Sunday, August 30, 2009


To escape the constant, unrelenting heat in Florence in August, we went to Scotland for nearly two weeks around Assumption Day, which is when half Italy packs up and leaves for the beach or for colder climates. In all our travels, we had never met that many Italians, so I thought that they just didn't travel much. However, it seems that they do travel, just all during August: in Scotland, we saw almost as many Italians as Germans, and that's saying something!
In any case, we started out in Glasgow, where we visited Alecia and her husband, and then rented a car to drive around the countryside, camping in our tent as we went. Via Stirling Castle and Doune Castle, which was thankfully free of taunting Frenchmen, we headed for Loch Lomond, Inveraray Castle and Oban, before reaching Glencoe. Nearby, we went to the Glenfinnan Highland Games, before heading up to the Isle of Skye, where we spent a very stormy night. At this point of the trip, the weather was quite rainy and stormy, so some of the attractions, such as the Old Man of Storr, were shrouded in fog. Coming back from Skye, we crossed Scotland's highest road to get to Applecross, and drove along the coast some from there before crossing over to the east. Here, we were in castle country, so we took in Dunrobin, Urquhart, Cawdor, Fyvie, Craigievar, Fraser, Dunnottar, and Glamis. In this area, Kristen had found the locations of several Pictish stones online, so we also hunted those out. Going back south, we stopped by St. Andrews, where we had a classy lunch in the clubhouse with Andreas, a friend of mine from college, and then drove to Dunfermline, where we stayed the night with Maureen and Martin. Finally, we spent a day in Edinburgh, where we naturally visited the castle and the excellent Museum of Scotland.
While we cooked most of the time when camping, we did try the local food, such as haggis, fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala, most of which we liked, but some of which (the deep-fried pizza) was a bit too much. We also made it to two whisky distilleries, of which we have conflicting opinions (Ben: mmmmhhhh, Kristen: ugh). Some pictures of our trip can be seen below, or by clicking on the slideshow for the larger versions.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Two other castles we saw were Eilean Donan and Dunvegan.