A Day in the Highlands of Scotland

A journey to Scotland is not complete without a trip to the Highlands. I spent a day there and it was a hell of a journey. I booked my trip at http://www.highlandexperience.com/I went on the Multi-lingual Highland Adventure Tour which is supposed to offer an audio guide in several languages but didn't.

They didn't tell us why but if I wouldn't be able to understand more than basic English, this would have been extremely inconvenient.....Especially considering all those interesting but complex stories on Highlands clans and the Massacre of Glen Coe that we were listening to during the tour.

We were greeted at 8am on a Saturday morning by a real Highlander (in kilt of course) who first told us that the journey consisted of 500km, most of which on treacherous roads, that we had to complete in 12 hours time. I have been really afraid of a mega exhausting day at that time but it turned out to be a really comfortable and interesting journey, at least for me - some passengers unfortunately suffered from motion sickness.

So if you read this and you suffer from motion sickness yourself, bring some medicine with you on the trip. I always bring some anti-motion-sickness-chewing-gums with me when I travel and thanks to them I was able to enjoy the drive and the boat trip on Loch Ness later that day.

We drove past Glasgow and then on to Fort William to take a look at the nearby Glen Coe, the famous valley where the MacDonalds and the MacCampbells had their tragic fight. I took amazing pictures of "The Three Sisters of Glen Coe", three mountains whose original gaelic names sound way more frightening, and later on also of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain of Great Britain although most of it was covered in mist.

We arrived at Loch Ness at 1.30pm and had the opportunity to either go on a 1h long boat trip to Urquhardt Castle or to stay in the cafeteria of the "Loch Ness Clansman", a nearby hotel. I decided to go on the boat trip because I really wanted to see the castle and because there was not much else to do at the lake. We were lucky with the weather. The sun shined upon our arrival so I could take a few great shots of the lake before it was raining cats and dogs again.

The boat trip was quite expensive (12 pounds) considering that it was quite boring, apart from seeing the castle. But I guess this had to do with the rain. If the sun had been shining and if it had been warmer - or summer - it probably would have been great to just sit on the sun deck and enjoy the ride. However the other 15 or so participants of the excursion who stayed at the hotel must have been even more bored. So seeing the Highlands and Glen Coe was definitely more rewarding for me than seeing Loch Ness.

But it is always this thing with MUST SEE locations - they never turn out exactly the way you imagined them. I also was a little bit disappointed of the North Cape last year .... But the Highlands were just great. It looked like the Arctic of Canada or Alaska there. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, rivers and muddy grassland reminding me of Arctic tundra....I just loved it!!

The rest of the tour was pretty much unspectacular. We listened to more history stories and drove through Inverness (busses are not allowed to stop or park in its city centre so we were not able to take a stroll through the city). Our driver told us that Inverness was a pretty boring and ugly city anyway though I really wanted to see more of it.

We then stopped in a little village between Inverness and Edinburgh whose name was gaelic and so I forgot it. However I had some Chips&Cheese in a little Fish&Chips shop there which were great. I'd love to get Chips&Cheese in the rest of Europe too, it's soooo delicious but yet so simple :D

 Before going back to the city centre of Edinburgh, we stopped at the famous Firth of Forth Bridge and with my new camera I was even able to take a picture of it. My old Nikon Coolpix was useless in the dark.

I would go on this trip again although it had some boring parts and was quite expensive (around 50 pounds). Seeing the Highlands is just an essential part of a Scotland trip and we were definitely shown the highlights of this beautiful region. If I however will ever come to Scotland again, I would choose a 2-day tour to see even more and I would also love to go on a trip to the Orkney or Shetland islands....one day hopefully!

 Now scroll down for some awesome Highland pictures :)

Loch Lomond National Park (5min photo stop)

Loch Lomond National Park (5min photo stop)

Glen Coe (15min photo stop)

Glen Coe (15min photo stop)

the same ;)

2 of the 3 Sisters of Glen Coe

The 3 Sisters of Glen Coe

war memorial with view on Ben Nevis

Loch Ness (1 1/2 h stop)

Nessie!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Loch Ness in sunshine

Loch Ness in partial sunshine

Urquhardt Castle at Loch Ness (in rain ;))

The Firth of Forth Bridge near Edinburgh

Have you visited the Highlands? How was it?