Edinburgh / Scottish Highlands
Sick of me yet?
This will be a quick one. It's all about my one day whirlwind tour to Edinburgh and through the Scottish Highlands.
I'm going to have to preface this with a warning. This was actually the first part of my trip I didn't fully enjoy. I know - shocker. I'm usually pretty excited to tell you about every basic thing because I truly am excited by the most basic things but this time I was left wanting.
Let me start by clarifying, it wasn't Edinburgh!
After my 9 hour bus route to the city of Edinburgh I downed a coffee and rushed through the very pretty streets to the designated meeting spot for the 12 hour tour I was about to embark on. I didn't get much time to look around, which I regret, as the city was simply stunning first thing in the morning. The streets were empty, the small alleys looked inviting and clean and the buildings all reflected the early morning sun off their light brown façade, creating a kind of warm glow around me.
But now the problems start. The guides nearest me were speaking in Italian and corralling a group of Italian tourists to a bus to commence their tour. Totally fine. The problem was they then started loading another bus and I couldn't see anyone else around me waiting so I hesitantly walked up and said "is this this tour?" and offered my ticket. Turns out my tour is booked with an Italian/Spanish company. There is dismay down the line of tourists behind and near me.
I have nothing against accents. I love them. I'm currently in Italy and thoroughly enjoying the Italian being thrown around me constantly. What I'm not a fan of is deception. If I had known it was an Italian tour guide, aimed at Italian tourists I probably wouldn't have booked. Not to mention they handed out audio guides as we boarded the bus so we could hear the driver. You couldn't hear him without the headphones.
Between his thick Italian accent, increasing static and occasional complete radio silence as the machine cut out from its connection I was unable to hear anything he was saying. He could have been sharing all kinds of history, but I was blissfully unaware.
My second concern was that we had a number of stops on this tour but each was under 10 mins and we were given strict instructions to get out, take a photo, and get back on the bus. I found this rather disheartening. I was hoping to hear about the history of the highlands. I read on a sign at one of our stops that there had been a massacre of the Macdonald clan some 300+ years ago which I would have liked to hear more about but I was left wanting.
The Loch Ness itself was beautiful. The highlands were lovely and green and reminded me a lot of Australia, which was kind of comforting. But the tour itself was not worth the amount I paid. If I hadn't have made friends with the girls sitting near me (hi Megha!) I probably would have sullenly rode the bus back to London in a state of complete sadness.
The trip therefore wasn't a complete disaster but it also wasn't fantastic. Here are some pics I took (in my brief get a photo opportunities :P)
The bus itself between London and Edinburgh was about as comfortable as spending 9 hours overnight each way can be. I slept mostly but that was because my body is at a maintaining state of exhaustion I think I'd sleep anywhere.
Would not recommend for people with sore backs!
See you in a day or so for some juicy Rome and Pompei content.
Till next time