Day 1 - June 12th
We woke up early to fly to the Scottish capital Edinburgh. It was drizzling as soon as we landed and didn't stop for the rest of the day...or night. It was to be expected though... I mean it IS Scotland. We decided to venture out anyways and just walked some of the city!
Day 2 - June 13th
We woke up to rain, again, and decided to visit the Edinburgh Castle, which was about 2 blocks away from our hotel. It was a little miserable out...windy, chilly and so wet, but seeing the well preserved rooms was pretty cool. After that, we walked through some of the old town, the Royal Mile, ate some lunch, and then headed back to the car. We then made our way to the costal town of Oban.
We got to visit the magical street of Diagon Alley. Well it was actually called Victoria street. But this little winding road inspired JK Rowling to imagine the busy alley of the wizarding world in Harry Potter.
Day 3 - June 14th
From Oban, we started our drive to Inverness. On the drive we followed the whole length of Loch Ness. Even though we were looking, we didn't see any signs of Nessie...but we did stop at the ruins of Urquhart Castle which overlook the Loch. It was raining when we first arrived, and then about half way through our visit it cleared up as if it had never been raining! This Scottish weather was wild!
Day 4 - June 15th
Inverness sits at the end of Loch Ness where the water turns into a flowing river. We visited a little of the old town, but opted to drive up a section the NC500! We made our way straight north to the coast and stopped at two castles. The Castle of Old Wick, and Girnigoe Castle. These two castles featured the true barren nature of the Northern Scottish coast. They were a real contrast to the familiar scene of the well preserved castle surrounded by a beautiful modern city, common to mainland Europe. It was really foggy and rainy pretty much our whole drive up which was a little disappointing since it is supposed to be an extremely beautiful drive.
Day 5 - June 16th
The next morning we drove to Skye, a large island off the western coast of Scotland. On the way we stopped at Eileen Donan Castle. This castle was very important throughout Scotland's history, as it sits where 3 different lochs merge.We then drove to the lodge we had booked and ate dinner at the Skye Lodge restaurant. The sun wasn’t going to set until 10:45 (a lot like when we lived in Alaska!) so we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and head to Fairy Glenn!! It was STUNNING. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
Elliott carried Edyn a lot but Leighlyn did amazing climbing all over the rock formations!
Day 6 - June 17th
We woke up and ate breakfast at the Skye Lodge restaurant right on site. It was raining again, which we were expecting, but we prayed it would clear up at some point during the day. Our plan was to do the Trotternish Loop. Our first stop was Old Man of Storr, but it was pouring and it was going to be a hike, so we kept going to Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. By the time we got to Dunvegan Castle, the rain had mostly cleared, and though it was still quite windy, it stayed pretty dry for the rest of the day.
Next up was Neist Point, another highlight of our trip! We didn't have the clearest weather, but it wasn't raining so that was a win hahaha It was really incredible and totally worth the drive over!
After Neist Point we decided to go eat dinner back at our lodge, and then head back to Storr because it had stopped raining! It was very cloudy and a storm was definitely coming. We hiked about half way up to Storr but it was SO windy, both of the kids were exhausted after a whole day of walking/hiking, and if you guys recall, I was 31 weeks pregnant on this trip and feeling it. It was also a harder hike than we anticipated with a lot of very steep parts. We took these photos and then made our way back to the lodge to get some much needed rest!
Day 7 - June 18th
The Isle of Skye was our favorite part of the trip, but it was time to head back to Edinburgh. We ate at the Skye Lodge restaurant (again because the breakfast was really good), and then started our journey back! We stayed at Cityroomz (again) and ate at the Huxley for dinner. It was a long drive back, so we didn't get to do too much that evening but we did walk to St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral.
Day 8 - June 19th
It was our last day in Edinburgh and there was no rain, we were SO happy. Unlike our first day in Edinburgh it was so nice to walk around without umbrellas and jackets. We ate breakfast at a traditional 1950's American restaurant called The City Cafe. Then we walked through Old Town again, visited a few shops and then drove back to the Airport to fly back home! We've had some really really amazing trips so far since living in Italy, but this trip is definitely one of our top favorites. Scotland was absolutely beautiful. It was quiet and quaint and even the capital was clean and not very busy. I'm so thankful we were able to visit and spend a whole week in this beautiful country!