Just when I thought I could never love a country as much as I loved Ireland, I took a weekend trip to Scotland. I try not to compare or rank countries, because each one is so unique and my experience is unparalleled. But if I did have to rank Scotland, it would definitely be near the top! I fell in love with this place from my first glimpse out the airplane window. It’s green fields, striking mountains, and deep blue ocean took my breath away. Keep reading for more details of my love affair with Scotland.
We landed at noon on Friday, and wasted no time exploring the gorgeous city of Edinburgh. The city felt to me like a cross between London and Dublin, but not quite as busy or large. First, we headed to The Elephant House Cafe, where J.K. Rowling wrote the manuscript of the first Harry Potter! I ordered her favorite drink and even sat in her seat! The cafe over looks the castle, and has a warm, homey atmosphere- no wonder she was inspired! Don’t be surprised if I bust out a famous novel too one of these days :p After our delicious lunch, we strolled through Greyfriars Graveyard across the street, where J.K. Rowling used to wander to find inspiration for character names- sure enough, a certain Mcgonagall and Tom Riddel are buried there!
Next, we hiked all the way to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a large undeveloped hill (it felt more like a mountain to me!) in the center of Edinburgh. The summit offers stunning 360 degree views of the city. This was definitely a highlight of the trip, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Edinburgh.
^You could say it was a bit windy at the top…
After a dinner of traditional Scottish Haggis (lamb innards that are surprisingly good), we hit the sack, because we had to wake up early the next day for our bus tour of the highlands! The Highlands are God’s country- my mouth was hanging open the entire day in disbelieve. I couldn’t believe something so beautiful exists on our planet Earth! We saw glens and mountains, lakes and forests, not to mention the filming sites of the last Harry Potter, Skyfall, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We also saw the castle residence of Mary Queen of Scots! I’m a history nerd, so that was kind of a big deal.
^Did I mention we took a boat tour across Loch Ness? Yeah, that’s Nessy the monster right there. No joke.^We wore our Scottish wool scarves all weekend- stayin’ stylish and warm.Typically when I return home to Heidelberg after a trip, I am so relieved and glad to be back in the comforts of my room. But this time I was genuinely sad to leave Scotland. I wish I could have stayed longer! My sadness was heightened with the knowledge that this was my last travel weekend of the year- I fly home in two weeks! But if it has to end, I’m glad it ended on a high note 🙂