Good afternoon dear readers!
I told you I was going to come back here soon, this morning I woke up so excited because of the blog, I really couldn’t wait to finish the chores at home to start writing… Let me tell you a bit of my situation now, so that you get to know me better. Almost one month ago I moved to Scotland with my boyfriend and my cat because I’ve got Scottish origins, my grandma is Scottish and has a house here, so we wanted to try this life experience. Until now I must say that Scotland has been so welcoming and generous with us, doing all the paperwork has been easy and we are very grateful to the Scottish people we have met. I’ve been coming countless times to Scotland to visit family, since I was a newborn, and my bf had been here twice with me, too. We would like to improve our English and do a job experience. This said, last week we went for a 3-day trip to the Highlands, so I would like to share my first travel story with you.
Last Monday we left the house at 9.30 because we didn’t want to wake up too early, also to avoid the Monday morning traffic. Our first stop has been in Duck Bay’s restaurant (https://duckbay.co.uk) in Loch Lomond, one of my favourite restaurants. As we arrived at 11am, too early to have lunch, we had breakfast: pancakes with maple syrup and cappuccino (I must say we really miss italian bars to have a quick breakfast with a fresh croissant…but every country has its pros and cons :D)
After our breakfast we headed to Glen Coe, on the way we had a quick stop at the Green Welly Shop to get some water and a sandwich, because we didn’t want to stop again for lunch. The road wasn’t easy, it’s quite narrow and we noticed because there were A LOT of lorries, buses and cars…BUT we managed to reach Glen Coe, where we parked and had a nice (but steep) walk. Ok, I’m not an athlete, let me tell you this immediately… During our walk we saw some deers and I was so excited because I really love deers, I see many when I’m in Italy but never get to observe them, this time on the other hand we had a videocamera with us so we sat down and zoomed to observe them, it was so fascinating…
After our walk (and the deer-watching) we headed to Fort William, we didn’t know where to sleep, while my bf was driving I checked out some homes on Airbnb but we wanted to stay very central so that we didn’t have to take the car to go out for dinner so we booked a hotel right in the centre…If only we knew! It was very expensive for what it offered, the photos didn’t match the reality (it looked like all the rooms were facing the lake but they didn’t) and we definitely wouldn’t go back…But at least we had a nice bath and then a nice dinner in a pub which offered Mexican dishes, all washed down with a pint of beer. We were given a table by the window and it was raining outside…Lovely, pure Scottish night.
The following day we had two places we wanted to visit. The first was Glenfinnan Viaduct (yes, the Harry Potter’s bridge! :D)
After a 30-minute drive from Fort William we reached Glenfinnan, the weather was cloudy and it was slightly raining, but we are used to that, aren’t we? We walked for 15 minutes along a trail and reached a point from where we could see the bridge and the lake, it was absolutely beautiful. We even saw the train cross the bridge…Unfortunately it wasn’t the famous Jacobite because the service hasn’t started yet, it was just a standard train, but it was still very exciting. There were other tourists walking around, too.
After visiting the bridge, we went by the lake to see the monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie (also known as Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, thanks Wikipedia), maybe those of you who aren’t British won’t know, he claimed for the throne of Great Britain but was defeated near Inverness, in the famous Battle of Culloden, then escaped from Scotland. He died in Rome, actually.
After Glenfinnan we headed to our second destination for the day, the absolutely magnificent Eilean Donan Castle (https://www.eileandonancastle.com). Let me tell you, I wanted to visit this castle from many, many years (I only went there as a child with my parents, but can’t remember) but we were always coming to Scotland during winter so often it was closed or my relatives didn’t want to drive 4.30 hours to get there and I still didn’t have my driving licence…So, you can imagine my excitement!
We arrived there after driving for 1.30 hours, first we bought the tickets, then we had a very late lunch (we were sooo hungry) in the beautiful, wooden bar of the castle (you could see it in all its majestic beauty, from the main, big window).
We couldn’t take photos inside, so you’ll have to go there yourself! It was beautiful because they gave you free audioguides (they’ve got them in Italian, too) and the castle has furniture in it, it still belongs to the MacRae family. The castle also appears in the American romance movie “Made of Honor”, with Patrick Dempsey, which I really like. But it has appeared in many other movies, as well.
After our visit and a 15-minute drive we then reached Kyle of Lochalsh to sleep in the (lovely) b&b we booked while driving, it was called Ardenlea. The owners were very sweet and the place was sparkling clean. Moreover the breakfast was absolutely incredible: fresh milk, local produce, homemade jam… I just loved it! They prepared a full English breakfast for my boyfriend and a full vegetarian one, for me.
Unfortunately we struggled to find a place to have dinner, everything was closed but there are few restaurants, actually. After wandering for 20 minutes we opted for an Indian restaurant which didn’t attract us much from the outside but I must say the papadams, naan and mint sauce were very good and the owners were very kind. Kyle of Lochalsh is the town where the Skye bridge to reach the Isle of Skye is (I thought you could reach it only by ferry, what a great news! They actually opened it in 1995, the year I was born btw :D)
We didn’t visit the Isle of Skye because we didn’t want to add hours to the long journey back home and because it was raining cats and dogs, so we headed back home but on the road we stopped at Doune Castle (https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/doune-castle/prices-and-opening-times/) because… Game of Thrones fans will know already… That’s where the pilot episode of GOT was recorded! I was soooo excited! Unfortunately I don’t have photos to show you because my phone was dead…That’s so me! But if you follow me on Instagram you’ll find in my Highlight stories (“Scotland”) you’ll see a short video of our arrival…
Well, these was a summary of our three day trip to the Highlands… I hope you enjoyed it and will take inspiration from it if you’ll ever go.
Have a great evening, guys!