Monday, 12 January 2009

Trip to Scotland

Hi all,
After posting my first blog I wanted to write my second blog. Recently I visited Scotland to celebrate my first New Year with Yash, so got the best topic to write down my experiences regarding the Scotland trip..

I reached UK on 2nd of Nov. Since that day Yash and myself were planning for our "New Year" trip. We started surfing, talking to frenzs in order to take their opinion about which place to visit in Scotland. When you have so many options you tend to get confuse.. Finally we decided to chill around in misty Scotland...
We decided to hire a tour operator as we were running short of time . So finally we booked our space with a tour operator called "Macbacpackers".
Our trip was from 28th Dec-1st Jan 09' from Edinburgh(capital of Scotland). So on 27th morning we left for Edinburgh by Coach(National Express) and reached there at around 7 pm.

I am quite afraid of Ghost and monsters..I knew Scotland is a very haunted place..So keeping that in mind I entered our Backpacker's hostel. All horror scenes were colliding in my mind but I didn't utter a word in front of Yash. I found interiors of hostel to be very clumsy which added to my fear. The receptionist gave us the keys and I barged in my room. We freshen up as we had to go for a rendezvous with all other tour mates in the pub. We came back and still I had that fear which could easily be seen on my face. Yash could make out something is wrong with me so finally he broke his silence and asked me the reason. I burst out crying and told him everything. Mixed emotions could be seen on his face -smiling at the same time was quiet annoyed with my stupidity. He made me understand and was trying to make me comfortable with the environment. I was fine, had our dinner and went to sleep......

Next morning we left by 8 o'clock in the morning. We were 29 tourists from different countries and were escorted by Mike(our driver and guide).We were going to highlands. On the way he was showing us many bridges,castles, barracks and was also enlightening us with the stories related to it. This was making the journey very exciting and adventurous..He was continuously speaking hats off to him of his ocean of knowledge and patience to speak. I bet he's the best orator I ever met. As we were approaching towards highland it was getting colder and colder..

Loch Ness:
On the way to Loch Ness it was all white with snow all around..We went to a very famous battle field where the Scottish armies won the battle. I could imagine as if nature had worn white saree with bit of colorful dots on it .By that time I was frozen and my feet was numb instead of wearing three woolen socks and a boot. There we had coffee, while having coffee i could feel that as if I am in heaven. Loch Ness is very famous for its lake monsters and now I was enjoying that monster's stories. We saw the lake but unluckily no monsters in it. And that moment we could see two guys from our group jumped into the water with no clothes on their body, no clothes mean publicly they were completely naked. Everybody was busy in clicking their snap. In my opinion they were no less than a monster. So now I am not regretting that I didn't see a monster I rather saw two....It was real fun. From Loch Ness we came to Inverness and we stayed there for a night.

Its one of the biggest city in Highlands. We saw castles and many more places. Lovely place to visit. Ya how can I forget its Morrison's shop. Till 6-7pm in evening everything gets closed. Also we are pure vegetarian so had to face much difficulty in getting food for us. So we picked some easy to cook stuff, went to our hostel and cooked for us. In the whole trip hundreds of time Yash was regretting of being a Vegetarian.

Isle of Skye:
From Inverness our trip turned towards Isle of Skye. It is a very beautiful island to visit. Before people had to go by fairy but now the govt has built a bridge. According to Mike(our guide)its the costliest per km bridge. We went over the sea (well not exactly.. a part of it). Just besides our hostel we could see the sea. So that made us feel that really we are in an island. We were freshen up to go to a pub. We reached there around 9 pm. We only drank as kitchen was closed by 8 pm. I had a mocktail and Yash had Rum followed by beer. Still he wanted to have more but seeing my face he dropped his idea to continue..We were in the pub for couple of hours enjoying with rest of people. Now we were hungry so went to hostel. By God grace we had noodles with us. We prepared noodles and ate enjoying the warmth of fire, were playing board games and a soft music was on.
Next morning we had to leave for Edinburgh. On the way we saw castles and barracks..And that time Mike realized he forgot to lock the back of our bus as a result two bags had fallen on the way. He filed a complain in police station and we got our bags back by the help of Highway maintenance officers..

Then we went to fairy highland-here people believe that fairies still exists and our wishes are fulfilled there. But there are some rules to be followed - you should not whistle, no hands in pockets and no swearing. And if by chance you commit a mistake, you have to leave a gift for the fairies. They will forgive you. From top of the hill we could see a lovely view. went to a wishing land too, tie any of your clothes with a wish it will be fulfilled. We can feel the cold. Small lakes were frozen and could see the icicles on the barracks and caves. Passing through the beautiful mountains, valleys finally we reached to Edinburgh It was real fun in the highlands

a)Edinburgh Zoo- We took a day pass. How to go to these places through which bus and after getting all these information from the tourist center firstly we went to Edinburgh Zoo. There we could see around 1800 species..Many animals I saw for the first time like Penguin, Tapir etc. The best part was I could see one horn Rhino-pride of Assam. We saw Budongo Trail, rainbow flights, penguin parade and many more..

b) Camera Obscure- Then we went to camera obscure. It was truly amazing. I was spellbound with itz 3-D effects, with a mere piece of mirror you can view the city and many more...

c) Loch Ness 3-D- Then we went to see Loch 3-D. This was also too good to see. Here many scientist were revealing the fact of Loch Ness monster. The pain they have taken to make this fact true and they have succeeded..

d)The Edinburgh Dungeons- We were in dilemma whether to visit this attraction as it was related to ghost tour. Yash was quiet excited to go. Me with full courage went inside it. We went through 3-4 phases where people with scary attire and looks and with their stories tried to scar us. At this point one thing I would like to confess that I was the one who screamed the most. Anywaz it was all together a fun and a different experience.

e)Hogomanay Street Party- We came to hostel and were getting ready for the Hogomanay party as it was 31st night. The main street Princess Street was all decked up with many stages for live performance, stalls to eat, many breathtaking rides, ghost train, and how can I forget to mention Beer stalls. Literally that day I could see people were swimming in beer ocean. Gosh how can people drink so much. We enjoyed to the fullest. And from Edinburgh castle the awesome fireworks....It was real fun to be part of the party.

f)Edinburgh castle- Next day we went to see the famous castle.

g)Scottish Parliament- A very well built Parliament to be seen..

h)Scotch Whisky Experience- Here we saw variety of whiskies. The costliest whisky I ever saw was Macallan nearly 55 years old and was costing around Rs 6-7 lacs. We bought four small bottles of Scotch as a souvenir.

i)Baked Potato- When I am listing attractions which we saw it wont be justice on my part if I don't mention the name of 'Baked Potatoes'. It is a shop where you get baked potatoes with variety of fillings of your choice. As it deals with vegan stuff so we were free to move in and have delicious potatoes. We really liked its menu. Even I didn't mind having as the potatoes were baked not fried.

j)Jan 1st night street party- On Jan 1st also there was some street party for two hours 7-9 pm . We needed fake money to go in any stalls. And we were getting those Neuros (they called the fake money as NEUROS) from cash points erected in both the ends. It was free so you can imagine how long the queue would be. We were running short of time as that night we had to catch the coach for London. I with my Indian nature jumped in between the queue ,got Neuros and enjoyed the stalls. Basically in all the stalls they were trying to give ideas related to positive thinking, spice in life, how to be happy, try to get rid of negative thoughts...

After enjoying the party we rushed to hostel,collected our luggage and caught the coach for London.

We enjoyed to the fullest...The more important thing was Yash and Me were together for couple of daz(full week)..It was a very good and enjoyable trip...
Hope to enjoy more trips like this..