This is the first post of many that I’ll be writing about my family’s recent trip to Scotland, Ireland, and England. I’m starting with Scotland because, well, that’s where we started.
For my grandparent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary, they planned a huge trip. My uncle, aunt, and three little cousins have lived in the Netherlands for the past few years. In order to get us all together, it made the most sense to go to them.
We flew a red-eye from Logan to Heathrow. I slept a whole zero hours, even after two glasses of wine and a Benadryl. However, we were on a double decker plane (insane!) and there were plenty of movies to watch. It was a long flight, but once we met up with my grandparents in London, it was a puddle jump over to Scotland.
Landing in Glasgow was a relief- cold air and rain. It’s been a hot summer and after a week in Texas, the chill was a relief. Little did I know, it wasn’t going to last long.
The drive to our hotel in Inverness was a few hours and we extended it a bit because we wanted to see a few spots along the way. Because there were eleven of us total and my grandfather didn’t want any of us driving on the wrong side of the road, he organized a driver and a van to take us around. Low and behold, our driver, Bob, was the highlight of our Scotland trip.
Bob knew everything there is to know about Scotland. We joked that he was our Alexa- my little cousin Fin barely went five minutes without calling “hey Bob!” from the back of the van.
On Bob’s recommendation, we traveled by Loch Lomond and through the Glencoe Valley on our way to Inverness. We stopped in the town of Luss for a bite to eat and to stretch our legs. It’s small and right on the edge of Loch Lomond. The houses are all picturesque with beautiful gardens.
We ate lunch at the Coach House Coffee Shop where we enjoyed tea, soup, and whiskey fruit cake. It’s a small place, with only a few tables, but oh-so Scottish. The staff was friendly and the crowd was chatty and enthusiastic. There was even a small party celebrating a christening.
After our meal, we walked down the road to Loch Lomond. The lakes in Scotland have beautiful shorelines and the locals use the water for boating and relaxing.
The next two hours to the hotel were through some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Bob mentioned that it’s a law in Scotland that you can walk anywhere you want, even on private land, as long as you’re not causing problems. I think it’s a marvelous concept. He also showed us a few spots where we passed the West Highland-Way Trail- 96 miles of open land through Scotland. It’s now on my bucket list to go back and hike the whole thing.
A little ways later, we pulled off at the Three Sisters, in the heart of the Glencoe Valley, to take a few photos and marvel at the immensity of the mountains. Even in our jet lagged state, we were quite pleased.
Finally, we arrived at the Drumossie Hotel. It’s a little ways outside of the town centre, but it was cozy and comfortable. We had some Scottish cider from the bar and I had an order of the best pesto gnocchi I’ve ever eaten. Then, a few hours later, my cousins arrived and there was finally a bit of noise in the place. One thing I can say for European hotels- they’re quiet. We were shushing each other the entire time, trying not to disturb anyone.
I was glad we made the most out of our first day in Scotland, even if we were so exhausted we could barely think. We didn’t stop running the entire trip and this was just the beginning.