Sun, Sand & Sandwiches in Scotland

01 Écosse

I’ve just returned from my first trip to rural Scotland. Even though I’ve been to Edinburgh on four previous occasions, I had never seen the Scottish countryside before. I tagged along with three French friends of mine (pictured below) who kindly invited me on the first week of their three-week adventure around the isles and coasts of Scotland. In fairness, it’s very similar to the west coast of Ireland. There are lots of green fields, rolling hills and tiny roads, but it’s also sufficiently different as well. In particular, I enjoyed seeing the little villages and towns that we sometimes passed through and where we sometimes stopped to have a walk around or enjoy a little picnic on the beach or the grass. I stayed at a few interesting hostels, including one that is an actual castle (see its exterior and interior pictured below). As my friends are French, we did more eating than drinking. In addition to the al fresco lunches, we had breakfasts and dinners at the hostels as well as fish and chips one day. We did a little walking and were very lucky with the weather. It was quite warm and it hardly rained. I even got a little bit of sunburn one day. We did a lot of driving (thanks, Jean!) and this gave me an opportunity to introduce my friends to some fine Scottish songs. You can check out some of those tunes after the photos

14 Time to Put the Feet Up
My three companions from France, Emeline, Agathe and Jean, put their feet up

02 The Castle That's a Hostel
A castle near Loch Lomond that is also a youth hostel

03 Inside the Castle-Hostel
A view from inside one of the nicest hostels at which I’ve ever stayed

Leaving for the Island
My chaffeur, Jean

06 On the Road
The vehicle that took us around the highways and byways of Scotland

07 Traffic Jam
Rural Scottish traffic jams are not a million miles away from rural Irish ones

10 Feeling a Bit Wrecked
I felt like a wreck but the banana got me back on track

11 Alternative Transportation
Waiting for the tide to come in

21 Goodbye
Hitchin’ a ride on a river boat queen

A Selection of Scottish Songs

King of the Road (Roger Miller cover) – The Proclaimers

May You Never – John Martyn

Singin’ In The Rain – John Martyn

Dry the Rain – The Beta Band

Simply Thrilled Honey – Orange Juice

Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam – The Vaselines

Somewhere in My Heart – Aztec Camera

This is the Life – Amy MacDonald