The U.K. continues to hold a piece of my soul that no other country has quite grasped yet. Maybe it’s the friendly people, maybe it’s the beautiful countrysides, maybe it’s the amazing accents, or maybe it’s the lack of a language barrier that captivates me. Whatever it may be, I continue to feel more alive in the U.K. than anywhere in Europe.
For my birthday this year I took a trip to Scotland (my second time to this amazing country) and met up with my near and dear friend Pam from back home. We struggled for a bit when trying to decide on a meeting place, but after she suggested spending a few days in Scotland I knew it would be a good time.
I had reservations about visiting Scotland in February, but the weather turned out to be mostly ok. Aside from a four hour flight delay when trying to leave Munich due to a storm rolling through the U.K. I arrived at our hotel around midnight and was ready for a good nights sleep. Another prime example that travel is not always luxurious.
We were to spend four nights in Edinburgh, and use this city as our home base. From here we took day trips outside of the city – starting with a trip to Stirling. I had been to Edinburgh before, but only for seven hours. I knew I’d like to return, and this was a great time to do so. I had not been to Stirling before, so I was excited to see something new.
But first, breakfast.
Side note: I tried haggis for the first time and I am not a fan. Give me black pudding all day long, but keep the haggis away. BLECH.
Sterling is a short 45 min train ride from Edinburgh, and with a belly full of goodness (except for the haggis) we set off on our first adventure. The weather was moderate, with a rolling rotation of rain, sun, wind, and snow. This seemed to be the theme of the entire week. I didn’t hate it though.
Our goal for the morning was a visit to Stirling Castle, but first we weaved and bobbed through the streets and cemetery of the town.
We were able to tag along with a free guided tour of the castle (included in our entry ticket) and the most adorable little Scottish girl walked us around and chatted about the history. I could have listened to her speak all day.
After a proper castle tour it was time for one of the most important activities in the U.K…tea/coffee and scones!
I am a SUCKER for a good scone with butter and jam, and it’s worth the repercussions every.single.time. We sat inside the castle cafe waiting for a batch of rain to pass, and soon enough the sun came out. Rain, sun, wind, snow.
We staying in Sterling for about five hours before heading back to Edinburgh for the remainder of the day. By the time we got back, the snow started to fall. Rain, sun, wind, snow. This first adventure set the tone for the remainder of the week…slow moving. A reminder of how I used to travel before moving to Europe.
Upon arrival back in Edinburgh, Pam took me on a walking tour around the city (she used to visit Edinburgh often as a flight attendant) to areas I hadn’t seen on my previous trip. We ended the day with dinner at Byron, a restaurant I had been to. This place is a good option for those with allergies/who need customization.
I try to balance eating whatever I want with “ok but you also have allergies so chill out” when I travel. It doesn’t always work out. LOL.
Next up: a day trip to the Highlands.
Q: Where is a place in the world that makes your soul come to life?