Destinations,  Europe

Great Scots!

Less than two months before the opening of the London 2012 Olympics, hubby and I are still thinking whether to go to the UK or not. The idea actually came from hubby’s sister, Dean, who lives with her British husband Steve and their adorable baby daughter Tamsin, in Cornwall– a county some four and a half hours away from London. She said all we needed to do was get our asses there and they will take care of the rest (at least that’s the way I understood it, haha 😉 ). It’s a very tempting offer not only because we’ll get a chance to see the Olympics and reunite with Dean’s family and lovely friends,  but we’ll also have a chance to explore the United Kingdom as well.

One of  the places that Dean would like us to see (aside from England) is Scotland. Yup! That wonderful place that produced hotties like Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler and of course, the great Sean Connery.

But hotties aside, Dean says Scotland is a very beautiful place. They went there for holiday last year and enjoyed every bit of their trip.

The Eilean Donan Castle. Photo credit: Getty Images

“When we first crossed the border from England to Scotland, the weather was absolutely beautiful!” says Dean. “ What struck me was the space! You’d hardly see any houses between villages or towns. Then as we drove deeper into Scotland, it started raining. We were there for about two weeks – and it rained most of the time. Even then, Scotland was still beautiful, the landscape spectacular! Different from England…”

Little gnome Tamsin inside the chapel in the Dunstaffnage castle grounds

“If you love old ruins, the romance of history, and don’t mind seeing it through the rain then Scotland is definitely a must-visit-country in your list,” Dean adds.

Dean, Steve and little Tamsin stayed in a rustic little cabin in Loch Awe in a little village called Dalavich in the Western Scottish Highlands.

“If you’re familiar with that old American TV series ‘Northern Exposure’ you’ll have an idea of what it’s like. It wasn’t exactly cheap, but it was definitely good value, especially since we stayed there for about ten days. If you’re like us who hardly eat out (mainly because I find it difficult to eat out with a little toddler), you’ll save a lot by cooking your own food and eating in or bringing some snacks and leaving it in the car.”

Of course, beautiful as the Scottish countryside may be, Scottish cities also have their own charm. And although they weren’t able to go to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh, the family was able to pass through its largest city, Glasgow.

The busy Buchanan Street. Photo credit: http://blogs.spokenword.ac.uk/danielelliott/

“We had a tight schedule, so we didn’t have time to explore Glasgow and only drove through the town center. I found the town center lovely and grand with its old Victorian buildings. Was expecting Glasgow to look tired and depressing, but it wasn’t like that. Of course, we only drove through and Steve said that (like any other cities) there are depressing areas.”

If one plans to stay a night or two in this beautiful city, there is a long list of hotels in Glasgow city centre that one can check into. Some Victorian buildings have also been converted into luxury hotels. There are also wonderful pubs around the city centre—something I’m sure my husband would be more than willing to go to. Another thing that I’d like to check out is the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)  which I read, is the most visited modern art gallery in Scotland.

So I guess we really need to decide within the next two weeks if we’re going or not. Otherwise, we might end up paying more for our tickets. Oh the pressure! And Dean’s e-mail didn’t help ease the mounting pressure at all. It just said:

“So when are you guys coming?”

*Dean chronicles her life as a stay-at-home mom in lovely Cornwall on Indian’s Pages.  Be sure to visit it. Photos published here are courtesy of Dean unless otherwise stated.

 

 

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