Scotland - An 8 day sojourn!

31st Aug 2019

Onwards to Hogwarts

Photo of Scotland - An 8 day sojourn! by Nisha Karunakaran
Day 1

As the roaring waves of Atlantic rage against the craggy shores of Scotland and its towering mountains stand guard to its rugged highlands and its quiet glistening lochs, one almost visualises King Arthur and his men march on to those mystic moors with battle cries that echo its wild landscape.

In a world that dreams of space travel, Scotland and its ancient stone castles transport us back to an era gone by. Men in kilt and the rapturous bagpipes trooping old distilleries allows an immersive experience of a culture that dates back to centuries strangely reminding you on origination and genesis.

We began our journey from Edinburgh, the capital city. A hilly capital , the town spans across miles of rugged country as though it grew on its landscapes, never carving itself out. The Royal mile that separates the Holyrood Palace ( one of the official residences of the Queen ) and Edinburgh Castle is a lively street with several restaurants and pubs and shopping complexes making it a major tourist attraction besides the 2 monuments that guards it on either ends.

If you plan your travels to the city in the month of August, you could also partake in the Edinburgh International Fringe festival which brings together performing artists allowing for a unique presentation of talent across theatre, opera and dance. Streets are filled with performing artisans who put their talent to display and we were fortunate to have watched some classic show of jugglery, singing, stand up comedy.

For an Indian touring Scotland or any part of the Great Britain, there is not a mile without an Indian restaurant serving delicacies from the sub continent. So for Indian vegetarians worried of authentic food, home food is always at a stone’s throw away.

It is recommended that one spends 3 days in Edinburgh to savour its full glory - across the Old town that has grown around the hill complementing its natural ecosystem and the new town that has outstretched the Old town. If one is up for some physical rigour you can try trekking up to Arthur’s seat. It gives great views of the town expanse.

If you do have the time, you could spare some for the Royal Yacht Britannia, the vessel that has been commissioned by the Queen and her travels abroad by sea. It has been retired and is now open for visitors as a museum. Worth some great historic photographs and views of the Water of Leith.

Day 4

The true beauty of Scotland,however, lies in the midst of its majestic landscapes, away from its cities. We recommend Isle of Skye - a popular destination and definitely worth its fame. One can traverse through the famed lochs and castles to inhabit in Kyleakin, a fishing village on the island for a couple of days to switch off from the hustles of city life and live amidst raw nature. We recommend staying in with some families who who live on the island and rent space in the spring and summer months. Their warm hospitality adds to the overall charm of the locales. Kyleakin is a beauty unto itself with its wide walkways and stunning views of the Loch Alsh and the famous Skye bridge.

One can base one’s travels on the island by staying at Kyleakin. Loch Lomond and Loch Ness are 2 of the famous lochs of the region which are must see attractions! On one’s way to the village, the Glenfinnan viaduct of Harry Potter fame which you could ride to see some amazing views of the Scottish verdure.

Day 7

But of course what is Scotland without its ancient castles! The Eilean Donan Castle is a key attraction in this region and attracts much visitors owing to its locational beauty. The Inverness castle is yet another beauty which you could see on your way back to Edinburgh. Please watch out for recommended routes from Edinburgh to Kyleakin and back such that they cover most of these attractions the country side has to offer.

The country has a rich history of battles won and lost and the memorials of massacres that serve a timely reminder to the grim past. it is worth its while to speak with local tourist guides to know more about the Glen Coe massacre of the 17th century following the Jacobite uprising. A 5 day stay in the Isle is a great way to explore its beauty and its natural abundance.

Day 8

As you move back to Edinburgh to take you back to the land of your calling, the Scottish men in their kilts and the lilting sound of bagpipes would give you a lifetime of memories for you to cherish forever. Make sure you get a bagful of them !

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