We travelled by bus to Scotland to visit my friend Laura and her father Ian. Laura and I have hung out in Ethiopia and New Zealand together, so I was excited to get to see her in her own country!
On our first day, Ian took us to the little town of Callander at the foot of the Scottish highlands to visit Hamish the Highland Bull. Sadly, Hamish was away for the winter to “Miami” (actually another field!) and so we went for a walk to the lovely Bracklinn falls before heading to Stirling Castle.
We got to Stirling Castle just in time to join a free guided tour, and then had time to explore the castle rooms. One of the highlights there were the castle rooms that had been done up and painted as they would have been at the time – it is so easy to see all castles and ruins as being white or grey when they were actually colourful and bright!
With Ian and Laura we headed into Edinburgh, where we walked the Royal Mile, saw the People’s Museum, and walked past the unattractive Parliament and the much more attractive Holyrood House.
We then headed over to see the ice skating and Christmas markets, but the markets were so packed we could hardly move so we didn’t stay long. Reubs and I went back to Edinburgh by ourselves on the Monday and went to the famous Edinburgh Castle. We saw the crown jewels of Scotland and did another free tour. It was absolutely freezing that day, but we were super excited as the night before it had snowed for the first time on our trip!
We warmed ourselves up with a high tea (courtesy of our friend Claire, who had kindly sent us a voucher) before heading back and daring to try haggis.
Ian: “Haggis doesn’t have offal in it anymore”.
Karen: “Really? Actually, it is quite nice! I’ll have a bit more…”
Karen: “Hey Laura…check out this packet…it says that the haggis has 40% lung it it!”
Suddenly I was less keen on the haggis!
We had a fabulous time with Laura and Ian – we left absolutely stuffed full of the amazing food that they cooked, and feeling like we had experienced great Scottish hospitality. It is so awesome to catch up with friends as we travel!