Scottish road trip
We took our car on the curvy roads of Scotland and passed through almost half of the country during the last week of August. When you’re driving between the mountains and lochs, you get the feeling of being among ancient giants, who are overlooking your adventures and wishing you luck in your travels.
During the nights, we cozied up in the boot of our car, but only after finding a scenic place to sleep at. Dozing off at nightfall and waking up with the sun was so relaxing – imagine a life with no alarm clocks and responsibilities, and that the only thing you need to think about is where to go next. There is no better feeling then stretching yourself on a lakeshore after waking up from a good night’s sleep. Especially if somebody has already brought coffee and danishes from a nearby store!
The route looked a little something like that: Glasgow-Glencoe-Glenfinnan-Loch Ness-Inverness-Aviemore-Killiecrankie-Edinburgh. After that, we caught a plane to Dublin in Ireland and from there we went on to visit friends in London.
As the whole trip took about a week and we had so many places to cover, the tempo was quite intense. But at the same time, as a lot of our time was spent on driving, we felt quite chilled. Listening to folk music from local radio stations, gazing at the mountains, daydreaming, feeling the nature and being in awe most of the time. I definitely didn’t expect to love Scotland as much as I did, because I didn’t have an actual idea of the country’s essence before.
Many times we literally had to stop the car in every 100 meters, because around the corner was another scenic spot. And the sheep! The sheep! They were everywhere and I really hoped that I could pet one, but unfortunately I was too scary for them. What can a gal do?
I didn’t know how I would feel about spending the nights in a car, but actually it was really cool and I would do it again in a heartbeat. My tips would be:
Leave one window a little bit open, so you would be able to get fresh air all of the time.
Have a thick and warm sleeping bag with you even if it’s Summer, because it does get very cold in the nighttime. Mine was a bit too thin for the cold nights of Scotland.
Park a car in a scenic location, but make sure that there’s a public toilet somewhere close. You will thank yourself in the morning.
When renting a car, be prepared that you might not get the exact same one that you wanted to. Always check if the seats go down properly!
I found it more comfortable to sleep without an air mattress, because otherwise you would be kind of pushed in the middle. Especially when there’s two of you.
Other than that, I would just say that enjoy the ride and experience the beautifully golden mornings. Yes, your hair will get a little dirty, you would sometimes like to get a proper pillow and you might be a bit scared that some bears are lurking in the forest around you, but it’s so worth it! I would really love to go to a Scandinavian road trip as well and be surrounded by mountains again, because it’s simply so different from any of my previous travels. Scotland definitely made me feel a lot of emotions. I mean, we even got super close to wild deer who didn’t even seemed bothered by us and who just let us stand and watch them peacefully.
But after exploring Scotland, we also got to see Dublin. My absolute favorite part of this city, was the music. I don’t even know any more how many times I cried because of the folk songs and hauntingly beautiful voices. We went to see a play at the Abbey Theatre and I strongly would recommend it. It’s called Jimmy’s Hall and starting from the second that you walk in the door, you feel like you’re pushed back in time to the Irish countryside to a local music hall. After the play, we listened to some more folk at a traditional pub.
After all of that, we finally headed to London to visit our dear friends and had the nicest weekend with lots and lots of food. Thank you for such a warm and lovely welcome, all of you!
And finally, the photos, which can, as always, give you the best look into what I’m actually talking about:
Photos by Oliver Tomson.