If you dislike gnarled trees and incredible scenery, you can skip this post. I am in the throes of wedding season and if I don’t share these now, I never will! Danny and I had an incredible opportunity to travel to Scotland and Iceland in May with a couple friends of ours. There are few things I love more than sticking myself in a completely new place and culture, and getting lost in every single way possible. Doing this with friends added so much to it. There were two occurrences for me during this trip that if we hadn’t been with friends, we probably would have skipped these places, but I look at those two nights as two of the *best* nights of the trip. I would say I am pretty adventurous, but I am also slightly scared of going into the wrong local dive bar and being completely stared out of the place.
We are the type of travelers who will only plan where we’re going, rent a car, and drive – nothing else. We’re not the stay-in-big-city-and-day-trip-with-a-group-tour-excursion types, so traveling with us can be difficult. :) Luckily, our friends Alaina and Tom are the same. We landed in Glasgow and immediately drove up to Fort William, which is about halfway from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye. When we google mapped our drives, everything seemed a lot quicker than it actually took. I don’t think google maps takes into consideration that once you’re out of the city, it’s 1 lane roads (as in if someone is coming, get out of the way.) on the side of huge cliffs, and we were driving on the left which I’d done before, but still.
Some highlights that you’ll see here are: Our first night in town we went to a bar called The Grog & Gruel and it was open mic night. There was a bar dog. We were unsure of how to order whisky (dram? pour? with water? without? definitely don’t ask for ice). Our first full day there we woke up and decided to drive all the way around Loch Ness and stop at every distillery on the trail. We took a gondola ride up to see Ben Nevis. Drove to Skye, Skye was amazing. One of my favorite places I’ve ever been. I would highly recommend staying at the Darnbrook Guesthouse if you ever go. It’s no joke, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but sheep and scenery as far as the eye can see. Caryl and Duncan run it and they were amazing hosts. We hiked for hours in the Quiraing, went to the Fairy Glen, Kilt Rock, the Fairy Pools, ate haggis, and drank whisky, obviously. In Edinburgh, which you should always pronounce eh-din-burr-ah, we didn’t have much time, but we went on a Literary Pub Tour. Best 10 Pounds spent! My photos in Edinburgh are fuzzy because that is where I dropped my lens, the font glass element of my 50mm came flying out. So I was holding the glass in and it was stuck at one focal area..yeah. Oh, best part? It doesn’t get dark until like midnight in the summer. In Iceland? Doesn’t get dark at all. Stay tuned.
tl;dr: Whisky, mountains, sheep, Skye, sunset at midnight, literary pub tour, traveling is awesome.
All images except the night time shots were taken on Kodak Ektar and processed by Richard Photo Lab.
More images are on my flickr page. Stay tuned for Iceland next week!