Monday, November 11, 2013

Wild and Sexy Scotland

I have been to England and Wales and I am living in Ireland so I thought it was only fitting that I knocked Scotland off too! I may have only scratched the surface of what I want to see in all these lovely places but such is life of an adventurer.
I have spent five wet and cold but lovely days exploring Scotland. I flew into Edinburgh early Sunday morning and had the day to explore. Then the next day I was off on another wonderful Haggis tour of the Highlands including the Isle of Skye for three days. Then my final day in Edinburgh before flying out late at night. I had been told that if I loved Wales that I would definitely love Scotland, and love doesn't even come close to describing the joy and happiness I got from lovely Scotland.
I had not done any research on Edinburgh, I just simply booked my ticket and got on the plane. As I travel more I seem to be a bit more relaxed, I don't feel the need to have everything planned and 'googled' before I set off and I am glad that I didn't because Edinburgh is just enchanting. The city has quickly become my favorite city in the world. As the airport bus drove into the city, I could not believe what I was looking at. All these old gorgeous castle like buildings lining the city skyline and as I wandered the streets, despite the splash of the modern day life, I felt like I was in another time. There was no need for site seeing just wandering the streets was mesmerizing in its self!

 After I became acquainted with lovely Edinburgh it was time to start my Haggis tour and it was such a great tour! We had a fantastic tour leader/driver who certainly payed homage to the Scottish cheeky, perverted and honest humor! I tell you what I giggled all the way through those Highlands.
 Our first day was spent getting to the Highlands so we saw many gorgeous Lochs and Battles sites. We also had a trip to distillery and tasted some Scottish whisky as well a lovely drive through the Glencoe area... our first taste of the highlands before making it to Fort William our base for two nights.
The second day was spent on the Isle of Skye with a quick stop at Eilean Donan Castle- a very popular castle for the Hollywood industry!
Where we went on the Isle of Skye was very weather dependent so the west was our destination and the Macleod's Tables were our back drop for the day. Again Scotland did not seem to disappoint and at every turn was another amazing site of mountains, water and sky. With autumn out in full force everything was also covered in different shades of red and orange which just added to the beauty.
Our last day we stopped off at Loch Ness- which to be honest, is just as gorgeous as all the others I have seen but obviously more popular because of the legend attached to it. Needless to say I saw no monster but I enjoyed the stories of the crazies that packed up and sold everything to devote their life to finding the beastie!
We also stopped through the battle site of Culloden which is probably one of Scotland's most important battles in history as the outcome changed- and damaged, the identity of many of the Scottish people, the highlanders in particular! Now I am not a history buff and I'm not particularly interested in past warfare so when we stopped off I wasn't all that fussed but after learning about the battle that took place there I think this story will always stay with me.
After Culloden we continued our drive back to Edinburgh, with a wee stop at some old ruins, much similar to the ones at Newgrange (see previous post) and then a traipse around a forest for a stop at Hermitage Falls.
My final day in bonnie in Scotland was spent wandering Edinburgh again. This time I went to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Scottish Gallery which were great but mainly, I was just interested in soaking up the atmosphere of this fairy tale like city.
While on tour I also met some lovely people which just added to the experience and while I love traveling on my own it does get lonely, so it was so nice to be taken in by some lovely people and share the experience of this magical place with them.

Eilean Donan Castle


Isle of Skye

Scotland is just truly a treasure and now all I need to do is find a Scottish Prince so I can live in a castle on hill surrounded by gorgeous mountains and bodies of water. I could live very happily indeed.