Glasgow was the first stop on the Scottish tour. I got to stay in my first hostel and must say I enjoyed it! Megan, Grace, Amy and I did our own little walking tour the first day (got to see this beautiful old church to the left) and then the second day decided to do a real bus tour of the Highlands! We used Rabbies tour and it was a really nice time! Our tour guide played some cool Scottish music (traditional bagpipes and some more modern artists too) and had a nice balance between talking about history, explaining what we were seeing and letting us sleep/explore ourselves.
We began the tour on a rainy and dark (mornings are dark in Scotland and the sun sets at 4:30!) morning but as we drove out of Glasgow and into the Highlands–toward Loch Ness–the rain cleared and we had a nice day. The Highlands are what I would consider “Scotland” from pictures and movies…rolling hills, high mountains, the “Lochs” (or lakes). It was all very beautiful snow-covered but I still want to go back in the summer to see everything in green. We stopped for lunch in Fort Augustus (picture to the left) which is right on Loch Ness. Didn’t see the Loch Ness Monster but I did pretend to be his friend…
We missed out on a boat ride across the Loch but I wasn’t too bothered by it. We did stop at some frozen waterfalls, a little town with whiskey tasting and we got to explore castle ruins too. All in all it was a great idea to do the Rabbies Tour and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Scotland.
We managed to find some good places to eat and drink in Glasgow. With the help of Megan’s friend who lives in Scotland we traveled to the “West-end” one night. I loved this night because the area consisted of one little cobblestone road lined with many different bars and restaurants. One bar was covered from floor to ceiling with cassette tapes–neat way to use these ancient apparatuses. Even more unique was the last bar we went to. We waited in a long line because it is open later than the other bars so everyone goes there at the night’s end. The thing is, the bar is in a church! I know, I felt like it was sacrilegious or something but ventured in anyway. Besides subtle hints of a pulpit and things of that nature, you barely knew it was a church. Funniest thing was that the line was really really long all night so it looked like everyone was waiting to go into church at 2am! Now that would be something to talk about!!
Once we made our way home it was late, freezing cold and raining. But we had to wait in a “cab line” (never missed NY style hailing of a cab more). Ended up waiting for hours in the freezing, wet cold. And bonus: the next night we waited in the freezing weather again because there was a fire alarm at the hostel. Only for the fire alarm we had no coats!
We were ready to leave cold Glasgow by that time and were off to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city!