I'm excited to be recapping our trip now! we headed to scotland back in june and it was a lovely trip! We were busy everyday, there was plenty of jet lagg and a few stressful moments (as with any trip) and lots of eye opening experiences! Everyone just thinks I wanted to go to scotland forever is because of Outlander, which is TOTALLY true, im in love the books and show so ya im a super fan! BUT I had wanted to go to Scotland before i even heard of outlander! I think the celtic culture and mystical folk tales about faeries always drew me in, i don't even remember where I first heard about scotlands mystical tales but I thought they were awesome, I always wanted to see my ancestors history in norway and also the celtic culture. Norway hasn't happened yet but Scotland was an easy decision when I realized my husbands main ancestors were from Scotland, so even another reason to venture there! Europe is a tempting place to visit because once you're there you can hop on a train or plane for cheap and not long to go to another country, a lot of people do that and maybe we will for one europe trip in the future but I am glad for Italy and Scotland we just spent our time in one country, I felt I got to see more and really get to know the area as opposed to just one day in each place. Andrew and I decided Scotland is a wicked mix of British columbia (think of all the tall trees, gorgeous vegetation, light rainy weather) and Iceland (sharp cliffs, amazing rocks) mixed in with Castles that are not hard to spot, they're everywhere! oh and my favorite is you know how we have guard rails on our highways? well in scotland they have stone walls short little ones that could have been there for hundreds of years, I just thought that was a cute neat feature. yes in the big cities you still see new roads and construction but up in the highlands its like you don't know what year your in and i loved that!!
Our first day off the planes we grabbed our rental car in Glasgow and headed straight for Glenfinnan, it was our fanciest place we stayed, we splurged a bit on the room and I am so glad we did, the dinner and breakfast was amazing and the room was huge and we both slept so long because we were so tired! and to the people wondering how the food was in scotland it was amazing!!! I genuinely loved everything I ate (mind you I avoided ALL haggis and black pudding) and they were awesome with my gluten free dietary needs. We also stopped at Midhope castle which is featured in outlander lots, it was so pretty there and maybe my favourite thing we did, also we went down to the creek and little forest there and it was so pretty and I found an adorable toad which I was obsessed with! We also walked to The glenfinnan viaduct which was featured in Harry potter, it was close to where we stayed which was awesome!
The next few days we spent in Skye, it is so quaint and beautiful there and we loved the little town portree we stayed in, it had cute little shops and houses and the best smell of the misty salty ocean air! I was so excited to see Eilean donan castle as its very picturesque, after touring the inside Andrew and I learnt it was basically the vikings my ancestors and Andrews ancestors who fought lots there haha. We enjoyed the hike to the fairy pools up at skye, this was a popular destination with tourists but it was still enjoyable as well as the hike up to old man of storr, the hike is only about 6km its that the elevation is so high it was like walking vertical, i was huffing and puffing the whole time haha embarrassing.
The next few days we spent in Inverness with day trips around, we visited Lochness, to me it looked just like an other big lake in Alberta or Bc but due to its fun reputation and stories we figured we still better see it and check that off our list! We also drove up to a cute town called Elgin, theres not much in Elgin besides crazy drivers and tiny traffic circles (haha) except of course old churches and the historic Elgin cathedral ruins. It was built in 1224, like think of that year...thats ANCIENT!!! still the oldest thing i have ever in person seen is the Colosseum in Rome it was built in 70 AD, that still blows my mind, but the trevi fountain was built in 1732 so seeing something in Scotland so old was super cool, it was neat to see! A lot of the places we went were at least an hour away but we were glad to do them as we felt we really got a feel for the whole country of scotland and the country side is gorgeous! We also visited the Culloden battle field, obviously culloden was a huge part of the highlanders history but theres some speculation with Andrews genealogy that one of his family ancestors could have died at culloden, but we don't have record of that so who knows but there was a very somber vibe while we were walking around, it was something we were both really glad we visited!
Another day trip we did was to Dunrobin castle, this is a very north castle on the northern eastern side of scotland, it was a stunning drive up there, super quiet towns and beautiful trees and old little stone buildings plus seeing the ocean was lovely as well! It was a gorgeous castle to see I am so glad we took the drive to it!! It was maybe my favourite site we saw? although I think I already said above I had another favourite haha.
As for our last day of our trip we spent it in Edinburgh, it was such a beautiful city to see! Filled with character and rich history every corner you turn plus beautiful cobblestone streets and trendy cafes and shops, I was pleasantly surprised! I would definitley like to go back and explore Edinburgh more but I still felt like we got to see lots, we walked the whole day and the best part was we got to meet up with Andrews best friend from highschool who now lives in England, him and his girlfriend made the trip to see us and we were so grateful they did! It was so fun to catch up plus see the sites with them, we enjoyed an awesome meal out as well at a cute restaurant and the hotel andrew and I stayed it was lovely so it was a super successful day!
Scotland is an awesome place to visit if your "new" to traveling Europe, you can still get a rich cultural experience while having some quiet time and being out of the hustle and bustle of the big cities by seeing the country side! Everyone says Canadians are really nice, for the most part I would say that is true...but everyone in Scotland we encountered was super friendly and helpful, which when traveling to a new place is something I really appreciated it! Also I felt super safe and comfortable the whole trip which is also a bonus! I feel so lucky we had grandparents who were willing to watch our kiddies so we could go on this little anniversary trip together, travelling on our own without kids ins't easy because I actually do miss them like crazy and it's hard to leave them, plus we have been so busy taking a week or two out of our schedule is nearly impossible with work (multiple jobs) and stuff on for the kids plus grandparents schedules, I don't know how often we realistically will be able to go on trips together with or without kids so I am cherishing each trip we get!
Thanks for reading along about our travels! let me know have you been to scotland? did you love it? i always love hearing about others travel experiences!
Also here is a video we mixed together of some of our Scotland sites!