Sunday, July 14, 2013

Scotland the Brave!

The last leg of our journey took us up to Scotland. We got to see some relatives and enjoy the beauty and adventure that land has to offer. We rented a car and drove on the left side of the car and road down ridiculously narrow streets all throughout the country. It scared me to death, so Dima did almost all the driving, and did just splendidly, so I was happy to let him take the wheel as I stared out the window and the beautiful scenery.

 Our first day in Perth we caught up with the Crooks and then headed out to a nearby abandon castle. I loved that this castle was just left as is, and was not renovated. It was a lot bigger than I thought it was from the outside, and it was fun to imagine it in it's original splendor. Also, this family must have been so proud and excited to have toilets in their castle, because they were literally everywhere!! In the majority of the rooms, the end of a hall, the only thing in an isolated tower, etc. Seriously... everywhere! Made me wonder what kind of food they ate back in the day to have so many.
After Elcho Castle we headed to a small town Elie to do a chain walk, but were unable to because of the high tide. But it was a fun hike in and the scenery was beautiful.
We wrapped up the day by visiting St. Andrews and playing on the West Sands beach which was amazing! One of our favorite things - not only was it long from side to side, but the beach just seemed to go forever until it finally met the water - plus to have the beautiful golf course and old buildings along the shore made the whole things just magical.
The next day was Sunday, and I was not feeling well so we headed to church, slept and then just took a walk around Perth. 
Unfortunately that was all the time we could spend there - the next morning we woke up and drove a few hours North where we got to do some white water rafting in the Finghorn River. It was pretty cold and we were afraid we'd freeze the whole trip, but they gave us some crazy thick wet suits, shoes and a windbreaker. We stayed toasty warm and had an awesome time. It ended up just being the two of us on that tour, so we got our own private ride down the river. 
 We then headed up to the highland region and visited Dave and Christine in the charming little town of Ullapool. It stays light super late up there during the summer, so we went to a nearby lighthouse and stoney beach to play around on the coast. That was one of my favorite memories of Ullapool, it was just to natural and beautiful. Also there were cute fluffy little lambs and sheep all over the hillside just yards from us.

The following morning we went on a hike, grabbed some fish and chips, cleaned up then started the long and beautiful drive back down to Glasgow to fly home. Apparently they had recently burned all the brush so it would germinate and regrow, so it didn't make for quite the view I was expecting, but it was still a fun hike. And just like that, the glorious experience was over with not nearly enough time there to see and experience it all. I guess we'll just have to return again in the future. 

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