My very first trip out of the country was to Scotland and Ireland! It was also my first time ever owning a passport! This post goes all the way back to September 2008!
While that’s eleven very long years ago, it’s too important (and awesome) not to write about it.
My sister, Shana, attended graduate school here, so when my mom and I came to visit her, we were shown around by a local!
The Highlands, Scotland
The Scotland Highlands are completely breathtaking. It’s one of those things you have to see for yourself.
We stayed at this adorable bed & breakfast!
When we rented our car, the company only had manual vehicles. My mom was the only one that knew how to drive one.
There’s a catch: she hadn’t driven a stick-shift in 20-something years.
Let’s just say, between the one-way roads in the Highlands, and the car dying and jolting, it was an interesting experience. On top of that, the window wouldn’t roll up. It rains a lot if you can’t tell, so we had to tape the window.
It made for a memorable and amusing story, though!
Everything you see in The Highlands looks straight out of a painting. It’s amazing!
And, of course, The Highlands are known for their cows. I found out about the cows before we left, and I was determined to find one. I only saw ONE the entire trip!
I spotted The Highland Cow, or “Hairy Cow” on the side of the road while we were driving. As I got closer and closer for a photo, my mom was yelling at me, clearly afraid I was going to get trampled to death. Makes sense, actually. It was also pouring rain.
….I have no regrets.
Everywhere we stayed at was adorable! Very personalized service, like homemade breakfast every morning and lots of amazing tea to choose from.
Urquhart Castle – Inverness
Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life, and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands.
loch ness exhibit
Located in Drumnadrochit, Scotland, the exhibition was opened by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It takes visitors through seven themed areas, exploring Loch Ness from the beginning.
And, it’s highly entertaining! Get more info here: http://www.lochness.com/
the palace at Holyrood place
This palace is the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history. Open throughout the year, The Palace at Holyrood Place stands at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
We did an awesome walking ghost tour in Edinburgh, through Mercat Tours!
It was really neat to see the underground tunnels, hear all the creepy stories, and say we did it!
Of course, while being in Scotland, I had to do Guinness.
I also ate haggis….
It’s as gross as it sounds.
St Giles’ cathedral
First and foremost, St Giles’ Cathedral is a working church, but also welcomes visitors to experience the history of the building.
Today the church plays an important role in the cultural life of the city and nation, playing host to a wide variety of concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and civic ceremonies.
Belfast is one of those beautiful places where you can literally just walk everywhere and take in the sights. Everything is so interesting, and of course, beautiful! I personally loved all the rain that we experienced, too.
The white building you see is the Palm House, built at the turn of the 1840s, and one of the first curvilinear glasshouses ever built in the world.
Literally everywhere you go is so lush and beautiful!
If you think Scotland and Ireland are beautiful during the day, you should see it at night!
I cannot wait to go back and experience more! Have you been to Scotland or Ireland? What was your favorite part?