So sorry for the delay in posts! When we got to Inverness, my laptop was completely dead and for some reason, it wasn’t charging in the hostel room’s plugs so I thought maybe the charger was fried. So we just went on with things and thought we’d try it on another plug somewhere else or get a replacement soon enough (it is working now!). We stayed at the Inverness Student Hostel, about a 15 minute walk (sounds short, but deadly with our heavy packs!!) and checked in. We were in room downstairs, through a really narrow spiral stairwell with 6 other beds. Not all were occupied though in the two nights we spent there. It was about 5 or 6pm so we went out for dinner to a recommended rather cheap place were we paid about 12 pounds for two meals and two beers! After that we walked down the Nessie river a bit (the Nessie Walk) which was beautiful! Along the river were a lot of trees and flowers, and there were strings of lights above us for a lot of the way (although not lit!), and really cute bridges. There were a few other couples strolling about and some people walking their dogs as well.
We took our time and got back to the hostel at about 8:30 or so. We grabbed our beer we had been trucking around since leaving Iceland, which we grabbed from the Duty free, and each had one up in the hostels lobby while making new friends! One really energetic man named Shaun from South Africa was very entertaining and we ended up going out with him and another young German girl who was on a Gap year.
We went to the local Hootananny’s bar which had live music, but, it was kinda slow moving in there so we had one beer and then headed to another more lively bar. We all had a really good time!
In the morning, we woke up at about 8 or 9 and packed our day packs to head to Grantown-on-Spey, in hopes to visit some and learn about my heritage, the Grant Clan. It was only about an hour bus ride and when we got there, it was really easy to find the museum (super small town!) which we walked around and learned as much as we could about how/why the town was built. It was a fairly small museum but at the end you had the chance to dress up in the old fashion clothes! I had a ball 🙂
We walked from the museum up the hill to see the small castle, which is now privately owned. Since we learned that, we didn’t get very close, but still got some photos. We then went to a local bakery shop and got some pastries and “chips” (french fries) to snack on. It was a Friday and apparently the school kids get out early so they were all hanging around the same shop, right next to the bus station.
We met a woman waiting for the same bus as us who lived in Grantown but was heading to Inverness to pick up her ʻspecticlasʻ! She was sweet and talked to us about her trip to Hawaiʻi years ago. It was a beautiful ride back and we kept our eyes and cameras ready to see if we could spot the same MASSIVE bulls we saw in a pasture on the way into town, but no luck. Those things looked like they were on steroids!
When we returned to Inverness we thought we would take another bus to see the Loche Ness, but the buses were delayed and we wouldn’t make it in time to see the museum or the cathedral, which we learned from Shaun (who had went that morning) later that it was an run-down ruin of a castle, overpriced and a tourist trap… So here are some of the photos he sent me of it!
We also wanted to see the Clava Clair standing stones, but there weren’t any buses out there that night and we had to be out of the hostel in the morning so regretfully we couldn’t make it there either. We just went to a co-op and grabbed stuff to make an artichoke pasta and salad for dinner. Then we ended up going out again with Shaun! It was a Friday so it was a buzzing a bit more which was fun. In the morning, we set out back to the bus station to catch one to Glasgow. It as another almost 4 hour ride which we slept and read on. When we got there, we tiredly walked almost 20 minutes to the Euro Hostel. I don’t have many nice things to say about the place, but it was good enough for a couple nights! Hoapili said the shower stalls were smaller than the ones he had to use on the ship while he was deployed! One of our dorm-mates had just come from Amsterdam and he was decked out in everything Amsterdam… Socks, boxers, jacket, phone case… It was so funny!!! We went out that evening in search of a place to eat, and ended up at a place similar to the cheap place in Inverness, but had a much worse experience there. Right as we sat down after ordering our food, a woman started setting up the Karaoke for the evening… Literally one table away from ours. We would have left but you have to tell the bar tender which table you are at and we had already done that.. So we were kind of stuck. About 45 minutes pasted and we still hadn’t gotten our food and we had finished our drinks and ordered more by the time the food actually came out! We could tell it had been sitting for a while as it was hard and disgusting… We got out of there as soon as we could, although the people doing karaoke were pretty entertaining!
