Happy Travel Tuesday everyone!
Last week I was nominated to be a co-host of the Travel Tuesday link up and it really made my day! If you’re new to my blog, well welcome! My name is Camila, I’m a half-Canadian half-Chilean blogger/writer and, after time studying abroad, I’m currently based in Montreal (even though I’m moving back very soon to the UK!). This blog is where I share my travel and expat stories and all other life-related things that inspire me! So glad you joined us on here 😉
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming…
Have you guys watched the first episode of the series Outlander? I had never read the series before – when my mother was reading it I was much too young, but when I heard they were making the series I started reading the first book. I have mixed feelings about the book and the plot, but the first episode of the series was great!
The shots of the Scottish Highlands are extraordinary and that inspired my post for this Travel Tuesday – my first expedition to the Highlands!
During my time in St Andrews, a friend from home came to visit right after Christmas, and through the New Year. After not being able to find accommodation in Edinburgh for the Hogmanay party, we decided to head into the Highlands and spend Hogmanay in Inverness. Not only was it cheaper but it was also such a cool way to discover more of Scotland and more about the Scottish culture – because we probably would have never ended up in the Highlands in other circumstances.
Inverness in a nutshell
It used to be a Picts stronghold back in the sixth century. Yep it has lots of history! Because the conception of cities in Scotland is slightly skewed, Inverness was declared a city in 2000. It’s a gorgeous city that lies in the northern part of the Great Glen. The city name comes from the gaelic and means ‘mouth of the river Ness.’ River, which runs through the town and connects the Loch Ness and the Beauly Firth. It is also known as the ‘gateway to the Highlands.’
The Train Incident
On the 30th of December, we took the train from Leuchars, near St Andrews to head to Inverness. It’s supposed to take 3-4 hours by train and for us Canadians that’s just the next town, so it’s not very far! So the train ticket said we were going through Aviemore and we had no idea where that was, so we stayed on the train for a while. About an hour or so into our trip, I thought there might be a problem because we were still on the east coast and Inverness was more inland. When the controller passed by, we finally figured out that we were supposed to switch trains in Dundee and that we were now on our way to Aberdeen! Oh well, we were in no rush, so we laughed it off and took it as a fun adventure! And hey we went to Aberdeen (we even wrote a song about it)!
We arrived in Inverness an hour or two later than we were supposed to, but still laughing at our stupid mistake! We made our way to our B&B which was a short walk away from the town centre where the train dropped us off. We stayed at the Moyness House, which was recommended in the National Geographic travel guide for Scotland. I would recommend it as well – it’s super central, the rooms were great, so was breakfast (vegetarian options too!) and the service was amazing! Nothing bad to say about it!
New Year’s Eve
The next day we slept in (we had both flown to the UK 5 days prior so we were still jet-lagged, which didn’t help!) and had a quick walk around town before going out for a bite to eat. After dinner, we went back to the B&B to prepare ourselves to head to the outdoor Hogmanay party. It was literally two blocks from our B&B, which was so worth it! We sang, we danced, we made fools of ourselves and we had so much fun! A lovely New Year’s Eve party! And at midnight we sang Auld Lang Syne along with the Scottish crowd!
New Year’s Day
The next day we slept in very very late. S even missed breakfast. I woke up for breakfast but went back to bed afterwards. The room was so cosy (next to my freezing flat!) so we took our time and relaxed, as people do on 1st January. Finally, in mid-afternoon we headed out to explore the town some more. Obviously, nothing is open on New Year’s day, so we simply walked around town and also made it to the Ness Islands. It was a really fun afternoon! The light was changing so abruptly however and it was dark by 4pm. We headed out for dinner again and then came back to our cozy room!
Finally on the 2nd January we checked out and after a quick stop at Tesco and Primark we took the train back toward St Andrews. The train journey we should have taken that first time was really gorgeous. We passed through the Cairngorms (and finally found out where Aviemore was!) and it was absolutely breathtaking, even just from the train!
There it was the end of our Highland adventure (well only the first one for me)! It was lots of fun and I keep a great memory of the Highlands and of that trip! It was also too funny because we speak French together and we kept imagining what people thought we were saying since we kept pointing at places wondering if Skyfall had possibly been filmed there “frenchfrenchfrench Skyfall frenchfrenchfrench.”
Ever been to the Highlands or Inverness? What did you think? Ever took the wrong train? xx
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