Checked in for my 5 day tour around Scotland, my hostel was right across the street from the Haggis office so it was easy. Met my bus driver Kenny, instantly knew that he was going to be awesome. The first day was jam packed with adventure, our first stop was at the Forth Bridge. This bridge supposidely inspired the Eiffel Tower, with several diagonal beams. Made a stop at the William Wallace monument, Kenny went over all the history and tales. Made another stop at Doune Castle, which was used in the Monty Python film. Then we stopped at Glenfinnan
to see the bridge that was used in the second Harry Potter films, when Harry and Ron are driving in the flying car to catch up to the Hogwart's Express.
Hamish, sexy highland coo
Kenny got us there just in time to catch the train drive over the bridge, it was almost like seeing the Hogwart's Express. haha.. yes. i'm lame. We made it to the highlands and passed the 4 lochs of Glencoe
. I now know the names of all 4 lochs of Glencoe, Loch Linney, Loch Lochy, Loch Ike, and Loch Ness
. The scenery was amazing, very different from Ireland. I'd say Ireland was more flat, while Scotland has so many glens and lochs. We finally made it to our hostel which was right next to the Loch Ness. Checked in and made my way to Loch Ness with a few people from the bus. Made sure to dip my feet in the Loch Ness, it was cool even though I didn't see Nessie.
Glennfinnan. Harry Potter bridge
Second day of the tour we drove around Loch Ness and everyone on the bus got off and waded in the Loch Ness. This was my second time, but I didn't mind doing it again. The water was a lot colder in the morning. Made our way to the Loch Ness center for some cheesy pictures next to the Nessie statue and some souveniors. Then we stopped by Urquhart Castle, which was right next to Loch Ness and the first documented site-ing of Nessie the Loch Ness monster. Stopped at a few more bridges and castles before we made it to Carbisdale Castle, which was where we were staying for the nights. The castle is suppose to be haunted by all sorts of things, the white lady and the soldiers who died there in a battle. I was kind of scared and tried not to walk by myself. We had some time to walk around the castle and grounds before dinner.
It was nice, we found a nice trail that led to a Loch. It was a 2 mile hike, but totally worth it. The Loch was so calm and still, it looked like a mirror. Made our way back for dinner and then to the local pub. Getting to the pub was quite the adventure, we went through Kenny's shortcut that required jumping over about 4 fences and over a bridge. The pub was pretty small, had a beer and chatted with everyone. When it was time to head back, I went with 8 other girls. I suppose half of us were pretty drunk, so making it back to the castle was also an adventure. We followed the light path across the bridge back to the castle grounds, once we got to the castle grounds it was pitch black. We were walking down the path and I guess we missed the path that leads up to the castle, so we kept walking further and further down until we noticed that we passed the castle.
in Loch Ness
Half the girls insisted that we keep going and that it would lead back around to the castle, but the other half thought we should turn back. So we split up, it was almost like a scene from a bad horror film. I went back with the group that wanted to turn around, luckily when we were walking back the police were patrolling the area. They gave us a lift back to the castle, I don't think they were very pleased because they hardly talked to us. It was pretty crazy and scary. haha.
Day 3 we were on our way to the Isle of Skye. It's called the Isle of Skye because Skye means wing and the island is shaped like a wing. We took the long and scenic route, with a stop at a beach. This beach is where the gulf stream mets one of the lochs, it was really pretty. We stopped here for a lunch picnic and some beach combing.
We also stopped at the most beautiful castle, this castle has been used in many films such as Bond. I think I've seen this castle in Made of Honor too, I still need to confirm this. We arrived at the Isle of Skye and some of us hiked up to the castle of Saucy Mary. Saucy Mary was a viking woman who use to live in the Castle, she would let sailors use her bay to dock their boats when the waters were rough. To thank them for acknowledging her kindness, she would basically flash them when they were leaving from her castle. The castle is now in ruins and it had a great view from the top.
Day 4 was a very wet and crazy day. We got up early so that we could take a hike up to the Giant's Teardrop. We hiked up this steep trail to get to the very top of the rock that's shaped like a teardrop.
It was so windy and rainy up there, when we got to the top it was all foggy. I was so out of shape I could feel my legs burning and my heart beating, but I had to push myself. It was honestly really windy and muddy hiking up there, I slipped a couple of time but it was totally worth it. When I finally made it back down I was soaked, my jeans and shoes were wet and muddy. We then made a long drive and a ferry ride to Oban
, a small fishing town we were staying.
Last day we hit a few more castles and cathedrals before making it back to Edinburgh
. I'd say the tour guide for this trip was way better than the one I had in Ireland. He was full of so many stories and made sure we got the perfect picture. However, I think the people I met from the first tour were a lot more fun and social. I'm going to fly into London
tomorrow afternoon and will be meeting up with Hyemi.