torrie's travels


Mountains, Massacres, and Monsters November 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 4:59 pm

That was the title for today’s tour of the Scottish Highlands. We were on a minibus and I was hoping that due to the time of the year, I would have a seat to myself. No such luck. It’s hard to sleep on one of those buses when you’re sharing a seat with a random stranger. Don’t get me wrong, I did it, but it was uncomfortable!

We made several photo stops along the (very long…12 hours) journey. We stopped at Glen Orchy, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Ben Nevis (the tallest peak in Great Britain), and finally Loch Ness. We learned about so many things that I am sitting here and unable to put together a good blog post with everything in it. I think it has something to do with getting up at 6:30am.

Anyway, we learned that Braveheart was all wrong. Just pretty much entirely wrong. Good thing I’ve only seen half! We got the term “black mail” from the Gaelic words meaning “protection”, but basically extortion. We get the term “botched job” from a Scottish architect, Tom Botch, who built a bridge that collapsed. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was based on an Edinburgh man, Deacon Brodie, and we got to hear his story. We learned about lots of massacres in Scottish history: worst was the Macdonald massacre. Finally, as you may have noticed, in case any of you still don’t believe me that the native language of Ireland is Irish and not Gaelic and that when you say Gaelic, they will think you mean Scottish, the Scots have proven it. Though they don’t pronounce it “gaylic” they pronounce it “gallic.” Both my tour guide and the recording on the boat on Loch Ness.

We had the option of adding the cruise on Loch Ness for 13.50 and I figured if I’m coming all this way, I might as well be able to say that I’ve actually been on it. So I went. I’m glad I did, but it was 2pm and we hadn’t eaten. 7 hours without food does not put me in a good mood. We had less than 15 mins to get food to go at a café before getting on the boat. It was very stressful, so I wasn’t a fan of that. Loch Ness is the UK’s second largest freshwater lake. It is good sized, but coming from MN and Lake Superior, it wasn’t all that! Haha! Unfortunately, try as I might, I did not spot Nessie.

After Loch Ness it was pretty much going to be 4+ hours driving back to Edinburgh. Mostly in the dark, as the sun sets just after 3pm. So I slept and then read a bit. But then at 5:25pm we stopped for dinner. Seriously? I figured the reason lunch wasn’t until 2pm was so that we wouldn’t expect to stop for dinner. So I wasn’t that hungry, but I got some fish and chips take away and ate maybe half.

We got back to Edinburgh and I decided that although I was very tired, it was Saturday night and I wanted to go check out the Christmas Market. It was fun. Very festive. Lots of vendors selling cute things, lots of food and drink stands, an ice skating rink, some rides for kids, and some rides for people of all ages. I was planning on including that in my shopping itinerary for tomorrow, but it seemed like a fun thing to do on a Saturday night. I had some mulled cider and I bought Stollen, which is German Christmas cake. I would’ve loved to have been in Germany or Austria at this time of year and their Christmas markets, but seeing as though I’m not, I had to at least try this. I bought it, but haven’t eaten it yet! I’ll keep you posted! Now to bed and hoping roommates don’t wake at the crack of dawn tomorrow!


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