Basically, this means we spent a crap-ton of time in our beloved rental Volvo looking at sheep and gorgeous landscapes.
We named her Bridget, and she was seriously awesome. My car is 10+ years old so driving a brand new car was a dream!
Landscapes and sheep on the way to Edinburgh. Lots and lots of sheep, but given the time of year, there were lots of adorable lambs hopping around. Seeing them actually didn't get old.
Another beautiful day in Edinburgh -- visiting the castle first things first. It was quite windy though, and it rained for about 10 minutes every hour. Otherwise, perfect!
A view of the castle.
Looking up. Can you believe this castle was never overtaken? It was torn down and re-built, but never taken over.
We also did a whisky tasting. Guess what? We hate whisky. I would have loved to do a distillery tour through the Highlands but unfortunately we ran out of time and had little to no reason to do it given that we didn't even like the whisky we tried...
A room full of whisky -- the most expensive collection in the world!
These landscapes were nuts -- rolling green hills one minute, snow-capped mountains the next. Some things I never thought I'd see in Scotland!
Beautiful, beautiful rainbow over Loch Ness. It rained just before we got on the boat, stopped for the hour long boat ride, and rained as soon as we got back to the car. Perfect timing I'd say!
Erqhart Castle from the lake. It's way more ruins than castle it was still beautiful! I guess that's what I realized about Scotland... the whole country is like one giant postcard. Beautiful to look at and photograph, but not very day-trip friendly. If we'd spent a couple of days in the Highlands region, we could have done hikes and explored the neighboring towns, but since we were only there for a short couple of hours, we could really only take it all in from the car. Plus we didn't really want to get soaked and then have to ride home all wet.
We stopped in the Lake District on our way home at a marina to snap a few pictures. It was another beautiful, perfect day with a few scattered showers.
We drove back to London, stayed at an airport hotel, and got the heck outta dodge the next morning. The flight home was perfectly pleasant, I napped, worked, and read. Coming back from vacation is always such a relief for me. I have waxed poetic about my love for traveling, but I also thrive on and crave routine, consistency, and predictability.
I got to spend 7 days with one of my favorite people. Sure we argued and had our spats, but in the end we were both sad to leave each other and go back to our respective homes. The good news is that she's moving here in August, the bad news is that August is a long time away!
We're already talking about our 2014 trip and where we want to go...one of my girlfriends from work just moved back to South America so that's on my bucket list for this fall, but we'll see. I've got a few other surprises up my sleeve that may take up more time & money than I'm prepared for, so I'm not really making any definite plans. But there's nothing stopping me from dreaming!