"Alba, Caledonia, "God's Country"; this is Scotland" Top 5 Page for this destination Scotland by JessH

Scotland Travel Guide: 13,553 reviews and 31,533 photos

A desert dweller dares to go north & explore...

Scotland has done something to me...
I'm not sure what, but it feels like it has reached deep down inside of me and placed something new there. Something that reminds you of who you truly are; reminding you about the things that either make your soul corrode or make it blossom & rejoice. It reminds you that it's important to feel comfortable being alone - all by yourself without distraction - and just spend time with yourself; feeling happy and acknowledging the conscious & sometimes surprising thoughts in your head; having the ability to slow them down and listen.
This new something has reminded me of the wonder in small, every-day things. The sheer amazement and joy that we loose after childhood when the world wrings the true ability to "see" it out of us.
It tugs at my heart and my gut,
I hate to leave and love to go back.
I can't help it,
I'm hooked,
I'm going to live here one day,
I'm in love.

My very first trip to the mystical island (the United Kingdom) in August 2008 brought me to bonny Scotland. After being with a Scotsman since 1999, a staggering 9 years later I finally managed to visit the country of his roots!
In the first 5 days we drove approx. 600 miles in our little rent-a-car, exploring numerous glens, braes, lochs and monroes.

In the spring of 2009 we returned, exploring more of the Highlands, the coastal areas and the city of Inverness... and to plan our wedding in summer. Then we got married on the shores of Loch Ness; and we've been returning to Scotland every year ever since :-)

Instead of creating a separate page for each and every loch or tiny village that we visited, I've decided to group the entire road-trip together here on my general "Scotland" page.

I hope you enjoy following the tracks of our journey as much as we did in making them!

For all tips about the capital city, I have created a a separate Edinburgh page.

And don't forget to have a look at my page on Inverness.

--> DAY 1:
Arrival at Turnhouse, Edinburgh International.
Drive to Inverness.
--> DAY 2:
Forres, Beaches, Findhorn and the Findhorn Foundation & Shamabala Retreat Centre.
--> DAY 3:
Drumnadrochit and the Loch Ness Centre, Loch Cluanie, Eilean Donan Castle, Fort Augustus, St Columba's Well, Invermoriston, Castle Stalker, Appin - Land of the Stewart Clan.
--> DAY 4:
Loch Ness, Fort William, Oban, Sea Life Seal & Otter Sanctuary, Ben Nevis, Falls of Lora, Loch Lochy, Loch Linnhie.
--> DAY 5:
Inverness, the Ness Walk and a fine British curry!
--> DAY 6:
The Trossachs - "McGregor Country", Balquhidder & Rob Roy's Grave,
drive to Edinburgh, the Grassmarket and the Cow Gate.
--> DAY 7 to DAY 12:
General merriment and many hours of hiking in and around Edinburgh!

--> Day trips to Glen Affric, Ullapool, Beauly, Culloden, Nairn, etc.
--> Most new tips from this visit can be found on my separate Inverness page.

--> Inverness, the Highlands, Glen Affric, John O'Groats, Isle of Skye and our Wedding at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness :-)

--> Inverness, the Black Isle... and too much to mention!

--> The Black Isle, the Highlands and Edinburgh (and playing tour guide for my aunt & uncle from Germany!)

The Virtual Tourist flip-flops came along...

... on this particular day the weather was simply *too Scottish* to wear them, but we still managed to work them into a photo despite the rain!

A funny little social observation:
"The English are not happy unless they are miserable,
the Irish are not at peace unless they are at war,
and the Scots are not at home unless they are abroad."
- George Orwell.


The Thistle = The Flower of Scotland

Oh Flower of Scotland,
When will we see your like again?
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen.
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's army,
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

The hills are bare now,
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O'er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

Those days are past now
And in the past they must remain,
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again!
That stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.
(repeat Chrous)

(Scottish Gaelic: Flùr na h-Alba)

Why is the thistle the national emblem of Scotland?
-->> CLICK HERE to find out.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Seemingly endless skies, friendly locals and mesmerizing history
  • Cons:Unpredictable weather, single-track roads and the fact that you won't want to leave!
  • In a nutshell:It's impossible to take a bad picture in the Highlands... you'd have to leave the lens cap on to take a bad picture!
  • Last visit to Scotland: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated Apr 15, 2012
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Reviews (82)

Comments (54)

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I'm planning one of these myself :)

  • STEWMASS's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Hi Jess! Have you just been over here again? I just love the Black Isle and my son is now studying in Edinburgh. Was back over in Dubai 3 weeks ago ...... still to hot for me though!

  • adelaidean's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    your wedding was so beautiful..thanks for letting me be a part ofit xx

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2011 at 6:19 AM

    Fantastic event, setting, and documentation of your special day. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    I am still in love with the fantastic landscape and also your updates! Glen Affric is definitely a place I'd love to see and hike and ... erm... yes, thanks for a learned lesson: Scots don't speak English :-) Mmmhh, Heather Honey Beer :-)

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Fascinating page for someone like me who loves all things Scottish. You certainly deserve being one of the McGregors and give credit to your beautiful family crest. BTW, The Scotsman's Haggis Hunt starts on the net on 30 November.

  • kat-m's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    Glad to know you like us, and our beautiful country.

  • clareabee's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    gorgeous pictures...love the kilt joke he he he!

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    Lovely wedding pictures!

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Beautiful wedding photos!

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