In the morning we went after a very luxuriant Welsh Breakfast then with the bus to the station to Abergavenny. From there we drove via Crewe to Edinburgh where we stayed in the Summer Hostels.The Summer Hostels were a surprise, a positive one! Located in the heart of Edinburgh, close to Edinburgh Castle, they were modern, very clean rooms with decent showers (which is not a matter of course in the UK) and comfortable beds for a very small budget
After we had stowed away our suitcases we wanted to explore the city, of course, and we benefited from being there on foot in ten minutes. So we strolled over cobblestones through the medieval lanes of Edinburgh and enjoyed the atmosphere. Behind every façade, every half-timbered house, every burnt stone there seems to be a story lurking, an old one. It's hard to describe, you just have to experience Edinburgh for yourself.
First we walked to Edinburgh Castle, which is very touristy, but which you should visit anyway. With the many sights, the great view over the city and the various demonstrations within the castle walls, you can easily spend 3 hours there and you won't get bored.
After we had examined the castle extensively, we strolled down the Royal Mile and the High Street, searched souvenir shops, ate and drank something and let ourselves float through the streets without a concrete goal. On the way back to the hostel we stopped at the castle to book a bus tour through the Highlands at Timberbush Tours for the next day.Timberbush Tours is a supplier of guided bus tours through Scotland. The tour we booked was of course very touristy and breakfast was served to almost all the Highlands including Loch Ness and Glencoe within a short time of one day. Nevertheless the tour was very informative and our driver Patrick knows the history of the Highlands so well that no demand made him sweat. A very nice and funny man who you like to be told something about. For tourists like us who have very little time to visit Scotland definitely have a very recommendable tour
After we had bought our tickets and the next morning already at 08:30 o'clock before the Edinburgh Castle the meeting point was agreed upon, we saw that we came back to the hostel and into bed so that we would be fit for the next day.
Highlands! Today should be the day!
After a breakfast, which deserved the share "early" in his name, we started our way armed with cameras and in a good mood to the meeting point at Timberbush Tours directly in front of Edinburgh Castle.
Patrick was already ready and most of the other passengers seemed to be already present and around 9 o'clock we started. Patrick told us the exact itinerary of the tour, in addition there were documents in which the most important stations were listed and some historical facts were listed. More detailed facts can be found directly at Timberbush Tours.
The tour led us past Stirling Castle to Kilmahog where we had a small breakfast (and where you could see highland cows!). Then we went on through Rob Roy Country and the impressive heath landscape Rannoch Moor from which the Black Mount, a group of Munros, rise majestically.
Munros are mountains in Scotland that are higher than 914 meters, if 914 meters seem a bit arbitrary, you have to know that they are 3,000 feet.
Next followed Glencoe, probably one of the most beautiful mountain valleys of the Highlands with a very dark past, because in 1692 about 120 soldiers from the Campbell clan murdered almost 80 men, women and children of the McDonald clan. The treacherous thing about this mass murder was the fact that the 120 Campbell were hosted by the McDonald for almost two weeks before they assassinated them at dawn. To this day many children in Scotland learn the wisdom "never trust a Campbell!"
We stopped for half an hour so that everyone had the opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful Glencoe and I climbed from the road down into the valley to take pictures without tourists. I lay down on my back and photographed Glencoe, then I took the camera off my eyes and it happened. I fell in love with nature suddenly and immortal! No man can create something as beautiful as nature. Man builds skyscrapers, whole cities, he flies to the moon and dives into the deepest seas, but he cannot create a cell of life, neither animal nor plant. Only nature can do this and therefore it is the highest good on earth which must be protected and preserved!
At this point of our trip I realized that I want to spend much more time in nature and would spend much more time in the future!
We continued past Loch Linnhe, part of the Caledonian Canal, and shortly after that we had our lunch break in Fort Williams. Freshly strengthened we drove through the Great Glen where the highest mountain of Great Britain - the Ben Nevis - rises.
Via Fort Augustus we went on to THE tourist attraction of the Higlands at all - Loch Ness! First we visited the ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shore before taking a boat tour across the lake. We didn't want to miss our chance to meet Nessie directly.
Again dry on land we drove through Inverness, the unofficial capital of the Highlands. Through the Grampian Mountains and Perthshire the bus slowly made its way back to Edinburgh.
We went out for some dinner in the evening, but were quite broken from the trip and wanted to go to bed soon. Why we didn't spend the next day as originally planned in Edinburgh to see more sights you can read on the next page