it real and share my unedited / unfiltered wandering around Edinburgh, and driving for the day to the Highlands, through the eyes of a casual wanderer, totally unaware of what lay beyond the superficial facts about Scotland. I watched Braveheart when I was 13, and if I understood it correctly, I would have sold three companies by now.
Day 1: Arrived early in the evening, checked in the stylish perfectly located Glasshouse hotel.
Day 2: Calton Hill, Edinburgh Castle. We spent way too much time in the castle and called it an early night.
Day 3: Holyrood Park, Old Town and called it an early night.
Day 4: We spent the day in the hotel, and explored other parts of the old town late afternoon from a different point of view.
Day 5: Drove north to Glen Coe, Fort William, Loch Ness, Inverness, Cairngorm National Park, Perthshire.