Friday, February 19, 2010
Scotland: Number 1
My friends Wylder and Desh are visiting from DC on their way to India. Since it is half-term for me we decided to spend a couple of days up in Scotland. We decided to take a two day, small bus tour into the Highlands with a tour company called Rabbies which is maybe not the nicest name ever, but they did a great job.
We had a 16 seater bus/van thing with 12 of us on the tour. With people from Spain, US, UK, Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand, we were a very international group. Our tour guide was Mac Scott. I haven't decided yet if that could possibly be his real name- but we'll roll with it for now. He showed up all kilted out and proceeded to spend the next two days regaling us with dozens of stories of battles and heroes and the organization of various clans through his microphone. His accent would get thicker the deeper into a legend he got and then would abruptly drop back into a fairly normal Edinburgh accent whenever we needed to make a decision about where to go next or when we almost ran over a pheasant. He would also act out some parts of various stories using hand gestures and sound effects. The sound effects were fine (because life is better with sound effects) but the hand gestures were sometimes a little much- like when we would be careening through the snow and suddenly both hands are off. the. wheel. Yeah, that's lovely that you have to fold and fold and fold the Feileadh Mor but drive!
Not that I ever actually felt unsafe- we were in very good hands.
We didn't have the best of luck with weather while we were out there- heavy mist covered the city on our way out of Edinburgh and it snowed overnight when we were in Inverness- but had I not been told that we weren't following the original plan- I don't think I would have noticed.
We frequently left the bus to go look at and take pictures of stunning scenery and lochs. I fell massively in love with the "hairy ginger cows" (Highland Cattle) and would frequently squeal when they were visible outside the windows. They're just so cuddly and ginger and they can't see very well through all their hair! Cute.
I should probably point out that Scottish people do not, to my knowledge, refer to the Highland cattle as "wee 'airy ginge' coos" but MAN Sarah, Desh, I do.
Everything was stunningly gorgeous, and if we ended up in a foot and a half of freshly fallen snow trying to take pictures, well, at least I had 4 extra pairs of wool socks to change into.