Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Highland Fling - Christmas in Scotland

Before launching into details of our Christmas adventure it is worth remembering the following facts:
  1. The Scots are great people
  2. Scotland is a great place
  3. We've had a very enjoyable time in our previous four visits to Scotland
  4. Amy didn't like whiskey until she went to Scotland the first time (and now rates it very highly (although not as highly as coffee))
  5. Scotland is cold
This fifth trip since we arrived in London, making it almost as popular a destination as France, did not disappoint and facts 1,2,3 and 5 remain very true (fact 4 also remains true).

The first hairy-coo

By way of background, this was our fourth Christmas during our travels. The first we spent with friends just out of London, the second was just the two of us in Prague, last year we had the family and friends trip to Egypt. After two away from the UK, Christmas here made sense.

In a world full of choices, one where no one had to drive and the accommodation was sorted seemed to make the most sense. So, ignoring the fact the Amy, Paul and Paul's sister Mel have an average age of 30 we set off to explore Scotland on a Haggis Tour. Thankfully we were not the oldest on the bus as someone had bought their Mum along on tour.

The tour meant that we are able to cover a huge amount of the Highlands, even making it as far north as here.

We ventured from Edinburgh, through Callander, Glencoe, Fort William, Fort Augustus, out to the far end of the Isle of Skye, back to Loch Ness (where the brave (or stupid)) took a dip on Christmas day before heading to Carbisdale in the very north for Christmas in a real castle.

The Wallace Memorial, Sterling

Loch Ness

Amy with her feet in Loch Ness

Amy, Paul & Mel - Loch Ness

Paul with a wee dram by Loch Ness

Eilean Donan Castle

Paul enjoying the highlands

It would have to be one of the more unique places to have Christmas dinner, sitting in a grand hall full of millions of pounds worth of marble statues, suitably adorned in tinsel. Christmas dinner was a very British affair with turkey and Christmas pud (and although Amy is a fan of the Brussel Sprout this is unlikely to become a tradition at our house).

Christmas morning

Boxing Day we wagged the tour and went walking in the hills to enjoy the fresh air, the lochs and the waterfalls.

A wee loch

Sunset about 3pm the day we went walking

Although the final day was mostly driving back to Edinburgh the sights en route were rather special as we drove for hours through thick frost which made all the trees look white.

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