Enter week two of our trip. We left the Edinburgh for two days to enter the highlands and get a better sense of the country. Our tour guide Doug was decked out in a great kilt and his thick accent made for a truly authentic experience (haha). The plan was to wind our way up to Inverness by the the end of day one and wind our way down through the highlands before returning to Edinburgh. Our trip turned out to be wonderful. We were blessed with good weather the first day. We stopped in Dunkeld to check out a cathedral and have a breather. Lunch was in Pitlochry, where not much was going on, so I wrote a postcard to the lovely Brittany F., then on we headed to Loch Morland. I’m not sure if people actually swim in Scotland… It would seem way too cold, but what do I know? Our guide told us about some bogeyman theory in the Cairngorm mountains. I’m not sure of the validity, but it was beautiful. There were lots of hikers heading up the mountain and I can only hope none of them encountered the monster. We also checked out an ancient burial cairn which was fairly interesting as it dated back to primitive times.
I must say our hostel in Inverness was a bit backwards. We didn’t eve know we had the right place because there’s no common entry. There’s a pass code door and buzzer so we wandered in confusion for a bit before figuring it out. The hostel receptionist wasn’t around at first, and she seemed to have had a few glasses of wine…. no maps, no change for us. Friendly, but very laissez-faire. Madyson and I relaxed (read:wine time) in our room before heading to the common room where there were a ton of French guys traveling together. We had some silly frenglish conversations before deciding to all go out together. Inverness didn’t have much going on but we did find a karaoke. I know I shouldn’t sing but did anyway. Poor people. The next morning we headed on to Urquhart castle and Loch Ness. It was quite lovely! I took some selfies, of course, then hopped a castle wall and zenned out to music just like I did 12 years ago. A quiet moment on a nice day always hits me deep. I’m such a sentimentalist. Death cabs song “you are a tourist” came on. Look up the lyrics. It made me think how happy I felt in Scotland and how easily I could picture myself in Edinburgh. It’s a small city and I’m sure sure I could get tired of it, but I definitely have a pull to Scotland. The people, history, and outdoor beauty is so compelling. If I could only get a job….
After Urquhart we headed to the Highlands and after many years I returned to Fort William and Glencoe. The surrounding views were awe inspiring. It’s hard to share through a picture. You feel a sense of divine inspiration, of calm, yet a growing swell of something you can’t describe. There’s a loneliness and spookiness to. Just go, and you might see what I mean. I definitely want to come back. We visited a few more Lochs on the way home. We also made a quick stop at Doune castle- which
They used to film Monty Python! !! I’ve been saying quotes since the start of our trip! I was utterly nerd happy.
We returned into Edinburgh and checked Into to a cool hostel called High Street. Once we cleaned up we met our cs host Greg for a drink at Voodoo Rooms. Really cool place!! I ended up meeting a nice guy and stayed for a drink with him. We ended up hanging out into the wee hours and finished by listening to music in the tiniest pub I’ve ever seen. He’s an artist, musician and apparent whiskey connoisseur. Youtube his band the Lonely Together- pretty chill! I said I’d give a mention, but basically, I think I’m pretty weak for a Scottish accent. Sigh!!
Onto London. We had meant to take the train but they wanted double the price we had found for tickets. We sucked it up and took a flight instead. When we arrived, we had to bus into the city and pay 22$. However, we were graced by a super funny “line god”, as he called himself, who let us in the priority line… and didn’t make us pay! Score. Once we found our hostel we were quite happy. Our room is packed but it’s a nice place. We went to Camden for a beer and bit of exploring then slept by midnight. Today was action packed. We did a walking tour of Westminster and wandered our way over to Shoreditch and Hackney regions.
We got a bit lost but I’m pretty beat as we were walking ALL day. Now we reward ourselves with a drink in our room while we wait for much needed laundry. The backpacking life Isn’t glorious, but I’m still enjoying it! There’s a tube strike tomorrow but we’ll weather the storm. We saw Buckingham palace and some parks but there’s a ton still to be seen. Stay tuned! Much love from London!