From the noise beneath my room as my alarm went off at 3, I heard them shout out "last call". At least the majority of merry makers would be off the streets by the time I had gotten up, ready and packed to go around 4am. Here's hopin'!
I caught a cab to the Dublin airport and checked in as a non-EU passenger at the customer service desk. As I looked around I noticed everyone else's carry-on bag was quite a bit smaller than mine so I even asked the customer desk if I had to check my bag. They said no, without really looking...hmmm. But because I was worried about making sure I caught my tour I took their word and headed through security with my bulky carry-on.
I found my gate. The airport was full and bustling this early! I was quite shocked!
Oh, my gate changed. I only found out after I overheard another guy ask. They must have JUST changed it when I sat down. Me and the guy from San Diego who asked, found the new gate. We chatted. His carry-on looked about the same size as mine. Yay.
Though I barely got any sleep, I was in good spirits. Sooo excited for Scotland! I realized that I was done with Ireland. Unless one day I came back and stayed in one nice B&B the entire time and explored by car.
My flight was good and quick, only about 35 minutes. Everyone with RyanAir was nice but because the flight was so cheap ($9.99!) they charge extra for everything, even water! My bag just barely fit in the overhead compartment. Next time I'll pay the extra bit to check my bag.
Yay! I made it to lovely Glasgow! So far I like it way more than Dublin!!! I was easily took a bus downtown and waited with all the other tour buses for my bus which eventually came along. Glasgow is clean and has wide streets and beautiful Georgian style buildings!!!
Ok, love love love my tour guide! Mark, a true Scotsman! He greeted us wearing a full kilt and sporran. He talked all the way out of the city, giving us great stories and facts about Scotland, it's history and the area. We have a nice small bus with two seats on either side. We have mostly great people. (A few rude couples who were late at the first rest stop and caused us to miss stopping at a waterfall. Grr!)
Because the bus is almost full I'm sitting next to a nice young Malaysian gal. Gorgeous highland scenery!! Honestly, it feels like a breath of clean fresh air after Ireland. I liked Ireland but Scotland feels like a kindred spirit, home away from home!!!!
We arrived in Fort William for lunch. I walked up and down the Main Street, pedestrians only, shopped a bit and stopped in the Grog and Gruel recommended by Mark for some Stag Pie!! I want to try new to me but traditional things while I'm abroad.
It is colder here but starting to warm up. I might buy a scarf at some point just in case it gets chilly. I waited for almost 2 hours outside this morning for my bus and got aa little chilled. The flight got in earlier than expected. I just read on my kindle and chatted to others who also waited.
After driving through glens (valleys) and past lochs (lakes) and seeing some stunning vistas of the highlands, we finally crossed the bridge to the Isle of Skye!!
I was dropped off at a tiny bed and breakfast called Macrae's in the cute little town of Kyleakin. Super tiny!! With one small corner store/gift shop and only 3 restaurants. We are all spread out at different B&Bs all over town.
I got settled into my lovely small room with a single bed and my own sink (shared bathroom down the hall) and changed into my long jeans since it had cooled off and started to drizzle. I received a front door key from Agnes, my hostess, and headed out to walk down the road for supper.
I first bought a few things from the one shop before it closed for the night, some water and cookies for the road the next day. Then I got a table behind the store at the Castle Moil eatery. I tried the fish and chips with the biggest piece of haddock I've ever seen! The food was excellent!
During that first day we stopped several times for photos, almost every 20-30 minutes. Mostly at mountain viewpoints etc. Our last stop was the amazing Castle of Eilean Donan, seat of the MacRae-Gilstraps.
An awesome first Scottish castle experience! The castle was blown to ruins by English soldiers in the past and the family has painstakingly restored it to what it would have been hundreds of years before. We weren't allowed to take photos inside but the dressed up guides gave us a good tour with a full history of the castle and family.
There are two gals from Toronto on our bus. One works at a hotel in Edinburgh. Just for fun. There is also a family from Dallas with two teen girls. The girls sat together but parents are taking up four while seats between the two of them. Spreading out their purse and coats. While some of us have to sit with strangers. Not really considerate but they are ok. Anyway, those are just the interestings characters so far.
Stay tuned for the next part of my awesome Scottish adventures!!
Catch up on ALL my posts of my awesome #kbintheuk trip: