I traveled to the lands of kilts and bagpipes this week, (and no I don’t mean ALL of Scotland I mean the highlands). Much like how Bavarian tradition is what most people attribute to Germany, the highlands, ie kilts, bagpipes, ect is what has been attributed to all of Scotland. Anna and I booked a tour for a day, it was called Rabbies highland tours, or something like that and it was amazing, and I recommend it to everyone! We choose the trip in the west highlands, and after waking up at the wee crack of dawn we were off. Our tour guide asked us where everyone was from, and I panicked and said Costa Rica… not a complete lie. From then on I alternated telling people I was from Wales (for ease) and from DC.
For all you Game of Thrones, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and/or Outlander fans out there, we went to Doune Castle, which has been featured in all of them.
The electronic tour was given by the guys from Monty Python with special interruptions from the actor that plays Jamie Fraser.
The gift shop was benefiting from being the sight of Castle Leoch, and Winterfell for sure, I myself picked up a few post cards and shot glass.
From there we went to our first Loch of many, it was stunning as the water was incredibly clear.
You can tell when once you enter into the highlands, there’s a shift of scenery, and theres a ton mo
re cattle, and sheep.
I’m pleased to announce we didn’t find any monsters.
From this lake is also where the first photo in this post was taken… just in case anyone couldn’t tell.
So lets think from just one hour in the highlands my castle count has already increased by one. Keep an eye because that’s going to keep increasing.
There was this quaint little town that we traveled to, and was instructed by our tour guide to NOT go into the gift shop or he would leave us. It was around here we stopped for lunch.
There were these rapids that reminded me a lot of great falls, and surprise surprise they were just magnificent.
There was a point in the tour where the guide was showing us a map of the highlands with all the clans charted out (he’s from clan Gordon in case anyone was wondering), and we heard this nose and it was a farmer calling his sheep to feed them. Anna freaked out.
Our day in the highlands was perfect weather… well actually it could of been a tab bit warmer, but it was still sunny. I’m pretty sure it was the only day Anna was here that it was truly sunny.
Castle count is up by one. Keep track. This was a medieval fortress on a loch, that had a grizzly scene where one clan beheaded around 13 members of another clan. Soon after it was abandoned.
The history of the highland clans is a lot of fighting between each other, the predominate cause being that some of them were for the Protestant cause, and others were Catholic. This caused a lot of turmoil in the lands.
Surprise surprise another castle! Guess what? The owner of this Castle is from the clan Campell (fairly certain could be wrong,) and is a friend of Prince Charles.
Below the castle was a town, with a cute little street, and it was on the Atlantic ocean. There were so many birds I thought I was going to be attacked Anna liked it a lot.
I did like the ducks though, I love ducks they’re great. I don’t like swans very much they’re evil, and I don’t like seagulls at all.
This is another place that Outlander was filmed. I only know this because the tour guide told us that he saw all the buses out and the filming.
The pass has a name, I think it was called pray and be thankful, because the roads to it were quite turbulent, and I’m sure that the poor horses were almost dead after doing this.
Or maybe it was rest and be thankful. Either way I was thankful to be there. However as you can tell the weather started taking a turn by the end of the tour, I mean it is the UK after all I wouldn’t expect anything less.
The last castle we saw was Stirling castle, and the queen visits it once a year. The pictures are a little bad because it was getting dark at this point. But you can see how it’s built on a hill, and in some spots even into the hill. It was the key to controlling Scotland. It’s what Bonnie Prince Charlie failed to capture to put a Stuart back on the throne of the UK. Quite cool. That makes four castles in highlands, that we stopped out but if I’m being honest there was a lot more.
We weren’t able to get to Inverness or isle of Skye which is way up in the highlands but I very much want to. I heard it’s beautiful and I have to make it there. It’s also where the battle of Culloden happened, which is where the Jacobite forces were defeated, and the English ransacked the highlands, creating it what it is now, which is a much reduced population from what it once was.
Castle Count: 9
Cathedral Count: 5