Hobbits in the Highlands

IMG_9846_2One day in the beginning of May, Jared woke up to a text from his sister, Hannah, asking if she could come visit at the end of the month. Naturally we jumped at the chance to spend a week with one of our favorite people! We frantically rearranged our work schedules and begged time off, and started planning a whirlwind Scottish tour.We picked Hannah up from the airport early in the day and forced her to spend the day touring Edinburgh to keep her awake.

Our plan worked and she awoke refreshed the next morning! I had to work for a couple of days, but Jared and Hannah did some things nearby and Jared showed her how we live life here in Scotland. They went with a friend to Stirling Castle where Jared and Ruari naturally pretended to be William Wallace…. They saw all the St Andrews sights Thursday, and Friday they picked me up from work and we set off for the highlands!

Our first stop was in Perth for frappuccino happy hour and we hit the road. We drove to the Isle of Skye and wild camped in a little tree grove surrounded by mountains and sheep. I’m still not enamored with camping, but we’re getting there. Skye has some of the most unique scenery in the world, and we saw a lot in 24 hours! We all agreed that the Ferry Pools was at the top of our lists, and Hannah and I were pretty sure the ferries turned us into princesses while we were there. We battled wind and rain to see some of the sights, but it wouldn’t be Scotland without that!

As the rain began to come down in earnest, we started thinking about the fact that we were supposed to be camping again that night… We started looking up hostels and hotels and b&bs within about 75 miles of where we were, and there was nothing. A Saturday night on a bank weekend in May, we were out of luck. We headed to Glencoe to find the driest spot possible and hunker down. We ended up at the Kings House Hotel, a hotel in Glencoe that welcomes wild campers in the fields behind their hotel. There is a pub where people gather at night, and sneak into the restroom for a quick teeth brush. It was one of the most Scottish places we’ve ever been, and despite the night that followed, we were so glad to experience that! The night in our tent was quite the experience. Thankfully we still had Kenny’s sleeping mats and we cuddled up on top of them to avoid the water seeping in the floor of our tent. By 4 am, the sun was rising and Jared and I were wet and awake, so we drove around a bit to warm up the car and catch the sun rise. Hannah was still dead asleep when we left, so imagine our surprise when we returned 20 minutes later to find this:


She wasn’t very impressed by us. By 9 am we had seen so much of Glencoe and had even gone on a small hike walk down a canyon, and were ready for coffee and warmth.

We headed off to Glasgow for the day, where we explored coffee shops, bakeries, book shops, museums, and cool old places. We shared a delicious platter of Belgian food at Brel, and headed to the city center to explore some more. We walked the streets and cherished one of our last days together. We finished the evening with incredible 2-for-1 pizzas at Republic Beir Halle and crashed into real beds for the first time in 3 days.

Our last day together was spent back in Edinburgh, where we took it slow, enjoying the finest things Edinburgh has to offer. Hannah and I had afternoon tea at the Palm Court at the Balmoral Hotel, where we were surround by people much more wealthy than us… We spent the evening walking the streets of new town in our fancy clothes, continuing our life of luxury as we snacked in cool restaurants and lounged in the cellars of Wigman’s Wine Bar.
Tuesday morning we dropped Hannah of at the airport and said goodbye a bit misty eyed. Hannah was the first of our family to come visit Scotland, and it was so fun to share our lives here with her. As I’ve said time and time again, we love life in Scotland, but we miss people all the time. It was wonderful to have a bit of home come to us.

Also we used our rental car to pick up a tumble dryer. Stay tuned for an entire blog dedicated to the wonderful ways our lives have changed thanks to our £20 dryer.


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