After Ireland, I jumped on the car ferry with my trusty VW camper and headed over to Scotland (which could be seen from the Irish coast). Upon arrival, it was a deceptively beautiful day, sunshine and green everywhere. I proceeded to visit Edinburgh directly as I was going to run with the local chapter of the Hash House Harriers. Edinburgh was a beautiful city and a lot of fun to walk around and hike on the hills next to it but it was very tough to find a parking/camping space. So I picked up and went about 20 miles away to Linlithgow where I found a car park for 5 euro a day, secure and close to the train station. Plus it had the added benefit of being next to this beautiful lake where there was a great swan show every sunset!
After this brief visit, I ventured further north working my way to the main goal of the highlands. This was a beautiful part of Scotland with very little traffic or people but a lot of sheep! It was also home to some gorgeous scenery, both coastal and mountainous. I drove along what is called the North Coast 500, basically 500 miles of coastal road that takes you up the east coast, then along the northern coast and back down the west coast (or vice versa) for some incredible scenery. Sometimes I would just venture off and try side roads that looked interesting.
Here are some shots that I discovered while driving along the side roads, not sure where I would end up and not really caring.
Visiting Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a visit the Highland games. I was lucky enough to see two, one very large and one much more local. They are a great way to meet local people, try some local food, and enjoy the music and colors.
There was always the traditional bagpipe bands, many times fronted by old crusty fellows….
Meanwhile att the Highland games, there were the obligatory games of strength such as the caber toss, which is like having to throw a telephone pole end over end.
The last area I visited was the Isle of Skye, an island which is connected by a beautiful bridge to the mainland and well worth visiting.
Lastly, I’ll wrap up this blog post with some beautiful sunset pictures that I was able to capture on the Northwest coast of the highlands. I have to say they were special because it was very rare to get a day where it wasn’t raining part of the time and heavy low clouds. But, I expected this, packed my wellies (boots which came in very handy!) and jumped into the weather!
That’s a wrap on my visit to Scotland. A beautiful country with very friendly people, gorgeous scenery and great food and beer (and whiskey…). Highly recommend visiting, just pack your wellies and raincoat and enjoy what nature brings. It will be well worth it! Cheers!