36. the one with the road trip (scotland part one)

on & off, 2012 has been a complete shit of a year.
my friends and family have lost people, and so many of my friends have lost parents, which prompted my mum to suggest our family take the trip we’ve been talking about for years. the trip i’d wanted to take for my 40th birthday.

in a family where all the women suffer from a host of anxiety disorders, ocd & agoraphobia, that’s really not as easy as it sounds. but we booked the holiday and *brainskimmed* the logistics of the thing.

day 1
Husband, anakin & i set off in the most glorious hot of late summer.
“i do wish you’d cleaned the windscreen, Husband. now that black thing is going to be in all of my road trip photos” >:(

meeting up with sal & archies beard along the way, anakin was beside herself with excitement and kisses. we just lol-complained about the unbelievable TOO HOT.

british weather is so changeable though, eh?

being stuck behind vehicles with large loads is one of my WORST THINGS (inside my brain, i get stuck in worst case scenario fantasies where they lose the load and i am crushed to death), but at least this was a modern day haywain rather than a car transporter (my no. 2 worst thing to be behind) or a lorry carrying giant steel girders like in that one film <– absolute no. 1 worst thing.
and the sun was back out :)

at joyful last, we crossed the border into scotland!
“gargh! Husband, there’s an effing foreign car in the way of my FAILTE picture
>:( 

it’s not even raining!” (it always rains)
2 minutes later: rain.

… more hours pass …

we arrived in callander (a small town on the edge of the trossachs) in late afternoon, and checked in to our b&b. despite the town’s pretty, and the mist covered hills that overlook it, i have no photos due to the harsh, time consuming realities of convincing an elderly ocd border collie that a wee would be a good idea after 7 hours squished in the back of the car. and then that she should sit in the room QUIETLY while Husband and i ate our aberdeen angus beef burgers in the restaurant.
(there were just 2 doors between our room & the restaurant, so i hope all the other patrons enjoyed the yipYIP YIPYIP YIP YIP YAP YIPyip YIP soundtrack as much as i did)

day 2
i have no geographical idea where sal & archie spent the night.
mum & dad were camping just 20 minutes up the road, at killin, but we didn’t manage to catch up with their slow-ass campervan ’til lunchtime.

probably because i kept making Husband pull off the road for spine-tingly atmospheric photos.
like this one.

so listen, i managed to fuck up my one picture of the piper – due to being buffeted by strong wind and anakin tugging on her lead – so i have seamlessly photoshopped him in from a photo i took last year.
dramatic!

and then we had to stop in glencoe, obviously.

(my) photos cannot do any kind of justice to the mountains, valleys and lochs of the scottish highlands, so there’s no point in trying. it’s all about the shadows swooping across the hills, as the mist rolls back and the sun peeks out, as all of the colours change and change again.

apparently i went to fort william aged 4.
but i’ve never been that far north again until now, so we left civilization behind as we headed out of town, going even more north (and west a bit) :D

this is the glenfinnan monument at loch shiel.

bonny prince charlie gathered the clans here in 1745 to… oh, look on wikipedia – it’s really interesting.
all i did here was have a wee.

we met up with mum & dad here for a coffee, which was lucky because if they hadn’t pointed it out to me, i might’ve missed… the glenfinnan viaduct! (from off of the harry potter films!!!)
TA DAAA:

there! by the arrow ^
much excitingment as we witnessed the steam train going by, but i couldn’t get any closer as the ground was all boggy and i had my good trainers on.

back on the road, and much stunning highland-y scenery later, we reached our coastal destination.

^ anakin approves.

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