Scotland 2021 – a dream trip

I considered writing several posts about this trip, it definitely deserves it. Maybe one day I will. But for now, I’m just trying to cope with my travelling blues and the fact that I’m about to leave what has become my 2nd favourite country in the entire world.

In a time of Covid-19, and after working for a year and a half with almost no holiday, and a cancelled trip to Portugal, I decided to book a last minute roadtrip to Scotland. I’ve always wanted to do it and was thinking about doing it at the end of August but doing it during these 2 weeks (10Jul – 26Jul) was the best thing ever.

The sun shone for 80% of the time. I got sunburnt…. IN SCOTLAND. Crazy times.

Anyway…. I got a train from London to Edinburgh (which got cancelled and I was then put on a different train), on a Saturday and stayed in Edinburgh for only one day.

If you’re considering going to Edinburgh, check what you want to do and book in advance! Due to Covid-19 restrictions they’re not allowing same day bookings for anything.

Picked up the car on Sunday and the next week was all about driving. I drove for hours. For days. And I can not put into words how amazing it was. There’s a lot I can say about all the places I’ve been, but to make this particular post as short as possible, I’ll just say:

  • Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to. The mountains, the coastal walks, the sights… I can not put it into words and pictures make it no justice
  • The people. Scottish ‘folks’ are up there with Kiwis as the nicest people I’ve ever met. The funnier and the most helpful
  • The roads are actually pretty good!
  • Yes…. there are more sheep than humans. And you know what…. on this occasion, I was fairly happy about this
  • The different types of ‘green’ are only comparable to the ones I’ve seen in New Zealand
  • You breathe differently in Scotland

Some of the highlights of my trip were:

  • The Castles (all of them!). I mean… is this even real life? It did feel like a fairy tale at times.
  • The drive to Inverness through the Cairngorms National Park. I’ve got no words for it.
  • Getting to Inverness and visiting Culloden was incredible. The history behind it and what led to it was fascinating and gives you a really good idea of the issues between England and Scotland at the time. Also a really good insight into the Jacobite risings. (however…. bear it mind it can be quite a overwhelming experience to be at a place where so many died).
  • The drive up to Thurso showed me how incredible the Scottish Coast is. With an average temperature of 22degrees during that week…. the beaches were full! Yes… they have white sand beaches in Scotland
  • The drive from Thurso to Ullapool (through Scourie) is incredible. Again… I can’t say much as the words fail me, but there were times were it looked like the mountains were just coming out of the ground, as if born when you drove past. And the greens!! ❤
  • The Isle of Skye is beautiful but it rained for the 2 days I was there…. so …. I guess I’ll have to come back ‘aye? What a shame (hihih)
  • I did not plan or intended to go up Ben Nevis, but guess what? I did. It’s the highest point in the UK and I’m actually super proud I did it. The only complaint is that I did not expect it to be 24degrees and backing sun in Scotland. So I removed all 3 long sleeved layers and well…. the portuguese lass got sunburnt (badly!)

After this, I got to hang out with Jayme at her Caravan park (unashamed plug: Let me tell you… there’s something about this park. I slept an average of 8 hours a night, without waking up during the night for 5 night in a row. I also got to meet her friends Kristy and Lucy and we had the best kayakying adventure, BBQ and ‘oregano’ times with our Teeny Weeny Beeny Panini (or Chaos, Jayme’s dog)

I met Jayme in Laos when we were both travelling and this beautiful friendship we have is a gift that keeps on giving. Spending time with friends you make when travelling is one of the best things that can happen and really shows the strong connections you can make as a traveller.

And to prevent this from getting too long…. I’m just going to say that I’ve had the best 2 weeks. I’m thankful

  • For the weather
  • For not crashing the car lol
  • For the people I’ve met
  • For all the landscapes I got to drive through and explore
  • For everyone at Immervoulin park for being so welcoming and immediatly accepting me as part to their community (and what a community it is!!)
  • To Jayme and her mum. For everything. You’re the absolute best!

Thank you.

Published by Mariana Vieira da Rocha

"I think it's perfectly acceptable and rather admirable to be moderately delusional"

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