This past weekend I ventured outside of the Netherlands for the first time since I’ve gotten here. I went to Scotland for a much needed countryside retreat and it turned out being everything I could have possible asked for.
As great as the weekend turned out, it didn’t start out so hot. My flight was at 8:45 in the morning and I figured I would ride my bike there since it was only about 4-5 miles away and all i had was a backpack. It was a great morning for a bike ride and everything was going great until I got completely lost… Was riding around for about an hour and finally ran into a guy that let me follow him and then gave me a ride in his car the rest of the way. It was too little, to late and I missed my flight but for a hefty 60 Euro fee I was able to fly into Glasgow on the next flight. EasyJet is extremely strict about the size of their luggage and I was able to scrape by barely with my backpack. I made it to Glasgow and took the train to Edinburgh
I was in awe when I arrived in Edinburgh and felt like I had stepped back in time. The castles and old gothic architecture were incredible. I met up with someone who was able to show me around the city and give me a place to sleep for the night. I didn’t have near enough time to see everything I wanted and had to leave on a bus to Fort William in the morning. I’m definitely glad to have spent some time there and will go back sometime in the next year! Fort William is considered the ‘outdoor capital of the UK’ and offers lots of hiking, kayaking and climbing. The five hour bus ride had some awesome views and the time flew by…
After I arrived, I checked into the hostel I met an old Scottish man that looked like Santa, Ian McGregor. He showed me where te town center was and told some stories about his adventures over the years. After a little looking around I bought some fish & chips and took them down to the shore by the ocean to eat. Fort William lays right on an inlet on the west coast of Scotland and the Atlantic ocean borders. I went back to the hostel and met some fellow roomates who I chatted with the rest of the night. I met a girl, Nicki, who also wanted to do some hiking so we decided to attempt Ben Nevis the next morning. Ben Nevis is the tallest peak in the UK and although its only 4,400 ft up, the hike is from sea level which makes it pretty damn tough. We started off the next morning and began at the base around 10:45. It was long, cold, and windy but we made it to the top! The hike offered fantastic views, but at the peak it was so foggy that you could barely see 10 ft in front of you. We took pictures but couldn’t stay long seeing as we were completely soaked with temperatures at about 30 degrees F or colder and 30-40 mph gusts of winds! We were told the hike was supposed to take 7 hours but we managed to do it in 4hr 20. so we were both pretty stoked about that. Afterwards we treated ourselves to some traditional UK meals of bangers and mash and steak pie accompanied by a big, delicious Guinness beer :)I’ve come to understand why all the meals are so heavy… If it was that cold and rainy all the time that would be all I would want to eat too ha.
I had to head off on the bus to go to Glasgow so we said our goodbyes. I made it to Glasgow around 10 pm , which didn’t leave much time to do anything. I was able to stay with some friends of a friend in Amsterdam and they gave me a nice warm bed to sleep in.
All in all, Scotland was great in every way. Lovely landscape, friendly people, and delicious food! Can’t wait to go back!