Tuesday, October 18, 2016

day 15 & 16: last full days of Scotland

day 15: glenfinnan

we slept in a good bit as our German roommates we departing that morning and weren't terribly quiet about it.

at this hostel in Fort William, the first night we had a Chilean couple room with us. they came in to sleep after we had gone to sleep, and when we left the next morning Jason noticed they were sharing the bottom bunk... in the buff. I had dashed out too quick to notice... thankfully.

fun times in the hostel life I tell ya. never a dull moment.

then our second and third night there we had a German couple placed with us. they were all cuddly and snuggly and lovey dovey talky in German... puke. I mean heck, we are the ones on our honeymoon and we are just chilling on the bottom bunk trying to watch Supernatural to drown out your snogging.

anyway, we hoped we wouldn't be roomed with another couple for our forth night, but we wouldn't know until we got back from Glenfinnan.

Glenfinnan was apparently where Bonnie Prince Charlie (do watch Outlander to get a fresh perspective on THAT guy) raised the standard against Britain to signal the 1745 rebellion (which takes place in Outlander, I'm telling you guys, plz watch. unless you can't handle sexy Scots, in which case do avoid).

but presently that historical site is being overlooked as the Glenfinnan Viaduct is nearby, the site that is regularly seen in the Harry Potter movies that the Hogwarts Express crosses over.

and quite frankly, that's the only reason we were there even though we knew about Prince Charles and the rebellion, we didn't know about this site being so important to the cause.

Poor Price Charlie. hah. no. silly Prince Charlie. rebellions... are for kids... not highlanders who fought and died for your cause at your poor leadership *sigh*

anyhow, we made it to the Glenfinnan monument in search of the viaduct, but it was raining pretty hard so we waited it out at the visitor center. it wasn't letting up so we saw there was a Glenfinnan train station museum just up the street so we could hang out inside there. and thank goodness we did, once the rain let up we realized this one had the best hike to see the best view of the viaduct.

it was a really lovely hike even though it was slippery and muddy with the rain.

we saw the train cross the viaduct around 3:20 or so and explored the area some more. we found some crazy awesome ruins in the woods nearby, got some gorgeous photos in there and then made the hike back.

drove into Fort William and had a lovely dinner at a nicer pub. I had haggis stuffed chicken, tatties, and veg in a Dramburie (whisky cream) sauce... sooo good. also split a lovely slice of chocolate cake and flavorful vanilla ice cream.

and went back to the hostel... where they were watching Harry Potter!! which is all we wanted to do!! but we knew we had to pack, shower and go to bed early for our early wakeup for Edinburgh.

we met our new roomate, a lovely lass from Lithuania! it was her first hostel stay and she was terrified of sharing a room with 3 guys. we bonded quickly with her, as well as our other roommate who came in later - he's a lovely Kiwi, we are all friends on Facebook now. hi guys!! we all got along so well and talked for far later than we should likely have, but it was so worth it. those kind of hostel stays are rare when you get along well with everyone in the room, so it was just wonderful to soak up that time with them and learn so much about their travels and experiences. these are the things you can never pay for and are worth so much.

day 16: edinburgh

4:45 came quickly and we tried to exit our hostel room as quietly as possible to not disturb our roommates sleep, we hope we were mildly successful in that.

I attempted sleep for the three hour drive to Edinburgh, not sure how much I got, seemed to drift in and out. but Jason was a trooper for the drive.

there was lovely mist on the lochs and in the valleys, perfect Scotland morning, though the sunrise wasn't much to speak of... no offense, Scotland.

