Travel Journal: Scotland
It's been a whirlwind the past few weeks! Just a few days ago, I reached the halfway point of my semester abroad. It's gone by so quickly, and so many amazing things have happened. I've had three tests, trips, and more keeping me busy. After a stressful few days, Ellie and I were lucky enough to take a trip to the iconic Scottish Highlands, once again with the International Society.
We left campus bright and early on Saturday morning for a trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness. On Saturday, we saw beautiful sights, including the towns of Perth, Pitlochry, and Aviemore. We visited the fish ladder in Pitlochry, which allows salmon to travel upstream. We also walked over a suspension bridge that moves quite a lot when it's windy.
At the end of day, we arrived in Inverness—the capital of the Highlands, as well as the largest city in the Highlands—boasting a population of 70,000 Highlanders. We had several hours to travel around the city and visit Inverness Castle as well as the cathedral and several shops. We stopped in an art and history museum as well, and Ellie had the chance to try on a traditional tartan and tam. We went back to the hostel (which was very nice!) and had dinner. Afterward, we gathered a large group and checked out some local pubs. First we went to The Room, which had dancing and live music. Then we crossed the street to Hootananny, a ceilidh pub, and had an great time doing traditional ethnic dances with some new Scottish friends. It was a great taste of traditional Scottish culture.
On Sunday, we made several more stops. We enjoyed the beautiful views of Loch Ness and later saw the model of the Loch Ness Monster in Drumnadrochit. We stopped at Urquhart Castle, which was absolutely breathtaking. It sat on a hill overlooking Loch Ness. I loved this castle because we learned about some of the clan history and why the castle is currently in ruins. I looked for the "real" Nessie while we were there. Needless to say, I didn't find her. Maybe next time...
Lastly, we traveled to Fort Augustus, Fort William, and Glencoe. Ellie and I had been to Glencoe and the Three Sisters (as the area's highest mountain peaks are called) before. This time around we decided to do some hiking. It was absolutely amazing to go to the bottom of the valley and look up to see mountains tower over your head. Overall, it was a stunning trip—I loved seeing another side of the Highlands.
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