Itâ€™s been over four weeks since we returned from Scotland so this blog is very overdue!
We spent our first day of our trip in Edinburgh. Because we were only spending one day in Edinburgh we thought it would be a good idea to do a bus tour. The bus tour took us to all the major sights including the Edinburgh castle. Edinburgh castle is located on top of a hill overlooking the whole city. Edinburgh is a very nice city, it has lots of monuments, cobble stone roads and old but nice looking buildings.
On our next day we started our 3 day tour. Our first stop on the tour was Sterling where we stopped to see the William Wallace monument. The monument is dedicated to William Wallace the main character in the Braveheart film. Itâ€™s placed on top of a hill so it gave us a good view of Sterling.
On the way to Glencoe we made a stop to see Hamish the highlander cow. He is this massive long haired placid cow with big horns. Everyone was taking photos of him and he really seemed to enjoy the attention.
We arrived in Glencoe which is a mountainous region where the third Harry Potter movie was filmed. We went for a walk at the base of the mountains and had a picnic lunch. We were surrounded by huge mountains some of which had snow on the tops. The Scottish countryside is very beautiful and clean. It would be a great place to go for walks, we saw lots of people bush walking and camping. Scotland has recently brought in a law called the â€œfreedom to roamâ€ law, which is the general public’s right to access certain public or privately owned land for recreation and exercise people to walk anywhere.
From Glencoe we headed to a look out to see Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. Because of the weather that day the peak was covered in snow and clouds so we couldnâ€™t quite see how big it was.
After a short drive we arrived in Fort Augustus where we would spend the next two nights. Fort Augustus is home to the famous Loch Ness. We discovered that Loch just means lake and there are 1000s of loch’s in Scotland with Loch Ness being the biggest.
On our first night in Fort Augustus we were invited to go on a cruise along the loch ness and to see if we could spot the legendary Loch Ness Monster… and we did! We were both very very skeptical about this whole monster tale but while on the boat we we’re told all the history behind it. The boat has been fitted out with Â£90,000 ($220,000) sonar equipment so we could see what was going on in the loch and underneath the boat. About half way into the cruise the captain came down and explained to us what exactly we could see on the sonar screens and told us about all of his encounters with the loch ness monster and even showed us photo evidence. By this stage we were very intrigued and sat and listened to everything he had to say.
Many people asked him why all the evidence he was telling and showing us hadnâ€™t been released and he told us they are currently in the process of getting a protection order so that when they do release all the information that people won’t come to the loch and try to hunt the big fishies. While he was telling us about all his findings this huge thing appeared on the sonar screen and he said that is was Nessy! We don’t really know what to believe but we do know that whatever we saw under the boat that night was something very HUGE!
On our second day our first sight was the Eilean Donan castle. Apparently this castle is in the top 100 sights to see before you die list. Itâ€™s not really what we would call a castle but none the less it looks quite nice. It is on its own island with an old cobble stone bridge connecting it to the mainland. We went on a tour in the castle and were told all about its history.
We then drove through the Isle of Skye which was pretty amazing. Like lots of other parts of Scotland it is very mountainous. We went for a walk up the top of a mountain and had lunch there. After lunch we walked up even further to a point where we could see lots of the surrounding areas. Up there it was very cold, rainy and windy (so windy that we nearly got blown off the mountain 🙂 )
On our last day we made a short stop to see the Urquhart Castle. We didnâ€™t go inside but it looked really old and like it had been hit by a bomb. It still looked nice set on nice green grass and along side of the massive Loch Ness.
Our trip headed next through to Culloden, where the historical battle of Culloden took place. It was the last battle to be fought on mainland Britain between the English and Scottish and pretty much sealed the fate of Scotland to be under Englandâ€™s rule. Over a thousand died in the battle with a massive majority being Scottish.
For our last stop we visited a small town called Dunkeld where we visited the local church and cemetery. It was a nice area with the church and cemetery running along side a river. The old cemetery was ancient and it is built in and around an old building where only its walls stood the test of time.
We both really enjoyed our time in Scotland, itâ€™s a very scenic country. It is very beautiful and clean and was very different to all the other places we have been so far.
The photos of the trip can be found here: