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  • Anna

Scotland



When we first arrived in Scotland we were greeted by the absolute friendliest customs/ security people I have ever come across. They told us their favorite places, castles to see, what to skip, and tried to convince us to stay for longer. (Excellent first impression, Scotland). We got in the car for the most nerve wracking and nauseating car ride I've ever been on - Rich drove, and he did an excellent job, but sitting on the opposite side of the car, on the opposite side of the road, on a very very tiny road lined very closely by billion year old stone walls was an experience to say the least. We drove to Oban on the first day. A perfectly quaint tourist town, but worth every ounce of touristy goodness. This is why:

Since we had been traveling since roughly 3AM, I had just left my camera in Iceland and was bumming a bit, tired, still jet lagged slightly, and having had slept my hardest nap ever on the plane, we decided we should get moving and wake our bodies up with our first Scotland run. (This is the entire reason we chose Scotland! To Run to our hearts content). We ran along Oban Bay only about a quarter of a mile to where Oban high school band was playing traditional Scottish music on the bagpipes and drums. We stood in the square watching these kids that had so much pride in what they were playing and their culture, the sun started shining on the bay and I looked at Rich and just said "We f*ing did it! We're here!" It was such an overwhelming feeling of "alive" listening to these bagpipes and drums, looking at the bay, a castle in the distance, getting ready to go on our first run in Scotland - a place we had dreamed about coming to for years. And we were finally there. It's a rare feeling to have, when excitement, accomplishment, relief, and peace tingle in your bones and you feel like your whole body is vibrating. This was one of those. Rich and I both looked at each other (admittedly with tears of all of these feelings in our eyeballs) and just soaked it all in for a second. This will forever be one of my favorite memories. We ran more than that on this day, about two miles down the road, around a castle, onto some bluffs, and back to our hotel for a nap and later some amazing food. Scotland gets a bad rap for their food... but you guys, it's not all Hagis and Fish and Chips. I couldn't even tell you how many mussels I ate... but I'm pretty sure it was my body weight. No regrets.



Unfortunately, extended exhaustion from Iceland and Travel caught up with me right about here and I got a fever and a pretty gnarly cold. BUT I wasn't going to let that stop me from seeing as much of Scotland as I possibly could. The next day we drove to Glencoe to run and then to the Isle of Skye- Both of them breathtaking. Running through Glencoe was like running through a fairy glenn- sparkly and full of curious waterfalls and trails, sunlight, and the greenest of greens. My only wish on this day is that we could have gone farther, but my feverish little body was not going to allow it. (wah wah)




Portree on the Isle of Skye was another adorable storybook like town on a bay. We tried to do some trail running just outside of town but again, my body was not having it - so this town was for resting and shopping. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you get hungry between 2-5PM, You're basically screwed because of high tea, so pack your pockets full of snacks.




The next day we went to Old Man Storr, This is one of the places we had been researching and researching for months before going. It was more crowded than I expected, but by this point I was feeling so much better and ready to run most of it, and I'm so glad that endorphins kicked in at this point because we went a little bit deeper into the hills than we would have if I was still puny. We were able to get away from the crowds and clock some more distance and see more sights with more sheep than people.









Next Stop: Inverness.

This is a city that can be skipped when you're planning your itinerary to Scotland. I really didn't take too many photos because I was either on a Horse riding through Loch Ness (ya... that happened) or it was raining as we walked around/ phone was dead. The city was old and beautiful in it's own right, but Inverness is a bit of a transportation hub that had an obvious drug culture. Highlights: Loch Ness (obviously), River Ness, cemeteries older than the United States of America.


Next and final stop: Edinburgh

This city was so cool. I would go back here in a heartbeat. Definitely the most crowded among

all of our stops, but there was so much to do and so little time left. We went on a run through Arthur's seat, this national park just slapped in the middle of the city, walked up to the castle, pub hopped and peeked into speak easys, strolled through cathedrals and by our second day in Edinburgh, we were ready to go home. Ready because we were so overwhelmed with all the things we had seen and had been away from home for two weeks and just ready to sleep in our own bed and have food we were used to eating. We had come to the end of our itinerary and were happy, wanderlust cured (temporarily), and satisfied with the huge adventure we had.