Scotland: What We Did On Our Holiday

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Ah, Scotland! Land of haggis, neeps and tatties!

I’ve long wanted to venture north and cross the border, fight White Walkers and save my kingdom from the Long Night but alas, that’s quite a different north. Instead, we enjoyed miraculously sunny weather, a lot of walking up hills and minimal swordplay.

Here’s a few of the things we got up to while travelling around Edinburgh, the Trossachs and Glasgow, and that I whole-heartedly encourage you to try. If you dare.

1. Bought Chewbacca mask and Darth Vader blanket to add extra flair to dramatic readings of such sensual reads as Tender Treason and Daddy Patrol, as provided in self-catering apartment. Readings were delivered balcony-style from the mezzanine bedroom. (Books available on Amazon, from the bargain price of £0.01, plus P+P.)

2. Went to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. The possibilities were endless but here’s a few of the available entertainments we enjoyed: played Auld Lang Sine on piano stairs, pretended to be in Spy Kids, got married (veil and hats provided), recreated the cover of the terrible Katy Perry single ‘Bon Appétit’, became a cylon with many copies, swapped faces with each other, got lost in a maze of mirrors and found out what we’d look like as a monkey.

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3. Visited Edinburgh Larder because no matter where we were in the city, Yelp told us to. Good call. Also ate at The Holyrood 9A, a burger place that I settled for upon realising that the long dreamed of ‘Edinburger’ tragically did not exist. (Pick up your pun game, Edinburgh.)

4. Tried some edgy perspective photography. Well, Emma did. Full exhibition, to be announced.

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5. Climbed Arthur’s Seat and, when at the peak, broke out into a chorus of ‘The Hills Are Alive’ while running with arms outstretched. See below.

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6. Spontaneously recreated the final scene of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens at the top of Ben A’an, replacing a lightsaber with a water bottle and a Jedi robe with a hoodie. Pro-tip: wide shots are a must! (If you don’t believe me, click for evidence.)

7. Inspired by those Liz_on_Top_of_the_World.mp3 moments when climbing the aforementioned hills, we watched Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice to remind ourselves that it is one of the greatest films of our time. Added our own rowdy commentary. Nicknames abounded. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Caroline Bitchley. Other films of the week included School of Rock, the only true Pirates of the Caribbean and Mamma Mia. Legends only.

8. Drove past the Kelpies, grammed that ish on my story and waited for someone to reply with what those weird giant horse heads are. (Seriously, should I have heard of those things?)

9. Every time we saw a cow, we yelled “HIGHLAND COOOOOS!” out of the car window. That is the way.

10. Ate some haggis. Some of us ate more than others. It’s not great and it’s not terrible but now I’ve done it, I’m more cultured, see. When it comes to local delicacies, I think it’s best to just stick to Tunnocks.

11. Appreciated Edinburgh’s best accessorised statues and busts.

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11. Played human chess. If you happen to come across a giant chessboard and there’s more than two of you, just use the people who don’t know how to play as pieces. Ser Emma was my dark knight, while Ser Ven served faithfully as Hannah’s white knight. Sadly, both were quickly felled.

12. Visited Doune Castle and enjoyed audio tours for a TV show and movie that I haven’t even seen, as delivered by the respective lead actors. Outlander told us about filming for Mrs Fitz’s kitchen and Monty Python man suggested we run around with coconuts that were available to purchase at the gift shop. The gift shop also provided us with dress-up costumes. Under no circumstances should anyone ever turn their nose up at this opportunity.

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13. On the way home from Doune Castle, we read in the guidebook that as well as being in those things I don’t watch, it was also Winterfell. From Game of bloomin’ Thrones! Home of the King in the North! Costumes and audio tours for the other two, completely milked them for all they’re worth – then not a word about House Stark! What they playing?

14. Taught Laura how to play snooker in the billiard room, primarily by lying on the table. No Cluedo characters were harmed.

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15. Explored family heritage. You don’t even need to have a Scottish clan like me (Kennedy, meaning: ugly head, sigil: dolphin, motto: consider the end); my friend Ven discovered her mother, the loch, in the form of Loch Venachar.

It was a holiday where every day we’d wake up, see what the weather was like and roll with it. It was relaxed and easy, and somehow, for all the reasons that you couldn’t ever plan, each day was better than the one before.

From quirky little cafes to spontaneous singing, it was utterly wonderful.

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