Adventuring should be one of the core love languages. I think it’s necessary for my soul; part of my essential self. I can’t imagine a life without adventures, just like I can’t imagine a life without animals or pineapple or Reeses. Even better when I get to adventure with people I love, and who love it as much as I do!
Twelve years ago on my freshman dorm hall I met some of the best friends a girl could ever have. There are seven us total, and before we ended freshman year we formed The Sisterhood of The Traveling Bandana, and a green bandana made the rounds between us every summer as we went on various trips and experiences, together and apart. Since undergrad, we have gotten a cuss-ton of advanced degrees between us, gained a few husbands and offspring, and, most important of all, adventured to some awesome places together. This past weekend I went to Scotland with 3 of them, and the adventures we had in three short days were nothing short of spectacular.
Faustus got married in an English pub last summer with just her immediate family present. This summer, after she and her hubby moved to Scotland to pursue post-docs and teach at the University of Glasgow, they decided to hold an anniversary reception at a biergarten and invited all of their friends and extended family. Becks and Gupta were my travel companions and dates to the party, and with the mantra “30 year olds do what they want!”, we set out for adventure.
Our flight took off at 5 pm Wednesday in Orlando, and arrived at 6:20 am in Glasgow. We had breakfast and changed clothes at Faustus’ flat, then immediately set off for the Scottish Highlands to hike the Pap of Glencoe. According to Gupta’s fitbit, it was about 8 miles and 120 flights of stairs. The hike was gorgeous, and, with sufficient breaks, fairly doable. The highlands are breathtaking, and starting the trip out with an adventure up a mountain was perfect.
The purple arrow is the top of the hike, which looks closer/easier than it really was. Becks made it all the way to the top, with Gupta very close behind her (there was a rocky scramble on all fours to the summit that only Becks was game for). Faustus sat with me at the blue arrow and ate snacks, since I pulled something and couldn’t really climb any more.
This is where the famous Hermione-slapping-Malfoy scene was filmed, and we saw the little valley where Hagrid’s hut was built and filmed.
After almost 13 hours of sleep, the next day we took a train (!!!!!!!) to Edinburgh, where we walked around Royal Mile, Old Town, the castle entrance, the Tower of Scott, and saw Arthur’s Table and the sea from afar. We visited the Elephant House, where JK Rowling penned her manuscript, and famous settings that inspired the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Yes, we are those people. And it was perfect as the 20th anniversary of the first book was Monday. We ate at the dearest pub close to the sea (food was fair, but that’s typical of United Kingdom fare). As my friend Emily at Hello Redhead says, if the food is ok but the atmosphere is great, it totally makes up for it. 😉
This graveyard is behind Elephant House, and not only does it have Tom Riddle’s grave, but a lot of the character names from the series were based on tombstones JK Rowling saw here!
Saturday we slept in and spent the day around Glasgow, walking around the town and university our friends now call home. It never ceases to amaze me how much more history and culture European countries have compared to our baby country, even in just the architecture. After a day of soaking in the local scene, we went to the party to celebrate and love on our friends!
Sunday we flew back to Orlando, then drove home and were all in bed around midnight before reporting for work the next day. Definitely a whirlwind, but worth every second. We may not be as young as we once were, but we’re as good once as we ever were! My heart is full, my spirit is refreshed, and I can’t wait to go back with Husbeast next time. 🙂
Miss adventure/ Miss adventure/ Yeah, that’s nice/ Feelin’ real/ Come on -AC/DC
Grace and Peace,