And now it’s time for my Scotland snapshot post! I’ve rounded up some of the highlights (and one lowlight) and random moments from our trip to Glasgow and Speyside this past summer.
Chris and I flew Iceland air round-trip from IAD – GLA on July 3rd through the 9th. We stayed one night at the Radisson Blu Glasgow before taking a rental car up to Speyside for three nights. We stayed at The Station Hotel in Rothes, and then returned to Glasgow for one night (and stayed at the Radisson Blu again) to attend TRNSMT Fest.
This is a new section of the snapshot posts! I usually make a little wish list before each trip of extra things I try to make sure we eat, see, or do outside of our main activities, and I thought it would be fun to share the list in this post.
photograph the Craigellachie bridge (drone photo)
eat shortbread & go to the Walkers shop
- have afternoon tea
eat sticky toffee pudding
eat at The Mash Tun (haggis nachos!)
see Balvenie Castle
see/photograph highland cows
- go to the top of the Lighthouse for views of Glasgow
We managed to do all of the Speyside items on my list except afternoon tea – it just didn’t end up fitting into our schedule. I also didn’t take a drone photo of the Craigellachie bridge since there were always people around and I didn’t want to disturb anyone, but we did take non-aerial photos of it. And then the one thing I wanted to do in Glasgow, go to the top of the Lighthouse, ended up being closed. Boo. But seeing highland cows again was really at the top of my list and I did get to do that, so yay!
Chris’s favorite moment was the Balvenie tasting. My favorite moment was a tie between playing with the highland cows and dancing to The Killers at TRNSMT Fest. But despite our wildly different highlights, we always manage to have a great time together. 🙂
I’m a pretty big rule-follower and people-pleaser AND I really try hard to represent Americans well when we travel, so I felt pretty sheepish when I was chased away from Balvenie Castle for flying my drone there. I really didn’t think I was disturbing anyone since there were no visitors, but there is a private residence fairly close to the castle so I imagine they don’t want a drone overhead. I wasn’t filming the residence at all and didn’t even fly over it, but I understand. Womp womp. Hopefully my photo isn’t plastered anywhere with “Bad American” written on it. I did get a pretty photo at least (see Favorite Photos below).
There was a very enthusiastic (tipsy and/or high?) Scottish woman at TRNSMT Fest who put her arm around my waist a few times to dance with me during The Killers. She also kept grabbing our arms to joyfully pump them in the air to the music. Neither of us are used to a stranger entering our personal space like that! Chris was a little traumatized by it, but I found her fun and hilarious. And I thought I videoed a bit of us dancing, but my iPhone lens must have been switched to the wrong side. All I have is this blurry snapshot showing half of her face:
We loved our Mexican small plates dinner at Topolabamba in Glasgow (that was Chris’s favorite meal), but the best thing I ate was the sticky toffee pudding at The Station Hotel restaurant, Toots. We ended up eating it more than once and I don’t even feel bad about it. That little cup of toffee sauce is liquid joy.
Something We Learned
We learned all about the cooper’s job in the whisky making process. I had no idea that the bourbon and sherry casks used for the aging stage were disassembled, modified, and reassembled before using them to age the whisky. It was fascinating to watch them at work.
We’re Thankful We Packed
Light. We needed plenty of room in our suitcases on the way back to bring home several souvenir bottles of whisky, so it was good that we packed as few things as possible.
Pro tip: I always pack one of these packable totes in my suitcase in case I need the extra space for carrying souvenirs home. In this situation, I put some stuff from my suitcase into the tote as a carry-on so that we could put whisky bottles (liquids) in the suitcase as checked baggage.
We Didn’t Need To Bring
Rain gear! We had amazing weather the entire time and never needed our rain jackets.
I wish we could have squeezed in a few more days to see more of the Scottish countryside.
Reasons To Go Back
We always want to go back to Scotland! No specific reasons needed, but we do have Isle of Skye, Campbeltown, and the highlands on our short list.