Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Lakes, the Highlands and the Coast.

Well we had an amazing stay in Wales and honestly I'm a little disappointed in you all (all 3 of you) for not telling me how gorgeous Wales is. I don't know why but I guess I was picturing "industrial" as opposed to lush green countryside. At any rate, I think both Mum and I will look back on our time in North Wales very fondly.

From there our plan was to head on to Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, but because that would make for an insanely long drive we decided to split it up by making one night stops in three different places.

First up was the Lake District back in England. British people vacation in the Lake District the way Californians might go to Tahoe or Palm Springs. There aren't necessarily monuments or castles or geologic anomalies for outsiders to visit, but it IS amazingly beautiful. Pretty much any outdoor activity you can think of can be done there. The only kicker was, we happened upon the Lake District on a Saturday during one of Britain's three day holiday weekends. So we moseyed around with 30,000 of our closest British friends (who are not pictured below).

(It was super windy, fyi)

So after one night in the Lake District we were off to our first stop in Scotland. A little town called Oban (Which is pronounced "Obin"). I wasn't sure what to expect from Oban, but it turned out to be, as most of the other places on the trip have been, Gorgeous!!

We lucked out and had really lovely weather too. Oban struck me as a fishing town with the crescent shaped downtown shopping area lining the coastal inlet. We had dinner on the pier, I picked up a plate for my growing souvenir plate collection and I took some photos. That was pretty much the extent of our stay there, but never the less, we were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was and we really enjoyed the day/night we spent there.

We left Oban on Sunday morning for the Highlands (or, the Heelands, as the Scottish say). Our hotel was in the small town of Invergarry and had actual castle ruins on their grounds! And sheep too! It was lovely.

The day we arrived we spent the afternoon at Loch Ness and toured around Urquhart Castle, which sits right on the lake.

I'm writing this now from our hotel in Edinburgh. Much to our surprise we were able to find our way here without getting insanely lost and also without killing each other. Mummy has done an excellent job reading the map and navigating and I have only almost killed us in the car once. (It was a poorly timed pass on a two lane highway. What can I say? I was impatient). On our way here we stopped off in Stirling and visited Stirling Castle, which for a time was the most important castle in Scotland because of its very strategic location. It sits high on a hill and has views forever in all directions.

Tomorrow we're start our grand tour of Edinburgh, and then its on to York. Details to come!