Scotland Mop-up Post

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As always at the end of a trip, there’s a few things I saw in Scotland that don’t fit neatly into any of my other posts.  Usually, I’d just throw the excess pictures up on Facebook or Google and be done with it, but the scenery in Scotland was pretty amazing, and my boyfriend has taken some nice photos, so just consider this a mop-up/photography post.  The photo above, and the ones below are from our drive between Inverness and Loch Lomond, maybe around Glencoe?  The weather was extremely terrible that day, so we didn’t much fancy walking around, but we did get out of the car and freeze our asses off long enough to snap a few pictures.

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Speaking of Inverness, although I wasn’t too impressed with some of the inhabitants of the city (I was scared to leave the hotel because there was a gang of thuggish youths congregated out the front), there is a lovely used bookshop called Leakey’s that I only had time to briefly visit because we arrived late in the afternoon and they were closed the next day.  The travel section was particularly enticing, but I didn’t have enough time to make a decision, so I left empty-handed (am I the only one who gets stressed out in bookshops if I don’t have a good hour or two to browse?).  There was also a rather attractive churchyard that we cut through on our way back to the hotel, as immortalised in photographic form below.  I spent the rest of the evening back in my hotel room eating an Indian takeaway (they did a much better dosa than my local Indian), so I can’t comment too much more on Inverness.

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We spent a night at Loch Lomond, in what was by far the swankiest hotel of the trip (which isn’t saying much, since we stayed in some run-down, smelly places, but this was actually a pretty nice hotel, bar the shower and sink being located at the back of the bedroom, out in the open, and the overwhelming smell of feet from the sauna), and strolled down to the village of Luss in a futile attempt to find a shop open past 5 o’clock on a Sunday.  Quaint little village, despite the proliferation of “Yes” banners, and the loch wasn’t half bad either.

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Finally, on the drive back to Edinburgh, we stopped in Falkirk to see the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel (I wanted to see the William Wallace monument in Stirling, but thanks to our train arriving late the first day, we never had time).  Kelpies are some kind of mythological Scottish horse-beast, and someone made giant horse head sculptures rising out of a pool to commemorate this; there was a sign outside a hut saying there was an admission charge, but I’m not sure what it was for, as anyone can walk over and see them for free.  Maybe to go inside?

The Falkirk Wheel is some kind of crazy rotating boat lift, and acts as a link between two canals.  They have a small visitor’s centre, but it was literally one of the most crowded places I’ve been in my life, so I only had a quick look around.  They seem to do a roaring trade in boat tours, but we just grabbed a few pics of the Wheel and headed off.  That’s it for the Scottish trip; although the weather wasn’t great, I think we still managed to have a pretty decent time.  I’d go back!

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6 comments

  1. I love a good mop-up post! The landscapes in your photos are stunning. I’ve been trying to make it to Scotland while I’m living in Italy, but I think it’s going to have to be a place to visit on a return trip. As far as bookstores go, though, I absolutely know the feeling. I’ve dragged friends and family to bookstores with me and could spend a good hour there while they’re all ready to move on.

    1. Scotland is definitely worth a visit, but it is a bit trickier to get to than places around the Continent when you’re based in Italy, so I can understand that.
      I spent over an hour in a used cookbook shop in New York that was about the size of my (not very big) living room, so there was no hope of me settling on just one book with only half an hour to spend in a bookshop the size of the one in Inverness. Used books are somehow trickier than new ones because you never really know what’s out of print and hard to find, so you just want to get everything cool!

  2. I’m torn between thinking you travelled too far in a short time and recognising that enjoying the scenery is best done on foot, so given the bad weather you were maybe as well to stick to the car. At least you’ve seen enough to know you would come back!

    1. I always seem to end up trying to do too much on holiday. I get kind of panicky that it might be the only time I’m in a particular place, so I feel like I have to see EVERYTHING, which usually just ends up with me feeling exhausted and not having enough time to spend doing the things I want to do.

      1. And distances that look quite short on the map take much longer than you think because the roads are narrow, particularly in the Highlands. I hope you coma back and have a more relaxing time.

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