Dark, cold and early into a british summer morning we woke up, packed our bags, brushed our teeth and caught an uber to Luton airport and then a big easyjet plane to Inverness. We picked up our bright blue hired car and drove wherever our hearts led us, We were not disappointed in the sights we saw of the rolling hills that went on till they faded into the distance, covered in waves of grass blowing back and forth in the fresh wind. When we followed Chris’ heart it led us straight to the Glenmorangie distillery. Everything was picture-perfect and the weather behaved which is known to be rare in the UK… I think Scotland was showing off.
We drove straight up to the north coast of Scotland, where rolling farmlands end in dramatic cliffs over the cold North Atlantic Ocean. The mountains are dramatic and rocky, with wind turbines spinning lazily. The hills are covered in short, spongy vegetation, heathers, bracken, worts, sedges, moss and lichens, sprinkled with wildflowers, buttercups, cotton grass and purple thistles. The winding rivers have people fly-fishing for salmon, and red stags grazing on their banks. There are small villages spread out around the place with about 30-60 people in each. We were staying in a village called Bettyhill. It contained a small museum where we researched the history of the Mackay clan, Chris’s ancestral heritage, and saw some ancient artifacts from early Pictish civilisation, even back as far as the Bronze age. When in Scotland you must eat haggis and black pudding so we did. It tasted fine but when you know what you are eating, your mind doesn’t allow you to forget it. We liked the Scottish Highlands.