In celebration of the One Year Birthday of SMP, I now present my fourth Guest Post!! By my friend Os!! Here is his post about a trip to Scotland!
So before I actually get into my blog post, I just want to thank Scoop for giving me this opportunity and for ultimately inspiring me to do be involved in a blog myself.
I’m Os, of Two Girls, A Guy and Damien. A brand new blog started on Wednesday last week, and I’m here today to tell you about my recent, wild, or not so wild, adventures in Scotland.
Let’s start with the reason for Scotland. Every year I try to travel somewhere. So far I’ve been to Colombia and seven cities in five states in the USA. This year though, my mom is turning 50, and for her milestone birthday I told her I would take her to the country her family, the Donaldsons, originated.
On June 1st we found ourselves landing in Glasgow in the early morning. We went to our hotel, the Premier Inn at George Square, (I would highly recommend this as a great budget hotel), and spent our first weekend touring the city.
That Monday, we hopped on a train and a ferry headed for my favourite part of the trip, the Isle of Arran. The ferry landed in Brodick, the main town of the isle, so small that when given directions to our hotel, we were told to walk past the big grocery store, smaller than my local No Frills. With only one main road, though, it wasn’t long before we got to our “hotel”. I say “hotel” because for me, it had more of the feel of an inn. A pub on the ground level with public access, and only seven rooms above that, it was cozy, especially because of the owners who made us feel right at home. If anyone is interested, the name of the establishment is the Ormidale Hotel. Anyway, my maternal great grandmother was born in Corrie, a six mile walk from Brodick, with no sidewalk the majority of the way. Zigzagging, and dodging cars as they passed, the walk took us 2 ½ hours, but well worth it. When we arrived in Corrie, we had the mountains on our left, and the Atlantic Ocean on our right, and it couldn’t have been more picturesque.
Arran done, we spent Wednesday and Thursday in Edinburgh; visiting Holyrood House Palace, Edinburgh Castle and the Edinburgh Zoo. For those of you who don’t know, Holyrood House is Queen Elizabeth II’s place of residence when she is staying in Scotland. A beautiful house, with a beautiful garden and the dark history of Mary Queen of Scots, this is a definite must see. Edinburgh Castle, what is essentially a museum, teaches much about the history of war in Scotland. In fact, it was there, that I met Elizabeth Scott, author of “The Best Solider”. This is a book that has actually revealed my interest in historical fiction. A gripping tale about a farm boy named John Hepburn who grows up to lead his own regiment in victory after victory. Our trip to Edinburgh ended with a visit to the zoo, one of the few zoos in the world with giant pandas.
Friday we stayed in Glasgow, to watch the Olympic torch pass by on Ingram Street. An event that was surprisingly anti-climactic, though I’m sure it was more exciting in George Square.
Loch Lomond was our trip for Saturday, near a town called Balloch. A loch made famous by the song “Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond”, the view was gorgeous, and the people were kind. We took a cruise around the loch, and learned about the history behind the various buildings on the shoreline.
Then it was time for the final chapter of our vacation. The Wallace Monument. A 10 minute walk uphill, revealing a tower at the top, gave us some good exercise on our final Sunday in Scotland. From there, we entered the tower, with a tight spiral staircase of 246 steps, we began our climb up to the top, stopping at each floor revealing a different piece of history about Wallace. We learned a great deal as this nearly legendary hero from Scotland was brought to life, whether by seeing his sword in a glass case, or reading about his deeds. Finally, we arrived at the top, to see this.
All in all, I found Scotland to be one of my favourite places in the world so far. The people are amazing, the food is delicious, the history is deeply imprinted in the culture, and the sheer beauty of the country itself is overwhelming. A trip worth taking again, Scotland is a place for memories to be made.
If you’d like to see more pictures of my trip, you can see them here:
And don’t forget to visit me at:
June 16th, 2012
Os is a 23 year old nerd who given the money and resources could be Batman. He can be reached on twitter @Os_blogger
P.S. My first ever Guest Post, featuring a great reading list, you can find here. My second ever Guest Post, all about Harry Potter vs Twilight, you can find here. My third ever Guest Post, about Finding Your Way, you can find here.