Bonny Scotland

Yes, yes, I know I am slack! Sorry to those who are reading our updates. I guess I have been half lazy and half to busy procrastinating by actually travelling.

I know Bryce didn’t provide a robust blog post on our Irish trip, he had a tough time feeling better after the beer and whisky festival…. Which he lacked to mention, it did give Cindy and I time to go for a nice walk around the city by ourselves. Anyways, leaving Dublin wasn’t a huge effort but we were given an hour and a half delay while they did something to the plane. It was a small one, a little bigger than a Dash-8 but still very similar in design.

Thankfully Ellen was following our flight and had seen the delay and came later to pick us up. For those not in the know, Ellen is my aunt and my mum’s eldest sister. She lives just outside Cambuslang in Glasgow with my uncle, Tom and my cousin Malcolm.

That night we had a great meal, a small roast turkey with a haggis stuffing. Bryce didn’t have a problem digging in to the haggis and we all went in for seconds. That night, we enjoyed catching up with Ellen and Tom. Friday we went into town with Ellen. She took us to the Cathedral and the necropolis, although it started to bucket down while we were walking around so we took shelter in the oldest house in Glasgow. The weather man lied to us, Ellen had checked and there was no forecast for rain. Oh well.

We checked out the city after that, not much has changed since we were last there in 2009/2010, but we did see the pub the helicopter crashed into, which is still getting fixed. We found a nice place to have lunch in the city before heading to the river museum which wasn’t there when we were last here. It’s the new transport museum and was great, so much cool stuff.

That night all my family came over to Ellen’s which was a widish night, with us having to politely kick out two of my cousins at 3am. We had a late morning on Saturday but headed up north to Aberfoyle (Queen Elizabeth Park) where we saw Ben Ann (Cindy and I climbed this last time) we saw a nice waterfall, two lochs (Loch Achray & Loch Venachar)  and many hairy coos.

On Sunday, we went for a walk around Calderglen Park and saw some animals as well some wild squirrels (much to Cindy’s delight). After a nice walk we went back home briefly before going to lunch with my Grandpa at a new Weatherspoons in Cambuslang. They have done up a really old theatre and have done a good job restoring it. Cindy who is quite picky about her toilets did recommend these ones. That afternoon we drove out to Falkirk to see the Kelpies which are these giant sculptures of water horses.

That was our last evening in Scotland, the next morning (Monday) saw us catch an early train into town to get a bus to Edinburgh. This took Cindy and I back to our travels where we bussed around a fair chunk of Europe. Our bus to Edinburgh was only 3.5 pounds for all three of us. I will always recommend Megabus to anyone! After arriving in Edinburgh we walked to our hostel where we were able to store our bags until we could check in.

We walked back up to the Royal Mile where we went into the castle, some things have improved over time and I think they have even opened more sections. We got to see the crown jewels again and they look as clean and siney as ever.

We had lunch at a pub where we went drinking with a friend last time we were in Edinburgh, however the guy behind the bar was terrible at his job but lunch was tasty. We joined the free walking tour after lunch which was okay but not as good as I remembered, our guide was a half Scot/ half German and he lacked the energy I would have liked to have seen. He showed us the graveyard JK Rowling used to walk through to get names for inspiration for her characters like McGonagall and Tom Riddle. The tour guide even went so far as to pronounce diagon alley wrong – we were horrified.

After the tour, we went back to the hostel and checked in. Bryce was in his first dorm room and Cindy and I splurged and got a private room! It should be noted, we have been trying to book the Harry Potter museum in London for a while now and it has always been sold out which was making us quite sad. We thought calling might help our chances so we called them on Skype and the guy wasn’t very helpful and told us to keep checking as tickets may be sold back. That night we ate and drank at the hostel bar which was surprisingly good even for cheap cheap fosters beer.

The next morning we were up bright and early walking to the bus to get to the airport. We got some breaky and checked the Harry Potter tickets again, this time we managed to get the last 3 tickets that had been released for sale – we were all so happy about this!! We then jumped on the plane. Easy Jet is a decent cheap airline, although they weren’t too helpful at Edinburgh airport to check in our bags.

And that concludes the Scotland blog. We’re sitting in a small small diner at the moment. Just had currywurst, pommes frites and bier for tea. Bryce and Cindy just met up with me as I’ve been touring the city by myself when they went to the concentration camp outside of Berlin for the day (I didn’t really need to go out and see it again).

FYI – we have seen red squirrels, I repeat Berlin has taken all the red squirrels! They are adorable! Photos to come.

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