I remember it so well: last year we were sitting in the car, moving slowly towards a destination unknown to me, but very well known to Tom. According to him, we were headed towards my Christmas gift. But what could that possibly be, considering the dull surroundings we were driving through? As I tried guessing where we were going and what my gift would be, we drove into some industrial area where small businesses were located.
And then, at some point, there it was: a small little shop with the waving flag of Scotland just above it. What I do not remember so well was how long and how bad my hysterical reaction was. It was probably something like “*Gasp* Scotland! What’s that? That flag! Is this where we’re going? *Gasp* Scotland! Outlander! What are we doing? Say something! What is this? What’s in there? HELLO? Why are we here? Is that the flag of Scotland? Huh? SCOTLAND!”
See, I was smitten with the idea of some day going to Scotland after I had binge-watched (and simultaneously binge-read) the Outlander series. I don’t care particularly much for rural areas, but the views in that show… While watching the show together the both of us sometimes could not stop ourselves from going all “ahh” and “wow, amazing” at the backdrops. In my case, every now and then it was just as much about what was standing in front of it (hello, Sam Heughan), but still.
After just sitting next to me with a mysterious grin for what seemed like a much too long time, he told me we were going to Scotland this summer.
The little shop that had the flag of Scotland was The World of Scotland, a Scottish family business specialized in Tartans. They had a little gift shop where I bought a book about Scottisch clans and two little bottles of whisky. The very kind man gave us a tour and showed us their office upstairs, where they create and rent out (mostly) kilts. It was very interesting to hear about their business and background. After chatting a while he gifted us two glasses to go with my whisky bottles.
In the months that followed, I dreamily watched Outlander for the third time and spent hours on making an itinerary for the trip and booking places to stay on Airbnb. It’s quite hard to figure out where you want to go when everything you google is just so breathtakingly beautiful.
So in July we flew to Edinburgh, where we started our two-week trip, including a road trip through the Highlands, exploring Isle of Skye, unexpectedly climbing two munros (or actually just one in my case, Tom was crazy enough to do another one), many walks and tons of great food. We stopped in Doune, Falkland, St. Andrews, Cairngorms National Park, Inverness, Portree, Fort William, Glencoe, Glasgow, and small villages in between.
In a future post I’ll be sure to share some tips and highlights on the beautiful country of Scotland. And a list of things I still want to do myself, as unlike any trip before we promised each other that we would definitely go back to do all the things we wanted to do but did not have enough time for.