[Personal] Honeymoon to Scotland on Film | Glasgow, Edinburgh, Loch Ness, & Isle of Skye | Part 1
I've always wanted to go to Scotland. I imagined myself roaming the moors with my pocket sized Jane Eyre tucked in my coat, next to my heart. I imagined how the rain would feel as it hit my face, pressing on, climbing up the next hill to find... something. Something beautiful and soul crushing. Something melancholy and breathtaking. I knew that my spirit would dance and sing in this landscape.
I was supposed to be in Australia with Chris (my husband). He was going to be there for three weeks for work and the plan was that I would come at the end. We'd meet in Brisbane, rent a car, and drive along the Gold Coast together - like a second honeymoon. I bought the ticket for my flight, started making plans to not get eaten by sharks and kicked in the face by kangaroos, and the kids made plans to go to their grandparents' house for two whole weeks. Then, Chris came home and said the dates for his trip had changed. Instant bummer.
I had already purchased the very expensive flight without the option of getting a full refund and the kids were so excited to go to their grandparents (and the grandparents equally, if not more excited). It seemed rather lame to drop them off for two weeks alone back home and lose money on the flight, so I decided I'd still leave to go somewhere.
And then I was left with the choice of where to go. I could - 1. Go to Australia alone. Do this second honeymoon thing by myself, which seemed not very romantic and maybe slightly dangerous considering all the poisonous and scary things that these nature/wildlife documentaries say live there, 2. Go to Australia but then hop a flight to New Zealand for just a couple hundred dollars more. I've always wanted to find The Shire and return the ring to Mordor, but without a Sam, I probably wouldn't make it or 3. I could go exchange my very expensive ticket and go to either Isle of Skye or Barcelona.
I wrestled with this for a bit, but as I was 6 weeks out from the date of departure and don't have a Sam or time to research what a proper Australian snake bite kit might entail, I had to make my decision quickly. I decided on option 3 - and since I'd be there in July (and I don't enjoy heat very much) and a few weeks isn't much time to learn another language, I changed my ticket to fly into Glasgow.
So then, which cameras to bring with me? I had purchased a Pentax 645n** in the Fall, so that and my trusty Olympus 35mm that I purchased at a thrift store for $25 (with a big ziplock back of film) became my travel partners and most of my trip was captured on Portra 400 film (35mm + 120mm).
**I've since sold my Pentax 645 and miss it terribly looking through these photos.
I got very little sleep on the flight to Glasgow from JFK. The airport in Glasgow was empty - no shops in the terminal on the way out. It felt like no was there. The bus wasn't where the signs said it would be and once on the bus, it didn't make my scheduled stop. I suppose that afforded me a bit of time to walk around on the way to finding the train station I should have been at. I went to George Square and saw a large statue of Sir Walter Scott. The pigeons were plentiful, several seemed to think it was a game to see how closely they could fly to my head without hitting me. Queen Street Station was right at the square, conveniently. It's a small glass covered station. I purchased a ticket to Edinburgh and stood around until I realized there was already a train to Edinburgh waiting.
Once on the train, passing through the countryside, I realized a bit how lost I felt. I had left all of my travel planning notes behind by accident with only sketchy memories of the plans I had made a couple weeks before. Several people within view had chosen seats with outlets so that they could plug their phones in. Mine wasn't dead, but it was rather useless. I was back to the days when not so long ago I followed maps to get to where I was going. Except that I didn't have a map at the moment either, so back to relying on my memory again. I kept telling myself that as long as I could get to my first Airbnb, I would be fine.
It was mostly fine, getting off the train and finding my way to Tron Square where my Airbnb was located. I got a bit turned around since some of the streets didn't meet up where I thought that they would. It reminded me of our honeymoon in Rome, the streets curving around and never taking you to where you thought they should.
Most of these photos are a bit out of order and seeing as how this was all a year ago and I have no one else to remind me of the goings on of that trip - I'll have to refer to my travel journal where I kept maps, notes, day entries, and film log.
7/18, 8:00pm -
I found Edinburgh Castle and a burrito bowl in Greenmarket Square. I almost got hit by a taxi crossing the street. Someone stalled their car out in the square where I was earlier. I think that will be me on Friday when I get my rental car. I am regretting the decision to get the car in the city.
It felt like it took forever to get to my Airbnb. Will - the host - is so nice. He mad eme a sandwich when I arrived. After taking my shoes off and devouring the sandwich, I took a shower and a 90 min nap. Best shower. Best nap.
There are couples and families everywhere. There's a daycare behind the apartment building that I'm staying in. All the signs that I should be home with my own - or they should be here with me. Everyone appears to be a tourist in this part of the city.
The sun sets at 9:43 tonight and will rise tomorrow before 5am.
The plan is to visit Edinburgh Castle, Prince Street Gardens, and ride the Ferris Wheel there.
Part 2 will include sunrise at Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano in Edinburgh, and cover my adventure out of the city to Loch Ness and the drive to Skye.