November 21, 2012

Great Scotland - Part I

We arrived in Scotland kind of late,
and were pretty exhausted after a long and adventurous road trip.
To be honest,
we didn't get much of an impression of Edinburgh that night,
since all we wanted to do was check into our hotel and go straight to sleep,
which is exactly what we did.
The rest was just what the doctor ordered!
We woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to explore a brand new country.
As we stepped out into the misty morning,
we were surprised to see the looming Edinburgh Castle directly above our hotel.
The location ended up being ideal for exploring around the city.
Scotland turned out to be exactly how I imagined it!
To give you an idea of what I was expecting, let's just say that I may or may not have watched Brave on our flight to Europe earlier that week.
I'm bummed that we only had two days to spend in this beautiful country... but I must admit, we sure made the best of it.
Here are a few recommendations for Scottish must do's:

-Take the New Europe free walking tour.
I've mentioned this company before, because they just can't cease to amaze me.
Favorite highlights of the tour include history of the royal mile,
glimpse into the "real Hogwarts", story of the real Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
and tour of Greyfriars Kirkyard with Greyfriars Bobby.

-Hike to the top of Arthur's Seat.
Warning: this is no easy feat, but you can do it!
The views from the top are simply marvelous!
See what I mean?
Scottish Highlands
On our second day in Scotland,
we really wanted to explore outside of the city center. 
We've heard great reviews about The Hairy Coo tours,
and thankfully, our research did not disappoint!
Here are just a few places that we had a chance to visit:

Braveheart may be a great movie, but according to Russel, our trusty tour guide,
Mel Gibson didn't do the real William Wallace ANY justice. 
For starters, did you know the guy was 6'6"?!
Mel is only 5'9" in real life, just in case you were wondering..
He also wasn't as forgiving to the man that murdered his family as it may have seemed. 
In fact, Wallace decided that using the guy's back skin as a belt would be a fair punishment.
-The Lochs, Mountains and Glens of the stunning Trossachs.
I just love how green this country is!
Not sure I was completely prepared to venture out into the wilderness and face these guys:
That slug was seriously the size of my hand!

-My favorite part of the day was when we went on the 'Hairy Coo Off-Road Safari'. 
What are hairy coos exactly?
They're actually just hairy cows,
pronounced with a Scottish accent. 
And they're adorable. 
We were lucky to come across a few who wanted to snack on some bread,
that the tour guide just happened to have laying around.
-We finished the day off by paying a visit to Monty Python's Doune Castle
Yep, this place was actually used to film the original movie,
and it still looks like it belongs in a fairy tale. 
Have you ever been to Scotland?
Are you in love with it just like I am? 
I can't wait to go back!



lauren | eyes/ears/mouth+lens said...

Edinburgh is definitely one of my favourite European cities! Glad you loved it too :)

Selene said...

amazing Photos!!!