Edinburgh didn't disappoint in its loveliness. it was just as charming as remembered. though more exhausting this time. just because we were so tired and on a mission (souvenirs, we succeeded by the skin of our teeth, but it came with another souvenir - a parking ticket... yaaay).

we had our second breakfast (after our first breakfast at 5:45am) at a lovely cafe overlooking the newer side of Edinburgh. hot rolls filled with poached egg and that delicious bacon we can't get over. and a pot of tea of course!

at one point there was a piper piping on Castle Hill drive and we just stood and listened, and paid the piper of course. but I just stood there and absorbed the moment. another moment to freeze in time. standing on that corner, a slight breeze, some delicious scent of food in the air, this lovely pipers tunes carried in the square, reverberating off the cobblestones. I got teary eyed yet again. I didn't want to leave. but we must.

but we trekked through the alleyways (a lot of them named, and are thoroughfares strictly for walking to get from one level of city to the next) that so closely resemble and clearly inspired Diagon Alley. so marvelous.

lunch was at a local burrito eatery, run by some lovely folks who I'm assuming we're from Spain. a Spanish version of hotline bling came on and I almost spit out my food laughing as it caught me by surprise.

more shopping and exploring. came upon Greyfriars this time... just stumbled upon it as one seems to do in Edinburgh, stumble upon incredible treasures just about everywhere you turn.

I hope we can come back to Edinburgh one day, I can't get over this lovely city. it will forever have a chunk of my heart.

then we made the trek to our airbnb in Glasgow during rush hour. which wasn't too bad considering we were going between two considerably sized cities.

airbnb is nice, no complaints. dinner was at an Italian place in the city center. this Italian needs to be replenished with Italian food routinely. if she runs low on it, she gets very sad. I'm glad I have a man who also enjoys Italian food, maybe not as much pasta as I do, but he does enjoy it.

we found out at dinner from our roommate at the last hostel that we left my camera bag at the hostel :( it had my charger, extra battery, and card reader in it. and it's a nice bag. so inquired to the hostel staff on what we could do, if there was any way to ship or if I should just call it a loss.

Glasgow has grown on us this time around. I think we had a bit of culture shock when we experienced it that first day. there was just so much to take in and so many crazy Uber experiences... it left a bad taste. but I'd like to try and take in this city as it should be taken in, with a good amount of time! but unfortunately that can't be done this trip.

we did some laundry tonight, or rather a wash. most folks here don't have dryers! which is why I made two clotheslines of rubber bands (gave one of them to our new kiwi friend, he has much more travels ahead of him). used the clothesline for the first time tonight! and it worked out great. should all be dry by morning.

also are mostly packed except for our drying clothes. ready for our journey to Iceland after saying a hasty goodbye to the rental car at the airport. yo, Citroen cars... naaah. we no likey. I'd be interested to try other British brands but not that one. paaaassss.

also, guys the cars here are crazy. even the Honda and Toyota models look different here. they've ruined the look of the sleek look of the Civic, but a lot of the Toyotas look pretty cool. and they have some models that don't even exist in the states but I wish they would! guess we will just have to own those cool Toyotas over here. Jason already wants the Toyota truck they have here -_- I just want the one that looks like an oversized Matrix.

I realized today that I haven't seen a single minivan here. there are those smaller transport vans, like for businesses... but nothing like a mini van here. which I think is an improvement!! most all the cars are small here. actually, everything here is small and compact. the bathroom stalls, the pathways, gates... I've honestly wondered how larger people manage here. it's kind of like constantly being in airplane appropriated spaces. I won't miss said compact spaces.

I am curious to see if Iceland is similar on the compact space. really just curious to see another country. it's going to be so fun! but not sure of the internet situation yet again (Scotland has actually had quite reliable mobile data service wherever we have gone). so I'll see ya when I see ya, guys!

1 comment:

  1. Your phone pictures have been so good that I can't wait to see your "real camera" pictures! Also, Citroen is a French car maker. I don't like them either! We've been lucky enough to get VW and BMW for two of our rentals in Europe before and had an Opel another time (Opel is GM in Europe; you'll notice that a lot of the European brands are subsidiaries to the makers we know here in the States). It's fascinating how small their cars are, too! Over the years, we've noticed more and more bigger vehicles making an appearance in mainland Europe, though, including a jacked-up pick-up trip spotted on our most recent trip last month. :P