Touring the Scottish Highlands with a token Scotsman
13.11.2013 - 20.11.2013 5 °C
Way back at the start of our travels, we embarked on a four-day boat trip through Southern Chile’s fjords. Amongst our fellow passengers was a gent named Ed from Edinburgh. We would later learn that upon first laying eyes on us waiting to board the ship, Ed thought we looked incredibly dull, namely because Hayley was knitting at the time. Little does Ed know that knitting is well and truly back in vogue.
Despite first impressions, Ed looked past his initial trepidation and a friendship was formed. So much so, that eight months down the track Hayley and I were en route to Edinburgh to see Ed in his natural, rainy habitat.
Itching to show us an authentic Scottish experience Ed greeted us in a kilt, although the inclement conditions proved a little severe to stay entirely true to the authentic dress.
The next day we embarked on a four-day exploration of the Scottish highlands in search of ginger-haired locals, highland cows and some elusive sunshine.
We made our way west to William Wallace’s stomping ground where Hayley couldn’t stop banging on about people never taking her freedom.
The very impressive monument for William Wallace in Sterling
We passed by Loch Lomond en route to our destination for the first night, Oban. Oban is a lovely seaside town, which saw us sample some fabulous fish n chips that could rival NZ’s finest, followed by some traditional Céilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) dancing. Ed was forced to dance overtime as he whisked us ladies around with his smooth Scottish moves. Hilarious.
Ed is dancing so fast here - you can only see a blur
The next day saw us venture north to Isle of Skye. “Its really quite lovely in Summer”, became a popular refrain as we traversed through Scotland’s Lochs and Glens in the near-constant precipitation. But despite the unfavourable conditions, we were quite simply wowed by the stunning landscapes, quaint towns and gorgeous autumnal colours.
Lochs and Glens
Great day for a stroll
A highland cow (pronounced 'coo') in all its hairy slendour
Harry Potter fans might recognise this bridge
Trying in vain to stay out of the rain
Ed is a bit of 007 fan and took an educated guess on where some "Skyfall" scenes were shot. We tried to recreate one here (Ed is James Bond and I'm M). Realise this could do with some work.
We didn't take this one
Late that arvo we traversed the seas to sail to Skye where strangely enough we stayed at a hostel run by a Venezuelan causing Ed to subconsciously switch to Español like he had never left the continent.
Sailing to Skye
Next stop was Aviemore via Loch Ness. Despite promises made, Nessie the Loch Ness monster failed to show her face that day so we had to settle for a glass-blown version instead that will hang on next year's christmas tree.
Token jump shot high on the hills behind Loch Ness
A hungry sheep
For the final stretch of the journey we were joined by Ed's pal, Mhairie for the final leg home back to Edinburgh.
A night out at one of Aviemore's finest establishments proved too much for Mhairie
This place was lovely but I've forgotten what it was called
It is pretty damn nice when the sun comes out, I must admit
Skiing, Scotland styles
Thanks our chauffer and wonderful guide Ed, whose Scottish ‘facts’ were somewhat questionable, but more than made up for by the entertainment value. Bravo, Ed, bravo!
Thankfully, we did manage to squeeze in a few of Edinburgh's highlights too:
Atop Arthur's seat
Irn Bru - Scotland's national fizz
With that our whirlwind tour of Scotland was over and we vowed to return again, maybe next time in summer.