A Week in Scotland

Once we landed in Scotland, we were immediately off to a tough start.

We landed in Inverness on a Sunday morning and our plan was to take the local busses out to Aberlour where we had booked a quaint Airbnb for two nights to indulge in some distillery tours. Apparently my research had betrayed me though, because those “local busses” didn’t run on Sundays. So we sat in the Inverness airport trying to come up with some other way to get there and it seemed as if our only option was to rent a car. We had been avoiding this for a handful of reasons. Firstly because of the expense, and secondly, because neither of us had ever driven a right-drive on the left side of the road. But considering we had no other option, we took the leap and rented the car. As I’m sure you can guess, it all worked out fine because I’m sitting her writing this today. (Thank you Jed for being an amazing and competent driver.)

After our short stay in Aberlour, which turned out to be amazing despite the troubles, we returned the car and took the train to Glasgow. Now here is the brutally honest part of this post: I was not happy to continue on with our trip at this point. We had just forked out a couple hundred dollars to rent a car and then when we got to the train station for Glasgow, we had to fork out a couple hundred more in train tickets. The train was cramped, dirty, and the wifi didn’t work. I was hungry, my suitcase was broken, we were running out of money, and my anxiety was skyrocketing because of all these things. And I missed my dog. So yeah, I can officially say I cried on a train in Europe.

By the time we arrived in Glasgow, Jed and I had resolved to not let the little things ruin our trip, so we checked into our Airbnb and went out for a date night. For the record, date nights solve everything. The next day we completely forgot about the annoyances of the day before and explored the city. We toured the Kelvingrove Museum, scouted out some cute craft breweries, and enjoyed the scenery. We happily concluded that Glasgow is a lot like Portland in a sense that they have great food, hip bars, and a solid art scene. It reminded us of home.

Next on our agenda was to head to Edinburgh for a few days before the final stop: the wedding! We spent our time in Edinburgh wandering the windy streets and alleys, seeing all the famed Harry Potter things, people watching and eating (more) yummy food. On our last night there we hiked Arthur’s Seat to watch the sunset. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano that provides the absolute most amazing view of the city, and as we waited for sunset we watched the rain pass right over the city. The next day we headed out to Dalhouise Castle for my friend’s wedding. We spent the morning of their big day hiking around the grounds and taking photos of the foliage. If you’re ever going to Scotland, I’d absolutely recommend doing so in the fall because the colors are pure magic.

The next day we flew home and got to see our pup and sleep in our own bed. It still feels surreal to check off another few countries from my list. I can honestly say we learned so much on this trip, especially being our first big trip just the two of us, and I’m currently drafting up a blog about all the lessons we brought home with us. For now, all I can say is that travel is not always glamorous, but it is always worth it.