Loch (noun): a large area of water in Scotland that is completely or almost completely surrounded by land
The Scottish Highlands are, I would say, the most anticipated tourist destination of visitors of Scotland. So when the Edinburgh International Student Center arranged a trip to the highlands today for only 20 pounds, I immediately signed up!
The day began at 8 AM, when we had to meet by the International Student Center in the cold rain for the buses to arrive. I honestly did not do much research before the trip, so I didn’t really know what to expect. The bus ride to our first destination took about 2 hours, and I slept for most of it, waking up occasionally to the sound of Top 40 Pop songs that our bus driver was blasting through the speakers (cue the T-Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars).
Our first stop was Luss, a village that is located on the shores of Loch Lomond, which is apparently the largest body of fresh water in Scotland. The village had a pier that you could walk onto and see Loch Lomond and the mountains in the background! It was a beautiful view, even though it was freezing and windy (but what else can you expect out of Scotland weather). We also got to walk around the town which was super quaint and charming! It was very simplistic, but beautiful at the same time.
We next took a 20 minute stop at Loch Tulla, a loch near the Bridge of Orchy and Glencoe to take some pictures. The view was crazy beautiful, I could not get enough pictures. The way the land meets the water and the mountains was breathtaking. See for yourself!
Next, we stopped at Glencoe and its visitor center, my favorite stop of all. Glencoe has been featured in movies such as Skyfall, Harry Potter (where Hagrid’s cottage is situated!), and Braveheart. When you’re standing there, the mountains literally rise up and surround you. You feel like a little speck. Everywhere you look, there are more and more mountains. It really makes you realize how amazing nature can be. The weather finally cleared up so the sun made everything that much better.
Lastly, we stopped at Fort William, the second largest settlement in the Highlands. Fort William was also featured in many movies like Braveheart, Rob Roy, and Harry Potter (the Hogwarts Express rail). Although we didn’t get to see the rail, or Ben Navis, the highest mountain in Britain which is close to Fort William, I still enjoyed walking around and exploring the little town (and getting food).
As soon as I got on the bus, I was out cold from exhaustion. But again, the bus driver blasted his Top 40 playlist, and I woke up to a stunning sunset over the mountains to the song, Castle on a Hill by Ed Sheeran, which has basically become my theme song for study abroad. I was in literal awe of how beautiful my surroundings were. In that moment, I was overcome by a sudden wave of emotion, to be quite honest. I realized how lucky I am to be here, to have the chance to travel and have these amazing once in a life time experiences. I honestly could not be more grateful and excited to see where the rest of my time here takes me.
Apologies for the cheesy post!!