June 14th, 2016
Before this trip, if I thought about Scotland my mind would go to Loch Ness.
But there is so much more than that!
Allow me to share my itinerary with you, along with some photos.
DAY 1: From Edinburgh Airport to Oban.
My parents and I decided to make the best of our trip and rent a car, so that we could visit as much as we could, without needing to wait for trains or busses. This was a brilliant idea, as we could stop as often as we wanted to, even just to admire a lake.
In fact, I had no idea Scotland had such huge lakes, and not just Loch Ness, but actually tons of other “Lochs”. As soon as we spotted the first one, we decided to make a quick stop.
On a side note, you will see me wear almost the same things every day since I didn’t bring much with me (I travelled with only hand luggage).
After about 3 hours, we arrived to Oban, a lovely town by the coast.
This is the cosiest view, from my B&B window. If you ever end up here, I highly recommend spending the night at the same one I did, Failte B&B, as the owner was the sweetest person and made us feel incredibly welcomed. He was very helpful, the house was clean and pretty, and the food he provided us with was mostly home-grown/baked, which made everything special.
The town has quirky little houses, going down the hill, and the most stunning view.
Here is my parents being all cute.
We were lucky to have arrived just before the sunset, as it was amazing to look at.
The one thing we didn’t realise was that restaurants closed relatively early and the dark never really comes, so by 10pm we hadn’t eaten as we didn’t realise how late it was (since the sun takes ages to go down) and had to go for fish & chips (I had overcooked pasta, that being the only vegetarian option).
But it was worth it, it was the best first stop we could make, and this town was probably both my parents and my favourite spot in Scotland.
DAY 2: Oban to Fort William.
The drive from the two towns wasn’t that long, about 2 hours apart, but we had the pleasure to check out the Glencoe area, with it’s valley, lakes and nature. This was so extremely pretty, it didn’t even look real.
Doesn’t it look like a painting?!
In the afternoon we arrived in Fort William, which wasn’t as characteristic as Oban, but still very pretty. For some reasons I couldn’t find any photos of it, but I do have clips which I will include in my video on Thursday.
We spent the day wandering around town and checking out some ruins nearby.
DAY 3: From Fort William to Mallaig, to Loch Ness.
This was a long travelling day. And also the day it started raining and never stopped till the end of our trip.
We were supposed to arrive early at Loch Ness, but instead we changed our plans: we took The Jacobite Steam Train (the one in Harry Potter) so we could admire the different landscapes without having to focus on driving.
It was a 2 hour ride to arrive in Mallaig, a fisherman village from which you can catch the ferry and reach the Isle of Skye – originally we wanted to go there, but unfortunately 100% of accommodations were already fully booked so we had to remove it from our plans.
Still, we got close enough, and spent about 1 hour and a half here instead, having a picnic.
Then we went back on the train, reached Fort William where we picked up our car, and moved to Loch Ness.
We arrived in the evening, after driving lost for a little while as we couldn’t seem to find the hotel. But hey, at least Nessy was easy to spot. 😉
DAY 4: Loch Ness to Edinburg.
Every morning we woke up at 7, just so we could really use all the time we had available. Because the previous day we didn’t get to see Loch Ness so well, since we arrived late, we took a little bit of time of this day to look at the charming ruins of Urquhart Castle.
It was raining and my mom’s leg hurt, so we opted not to walk all the way down, but we were happy to just look at it from afar.
We knew we had about 4 hours car ride ahead, and multiple towns in the way to check out, so we made our way to them pretty quickly.
The first one was Pitlochry. Such a shame it was raining so much, because it looked lovely. All the shops and houses were so picturesque.
The funny thing about this place is that we stopped so we could have lunch in a restaurant, and after ordering each meal we asked for some toasted bread, but they had no clue what it was that I was asking for. After googling it, they call bread in a different way, but still, it was so unexpected that they wouldn’t know what I was saying – haha!
Next stop was in Perth. We wanted to see the Scone Palace.
They were celebrating a festival that day, which was nice because lots of animals and handmade goods were there, as well as live music. It made a rainy day seem a bit brighter.
And after leaving the Palace, we had to keep heading straight to the capital.
DAY 5: Edinburgh.
We started the day off by visiting the massive castle, on top of a giant rock. They used this as a fortress, so not only it’s located high up and you can see it from most places down in the city, but it’s also cool to be inside of it because there isn’t just a castle, but a whole village is built around it, full of shops and different little areas, all within the walls.
The view from up here was also very nice, I didn’t even mind how the clouds were covering most of the city, as I feel like it added a mysterious vibe to it. It was pretty.
Probably what I enjoyed the most of the castle were the prisons: there were the old ones, very bare and dark, as well as newer ones, built by the end of the 1800s, that were still interesting to look at.
The older ones were somewhat charming to me. They slept in hammocks and had their own stone oven, so it didn’t look too bad!
Whilst the newer ones were all painted white and black (honestly, the design was pretty cool).
After the castle, I let my parents relax at the hotel while I headed towards the Camera Obscura, a fun 6 floor building full of illusions and art installations (or at least that’s what I would call them).
They had colourful images moving as you walk by. The t-rex was my personal favourite.
They used mirrors a lot to create cool effects. This was called “Ladder to Australia”.
This massive ball with mirrors and changing display was right by the entrance. Love it.
But the best thing was this dark room filled with mirrors and tiny lights that changed colour constantly. It was incredible. It doesn’t show how cool it truly was, but maybe on my video it will show a bit better.
I went to grab my dad and check out the National Museum of Scotland: the inside of this building was breathtaking. Also, it was free to visit. FREE.
It was mainly about animals, an I loved how so many were placed hanging from the ceiling at proper life size. It was so fun to be there and I felt like a kid.
It also had lots about cultures in the past, rocks, and stars (which I always appreciate).
I’m really glad I got to see this museum, because together with Oban and the Camera Obscura, it was one of my favourite places in Scotland.
Then we spent the entire afternoon walking around the city, entering every building that interested us and admired the beauty of it all.
And that was the end. The morning after we had to drive to the airport to catch our flight.
It was a really great trip, especially since I got to spend time with my parents and see a place I’ve been wanting to visit for many years. It did not disappoint. The only thing I would do, if I could go back, would be to stop a random person so I could have a photo with both my parents and me together, but otherwise, everything went even better than I’ve planned.
This was my gift to my parents, for their 31st anniversary.