On Thursday morning I got up after not sleeping enough at all, since the session went on so late. I had breakfast, said goodbye to everyone, and checked out of my room. Aunt Casey and Maria came to pick me up, and told me all about how they had spent the last couple days going to Edinburgh Castle in the snow, and going on the tour bus around the city while I was finishing up at the festival.
It was a sunny and beautiful day, but the snow from the day before was still on the ground. The slush had turned to ice first thing in the morning, but it quickly warmed up.
We started our road trip up to the Western Highlands. It was a nice day to look outside at the scenery. We stopped at the Kelpies on the way, which are huge horse heads based on mythological water horses. They had an incredible amount of movement and life. I felt like a tiny insect.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant where we had haggis bon bons, and I had poached salmon with hollandaise sauce. It was such a treat! That was the only haggis I had during the week, unfortunately. I was hoping to have the real deal sometime but ended up only having this one little appetizer, which was tasty; but I don’t think it quite counts.
We then stopped in Stirling, a beautiful town. We went to the castle, and it was the perfect day for it. It was sunny and there was an exhilarating breeze. The view was magnificent, and the snow on the mountains all around was just stunning.
I learned some more Scottish history, which was very fun. One of the highlights of the castle was an exhibit on carved heads; they were a little creepy to me, but beautiful in a peculiar way. There were also carvings on the exterior of the castle, which were really neat to see. The great hall was one of my favorite parts- such an impressive room, and my imagination was captivated by its history.
After exploring Stirling Castle, we stopped at the Wallace monument nearby. It was impressive and there was another gorgeous view there. It is on a hill which we walked up via a nice little trail. We unfortunately didn’t have time to climb up the stairs to the top of the monument, as they were closing soon, but it was still a fun thing to see.
Next we continued on our journey to the bed and breakfast in Ballachulish, which is in the Glencoe area. Our reason for going there is that I remembered going with my parents several years ago, and wanted to see more of that part of Scotland. The scenery on the drive was as incredible as I remembered, and there was the added bonus of beautiful snow still on the mountains forming fascinating, otherworldly shapes and swirls. There were a lot of sheep near the road that we could see, and they had lambs. We also saw some some horses and deer.
After we got there, we had some dinner in the village. We split some mussels, smoked fish, onion rings, and salad between the three of us. It was really tasty! The mussels had a really nice sauce especially.