After a cheap flight with Aer Lingus and a few hours later, we finally made it to Edinburgh, Scotland! We were both so excited to start exploring this country, but first Jake had to get used to driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Of course, he picked it up like he's been driving this way for his whole life. So off we went in our European Mercedes to our little cabin we found on AirBnB!
With the early morning and all the traveling we didn't want to do anything except relax in our cabin (goo.gl/XXT9yD). The cabin was located in the countryside about 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh. Once we arrived, we were greeted by our lovely hosts Dave and Lyn. They were as sweet as can be. A little hard to understand at times with their thick Scottish accents, but we enjoyed talking with them. In the cabin, they left us with a welcome basket filled with so many yummy goodies including, croissants, eggs, fresh strawberries, coffee, and a few other little things that we may have needed during our time there.
The cabin was small but oh so cozy. There were lounge chairs outside that backed up to a horse pasture that had the most friendly horse roaming around. The sun was shining and there was a perfect breeze. This was the best combo for an afternoon nap, which we took full advantage of!
Edinburgh is a city in Scotland that is so rich in history. Walking down the streets makes you feel like you were walking back in time. Jake said it best, "Edinburgh decided a long time ago that they would still progress, but preserve what is beautiful and good". This is so true! It's modern, but history filled all at the same time.
We absolutely loved exploring this city! From walking the streets aimlessly to roaming down the Royal Mile, which is an iconic road that leads from the Edinburgh Castle to the base of Arthur's Seat. We didn't walk the whole mile, but we did walk a good portion of it with coffee in hand. If you're looking for a good spot to see all of Edinburgh, you must hike to the top of Arthur's seat. Such a beautiful view that is worth the effort.
In Edinburgh, we finally slowed down and actually took time to eat at a few restaurants. For lunch, we came across Element, a little hidden gem that was tucked away on a side street downtown. (http://www.elementedinburgh.co.uk/). It was so good that we were tempted to go back for dinner. As the day went on, we soon realized that everything started to close around 5 or 6. This left us with few options for dinner. We happened to stumble upon a shop that had acai bowls. We could literally live off of acai bowls so we couldn't pass them up.
This was a wake up early, no make-up kind of day. We had a FULL day of exploring the highlands of Scotland ahead of us and we wanted to get an early start. We packed up our cameras and a few extra layers and we were on our way. We knew that once we got into the "rural" parts of the country there wasn't going to be many options for food. So along the way we stopped at a local grocery store and picked up a few things for lunch.
The drive through Glencoe was unbelievable. We'd never seen anything like this before. Everywhere you turned was so unreal looking, with all the mountains and well, mountains. We stopped at every little turn off or random road along the way. We didn't want to miss anything. We ended up going down a one lane road that literally went to nowhere, had barely anything or anyone on it, but it went on forever.
I think the greatest part about adventuring is not having an agenda and just going with the flow. I'm learning more and more that schedules just confine you to what you already know about a place. It's when you 'just go' that you stumble upon the little hidden spots and the unknown beauty of a place. That is when true adventure happens!
We covered so much (but also, not enough) of Scotland this day. We could have spent a whole week just in this area exploring, camping, and going on endless hikes in the mountains, but I guess we'll have to save that for another time.
On our way back from Glencoe, we stopped in a village just down the road from where we were staying to find some food. We didn't get back until close to 10 and there wasn't much open. All of the pubs closed their kitchens at 9, so we stopped at a local restaurant called, The Old Bakehouse (https://theoldbakehouserestaurant.com). If you're ever in Scotland, you MUST try this locally owned, family restaurant in West Linton. If you stop in, make sure to say hello to Sue and Ian for us. They were the nicest people and called us their American friends, only if we weren't Donald Trump supporters. We got a good laugh out of that conversation. We told them we would come back for dinner the following night when the kitchen was open again and that is exactly what we did. Hands down, the best decision. The food was too good to even stop to take a photo of it.
Our last day full in Scotland, of course, came way too quickly. We took this day to just relax and explore the area where our cabin was. We were surrounded by big, rolling green countryside and it needed to be explored.
We hopped in the car for one last trip around the area. Little town, after little town, we were just enjoying the views and all sheep that seemed to be everywhere. We saw some giant turbine wind mills in the far off distance, so Jake got the idea to try to drive as close as we could to them to he could fly his drone up to them.
To make a long story short, we got as close as we could to the wind mills before we were stopped by a private road. We walked up the road a ways but we couldn't get close enough to make flying the drone to them worth it. Instead, we were surrounded by fields of sheep, so Jake thought it would look cool to fly the drone by the sheep and get some footage up close. By the time Jake had flown the drone by the sheep, he had literately herded the entire flock to the other side of the pasture with his little Mavic. We got a great laugh out of watching the sheep all run together because of a little drone flying by. He may have discovered a new way for farmers to herd their flocks!
After that little adventure, it was back to the Airbnb to relax and get ready for our early flight the next morning.