Scotland of all places?
I knew when I came to Europe that I wanted to visit all the most perfect sounding tourist destinations that I possibly could while I was here. From America, travel to other countries is so much more expensive than here in the UK. The idea of getting to Paris in only a couple hours still blows my mind!
That being said, Scotland was not the first place on my list. Yes, I was sure that it was beautiful with amazing culture and all that, but the beaches of Greece and the wine of Paris seemed much more appealing. My friends convinced me to go, and I will forever be grateful for their little (or large) push.
“I went to a castle on top of a volcano!” Not something I expected to be saying after several hours on a northbound train up into what I thought was pretty much nothing. Edinburgh was one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever seen! Everything that London flashed with tall buildings, exciting night life, and historic bridges Edinburgh blew away with cobblestones, a giant slide of a road leading to a castle, and countless baked potato shops.
I listened to bagpipes as I spit into a heart on the sidewalk (which is supposedly good luck). I visited Tom Riddle’s grave in the middle of spooky season. I bought a pocket sized leather writing tablet for my favorite professor and fudge for my family in the same cool air where I kissed a giant nutcracker and learned to swear with the gravel of a Scottish accent.
As if the refreshing air of Edinburgh wasn’t enough, the highlands of Glencoe (one of the most historic and beautiful glens in Scotland) and Loch Ness (home of the infamous Loch Ness monster) gave my lungs enough oxygen to let me survive breathing in the London tube for another couple months.
The pictures somehow both speak for themselves and fail to do the country justice at the same time. Although it was cold and raining most of the time (thank you marine west coast climate), the cold never sunk to the bone enough to chill our spirits. It might be worth mentioning that honey whisky and Scottish beer may have assisted in this core warmth. Even while walking through the castle from Monty Python, I was simply in awe of the beauty of the scenery and the historical mystery of each ruin and artifact.
This is not an advertisement, but if Scotland is even close to on you’re list of places to visit, go!
(For anyone wanting to take a similar trip, this trip group comprised of about 30-35 people, mostly American University students. We traveled by train via London King’s Cross to Edinburgh and from there traveled by coach bus. The entire trip was under the instruction of a guide and was booked through the company Somewhere New. I also went in September before it was insanely cold!)