We just walked back to the hostel and got another drink in the bar in the lobby deciding just to go to bed as we would go out the following night, for Hoapili’s 25th birthday!!
When we woke up we set foot out for the Riverside Museum (after our very claustrophobic showers)! It was a really interesting museum, all about mainly old styles of transportation. I really enjoyed seeing the old trollys and learning how women became the trolly workers in the war time as all the men were gone, and “shockingly” also went onto become drivers not long after!!!!?!? lol
We ate a good but pricey lunch at the cafe in the museum (there wasn’t anything else around) and took the subway to the other side of town, to see the People’s Palace and gardens. It was a really cute and large park, with a big greenhouse towards the center with lots of plants and trees.
We picked a spot in the shade as it was actually a really warm day and rested for about half an hour before heading back towards the hostel.
We picked up some snacks and drinks to start pre-gamming and sat at another small grassy area across the hostel to drink them while researching where we should go for dinner. Hoapili wanted seafood so we went up and changed into some nicer clothes and started walking to Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery! It was a really nice and fancy place with exceptional service and we shared a bottle of wine. Our waiter was the most friendly guy who was really interested in Hawaiʻi, so we invited him over anytime! We even added each other on facebook, hey Stephen! (His last name is Clark, which is pretty cool, maybe we are related!!)
We returned to the hostel after that to meet up with another couple we met in the Inverness hostel who had just arrived to Glasgow that evening and wanted to meet up to go out for drinks for Hoapili’s birthday. We stopped at two places for beers and the second had really good live blues music! It was a really nice evening. 🙂
In the morning we packed up and dropped our bags at the left luggage at the bus station where we would later ride to Edinburgh and walked from there to the Glasgow Cathedral, which was fantastic!!
After walking around and taking tons of photos, we walked to The Butterfly and The Pig, a tearoom which my auntie Karen from my church recommended. It was so lovely!! I got eggs Benedict and Hoapili got a salmon bagel/sandwich and we both enjoyed our own pot of tea. We felt so rejuvenated after leaving! All the ingredients were fresh and the tea was really enjoyable.
It was a short walk back to the bus station where we caught the next bus to Edinburgh, about an hour drive and then took another bus to Restalrig, back to our Airbnb we stayed when we first arrived, with Jennifer. We went down to the co-op and got fixings for supper and as Jennifer was out for the evening, we curled up and watched a movie. In the morning, we took our sweet sweet time waking up, cooking a small breakfast, and I even read a bit while Hoapili practiced his Ukulele. It was really nice to not be in a rush and we repacked and got rid of a lot of unnecessary things we were tired of carrying around! We eventually went into town to drop off post cards and I also got a suitcase to switch to from my backpack. Emily U. ,Danielle, and Hannah (all former travel buddies) all know my hatred for these dang backpacks. I was really trying to give it another go, but mine is rather unruley and it is so difficult to get anything out! So I am much much happier now with my rolly bag, and I even fit a lot that was in Hoapili’s pack, so his is much lighter and more enjoyable for him. Overall, I think it was a good decision!
We got back to Jennifers and finished packing and had some soup and toast before heading out to the airport!
Scotland was great, I don’t think I’ll look back at it as the highlight of the trip, but I am glad we saw it! Especially Grantown and Inverness. I would really like to return there. Glasgow didn’t impress me much, and Edinburgh was really nice but such a big city! Anyway, I’ll post another update in a couple days about our trip thus far in Ireland!!
PS, as the navigator for now going on two countries, I think I have told Hoapili to take the second exit at the next roundabout about 200 MILLION times. No joke on the directions today, it was at least 11 times, in a row!! Better than lights I guess…