Over the long weekend, I escaped the crowded and hectic streets of London to retreat to the lovely Highlands of Scotland. Pictures do not do Scotland justice as the landscape is incredibly beautiful and truly takes your breath away. It is a different kind of beauty and you feel removed and completely out of touch with your real life- it is all very peaceful and quite refreshing.
Kilt Up and Let’s Go:
Decked head to toe in Patagonia, North Face jackets and rain boots (known in Scotland as Wellies) our group of 30 ventured through Scotland over the course of 4 days by coach, and let me tell you, we covered a lot of ground and had a ton of fun along the way. Our guides, Duncan and Sergio, from Haggis Adventures gave us a taste of the high life and truly left me wanting to kilt up and buy a home to “holiday” at on one of the Lochs in the Highlands. Essentially there is a lot to do in Scotland and nearly impossible to see and experience everything in a single trip. As our coach bus rumbled through the curvy hillsides, our guides did an excellent job of breaking up the long journey with frequent stops for incredible views, sight seeing opportunities and of course, some delicious homemade Scottish food and drinks in the local pubs. We would then take up camp for the night and stayed in secluded hostels in small towns nestled between Lochs and large herds of sheep. This was my first time staying hostels, and to be quite honest, it was a ton of fun to interact and trade stories after a long and fulfilling day of travel. There was also a huge toga party that was definitely a night to remember!
Hit the Road “Jackabouts”:
Our guides divulged the cultural components of Scotland through history, battles, the complex relationship with Britain and of course some very outlandish fairytales. My trip highlights included the Wallace Monument, the castle of Eilean Donan, the Helix- home of the Kelpies, meeting up with some hairy coos, hiking the 3 sisters of Glenco, venturing through 2 national parks and exploring the quaint town of Isle of Skye. The weather was nothing short of amazing and made the entire journey perfect.
Just a “Wee” Walk Down the Path:
One of the best parts about this trip was how much time we spent in the fresh air. Each time we would flock like sheep off the bus and our guide, Duncan, would proclaim, “we will just be going for a wee bit of a walk down the path.” Let me tell you, this phrase evidently holds a wide variety of meanings ranging from a short stroll to a rather treacherous hike down the side of a slippery bluff. Regardless of what we were doing, I loved every second of these adventures and the Scottish country side is absolutely breathtaking. After explaining a rather complicated fairytale, Duncan lead us to the River of Eternal Beauty. To this day, the river is believed to hold powers of eternal beauty and leaves the face of the person who dips their face into the water absolutely stunning. It was hilarious to see each of our group members balancing along the slippery rocks trying to hold their faces in the flowing water for 7 seconds- 3 girls in our group actually toppled right into the river inevitably leaving their entire bodies glowing (and soaking wet) with eternal beauty.
Watch out Nessie, We’re Coming for You:
We have all heard stories about the monster, Nessie, who inhibits the waters of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. I fulfilled my duties and went out on the trek to hunt down Nessie. I didn’t actually see anything, but I know she is down there ready to emerge from the surface and leave the viewers of this spectacular moment with a $10 million dollar prize.
Scotland was stunning and I did not want to leave. I was shocked by the amount of lakes, or Lochs, which fill the gorgeous sites of Scotland. I truly enjoyed every second of my time here and it’s already on my bucket list to be back, decked out in my kilt and ready to go. Thank you Scotland for the incredible sites, memories and giving me the best holiday yet!