Travels in Scotland
A recent trip to Scotland and Wales has inspired this particular blog post. The simple beauty of Scotland has captured my imagination for years, and will continue to hold it for years to come.
I imagine that every traveler at some point in their adventures dreams of touring Scotland. They dream of seeing the change in scenery from the low lands to the Highlands. They dream of standing in the middle of a valley (glen) and staring upwards at the beautifully complex mountains (ben).
There is nothing quite like it. Scotland is beautifully unique and incredibly memorable.
We traveled with Haggis Tours, which was a convenient way to jump from stop to stop, for 3 days to see the Highlands and Skye. Edinburgh we managed on our own and later rented a car to drive down to Wales.
Sites we Visited:
- Edinburgh Castle
- William Wallace Memorial
- Eilean Donan Castle
- Isle of Skye
- Fort William
- The Hermitage
- Real Mary’s Close
The highlight of the trip revolved around the time I spent on the Isle of Skye; and the experiences that I enjoyed. We heard stories of the fairy river which could cure the worst of ills simply by putting yourself into it’s water. After dipping my face into the cold water I discovered that I felt a good deal younger, though the mirror did not reveal that I had shed any years. Our giant yellow bus found it’s way across a tiny thin road to the top of the Quiraing, which produced the most beautiful views I could ever imagine seeing. The towns had their own level of charm and interest, each unique in their own ways.
Top 5 Stops of the Trip:
Standing above the city from a great height the Castle looks upon Edinburgh with a truly magnificent view. It’s quite a large structure with a lot to see and view once inside it’s walls. The view is worth the hike up the Royal Mile simply to see; and the story of the Scottish Jewels is worth entering the Castle walls for.
Similar to most European sites Glencoe was home to great tragedy and misfortune over the years within the scope of the Scottish history. We heard stories for most places we visited, some fables and some history, but the history of this particular valley was enough to bring tears to ones eyes. It is no wonder that the waterfalls cascading down the mountains and into the valley have their own mythology about being tears themselves.
The Quiraing is simply a geological formation (a landslip) on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. There is only one road that approaches the Quiraing and it can be taken from the back, which involves navigating tiny roads over a barren landscape, or from the front, which involves several difficult mountain pass turn backs to reach the top. Either way is challenging but the view is the reward, an what a reward it presents! The view is reason enough to make a trip to Scotland and travel out to the Isle of Skye.
|Eilean Donan Castle:
This Castle is perhaps one of the most photographed Castles in Scotland. The original Castle was destroyed in the 18th century during the Jacobite rebellion, and rebuilt again following original plans in 1919.
Outside of Dunkeld there is a National Trust known as the Hermitage. Inside this forest there is a structure known as Ossian’s Hall that overlooks a truly beautiful Scottish waterfall. The entire forest was a highlight of the trip but this particular experience and view was something truly out of a fairytale.
Photographs from Scotland
Lowlands & Highlands
Isle of Skye
Last Day in Scotland
Travels in Wales
The United Kingdom is made up of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each of them carry their own unique culture, landscape and people. Wales is charming with it’s rolling hills, proud Welshmen, quaint cities, and stunning Castles.
The experience of traveling to Wales deserves its own blog post to highlight the beauty of this particular country.
For an American like me.. Castles are the greatest eye candy. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that I visited not 1, not 2 but 3 castles during this particular leg of the trip.
Sites we Visited
- Cardiff Castle
- Cardiff Bay
- Caerphilly Castle
- Caerphilly Common
- Castle Coch
This Castle stands tall in the heart of the city of Cardiff and is a truly marvelous experience to be enjoyed. The Castle is in two parts; the old Keep which stands proudly on a hill in the center of the Castle, and the new Castle is against the exterior walls and is beautifully ornate. To make it even more interesting the Castle walls were used as bomb shelters in World War II and carry that extra level of history to make this a truly unique castle.
This extraordinarily Castle can be found just outside of Cardiff in the charming town of Caerphilly. It is particularly famous for it’s leaning tower, which leans at a larger angle degree than even the leaning tower of Pisa. The Castle is also structured to hold functions and events; in fact I spent an entire evening at the Castle attending a friend’s wedding.
Upon the recommendation of a friend who was local to the area we took a slight diversion to visit this unique castle. It was rebuilt into a replica of it’s former glory, with three towers encased in a circular wall. The exhibits were truly amazing but the castle itself is such a unique style and structure that it is absolutely worth the visit, and it’s just 10 minutes away from Caerphilly and outside of Cardiff.