Scotland August 2016
SUNDAY 14 AUGUST - After a plane malfunction thwarted our efforts to leave SLC on Saturday as planned, we returned to the airport Sunday morning for an 8:45 am departure. One layover in Toronto, one in-flight meal and countless hours later, we arrived at EDI Airport around 5:45 am, local time, Monday morning.
TUESDAY 16 AUGUST - Wandered around the little town of South Queensferry before S & J's wedding, a ceremony which happened to include an entirely impressive traditional bagpipe performance (not pictured / recorded, unfortunately).
WEDNESDAY 17 AUGUST - Took advantage of my jet lag to catch an epic sunrise over the Firth of Forth, then watched the fog roll in as I drank copious Americanos while reading up on British tabloid gossip.
WEDNESDAY 17 AUGUST. cont. - We picked up our rental car after breakfast, then navigated through the narrow streets of Scotland while driving across the country to Kennacraig, where we boarded the CalMac Ferry for the two-hour ride over to Islay's Port Askaig.
THURSDAY 18 AUGUST - Started off our day with a hike out to Soldier's Rock on the west coast of Islay's Oa peninsula. After a few miles of trekking through the muddy countryside following our unofficial sheep tour guides, we were rewarded with one of the most picturesque shorelines I've ever seen.
THURSDAY 18 AUGUST, cont. - An afternoon of distillery visits began with a tour & tasting at Laphroaig, followed by stops at Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We capped off the evening with a great dinner at Yan's Kitchen in Port Charlotte and an evening stroll along the Port Ellen waterfront.
FRIDAY 19 AUGUST - After four days of sunshine and a record high temperatures, the traditional Scottish weather returned. We caught the morning ferry back to the mainland, drove north through Oban and the Trossachs and returned to Edinburgh for one last Scottish meal of haggis, neeps and tatties, fish & chips and a chicken pot pie.
SATURDAY 20 AUGUST - EDI to DUB to BOS to SLC, Saturday 11:35 am - 10:50 pm; we made it back, our luggage did not... All plane frustrations aside, this was an absolutely incredible travel experience. In store for next time: a drive north to explore the Highlands so we can visit Nessie and meet some Highland cow friends (plus a stop at the wonderfully named Loch Lochy, perhaps?), and a trip to the outer islands to see the puffins! Thanks for the sheep, the scotch and the rocky shorelines, Scotland; we'll be back again someday.