It's been a lifelong dream of mine to travel to the United Kingdom, and this summer that dream finally became a reality. Thanks to Brian's discovery of travel hacking, we were able to take a 17-day trip to Scotland, England, and Ireland. We also threw in Belgium, to spice things up and partake in its culinary delights: waffles, french fries, chocolate, and beer.
The first stop on our European adventure was Scotland. We knew we wanted to get out and explore the Highlands, and after deciding against being stuck on a tour bus with no freedom to explore on our own, we decided to buck-up and rent a car. Brian was awesome, and took on the task of driving on the opposite side of the road. An added challenge was the car rental place had given away their last GPS to the person before us, and we did not have the luxury of being able to use our phones while abroad (Oh, how we missed you Google Maps!). So, we picked up a map from a gas station, and did things old school. Thankfully, I'm good with maps, and once we got our bearings it was smooth sailing.
Our first stop was Urquhart Castle, which sits on the banks of Loch Ness. Sadly, no Nessie sightings to report.
After exploring the castle ruins, we headed east toward our abode for the evening. We stayed at The Barley House, which we booked through Air B&B. I cannot recommend this place enough. Its a very cute little house located right on Loch Carron. Our only regret is that we only stayed for one night. Below is the view from the lounge and another shot from just outside the house.
While in Kyle of Lochalsh, we had a run-in with a few of the famous Highland Cattle, or Hairy Coos.
The next morning, we headed out to the Isle of Skye. I could have easily spent a week exploring Skye - it was much bigger than I thought and there are tons of thing to do and see (Note to self: Next time stay on Skye for a week!).
Oh, hi there Brian.
The Quiraing (Mind the sheep poop!)
Back on the mainland, we stopped by Eilean Donan Castle. Can I live here please?
We decided to take the scenic route to Edinburgh and drove through Glen Coe - a beautiful valley known for it's spectacular scenery. The one drawback to visiting the Highlands in the summer is the sun doesn't set until 10:30 p.m., so getting golden hour or sunset shots was challenging because I'm an old lady and am usually in bed by then. As fate had it though, our Skye excursion kept us out late, so the sun was setting just as we drive through Glencoe. We just don't get sunsets like this back home.
Sadly, that's the end of our two-day road trip to the Scottish Highlands. What a wild, beautiful place. I know I said it a few times above, but I really hope to go back soon and explore more of the region. Bidh mi 'gad fhaicinn (I'll be seeing you)