Oh, hi Wednesday. Howzit?
So as most of you know, I finally went on a proper holiday, to Scotland. As a Jew, I realize it's an unlikely place for me to vacation. From my mother's reaction ('why there?') it was clear that this not be the obvious choice for someone of Jewish descent. I don't expect you non-Jews to get that, but if you are Jewish, you will. Jews and haggis don't really hang out together. In recent years I feel like there's more of an interest in this gorgeous country because of the show the "Outlander". And trust me, it won't disappoint. I won't say you'll travel through time and marry a sexy Scottish warrior, but still- it's lovely. Very, very lovely.
So anyway, I have a long and storied history with said country. I visited for the first time early on in my career when I had absolutely not a single clue of what I was doing on a terribly massive photoshoot. Think scouting locations in real time, driving around Scotland with an art director full of pills, and seeking solace in the arms of our winnebago driver. Yes. That was the first time. It was so amazing I had to go back. All that wackiness aside- I had one of my only past life experiences in the Highlands and somehow knew my way around.
Second time found me there for work once again, when I convinced my old boss to send me there to check out the music scene there. That's back when I worked in trends. I had a major time, lovely people, fell madly in love with Glasgow. Also the heyday of Irvine Welsh and I remember trying very hard to get through his books, even though I spoke not a lick of Glaswegian.
This time I went with my hubs and we had the loveliest time. A bit of time in Edinburgh (beautiful city, not quite for me though), two nights in Glasgow (scrappy, salty, and very much for me), and then on to the Highlands (obsessed) and up to Skye (even more obsessed).
Scotland may be an unlikely trip for many, but it is really an exceptional experience. It's one of the few countries where I prefer being out in the country vs. the city. Even though I love cities, there is something about being out on Skye that is just so stunning and awe inspiring. Around every turn on the road is something to take your breath away- craggy cliffs, gorgeous dappled water, sheep outnumbering people and of course, those epic, low clouded Scottish skies. Fantastic. Plus copious pints. And many wee drams of single malt. It's really all that.
Here's five ways to know if you'd like a Scottish sojourn:
1. You're craving something unpretentious. Scots are simply the nicest, loveliest people around. And they have no snobbery or attitude whatsoever. It's the best. Oh and dress codes are really nonexistent. Where whatever you want. Fashion and Scotland are not really a thing. And that's wonderful. I wore my hole infested favorite navy v neck sweater for days on end and felt perfect. Oh and ladies- there is no shopping. Nothing major, anyway. You may end up with a cashmere sweater, but I have to say- refreshing to go somewhere that's not so retail focused. Tons of little souvenirs, but nothing to truly buy. That's a gift in itself. More time to enjoy the scenery and the local color.
2. You like "weather". Listen- there's nothing better than laying on a beach, particularly when you are stressed as f in city life. But to go somewhere where at any moment it could go from stormy to sunny it's just divine. Plus temps in the 60s. In June. Perfect for me. I love a chill in the air. And big, fluffy low hanging clouds.
3. You dig history. I'm very much my father's daughter in that I adore history. And Scotland's history is fascinating. From medieval castles to epic Highland battlefields to sacred old lochs. Scotland has it all going on. And I love that. Oh and there are many moments on Skye where you feel like you are either on another planet or have traveled through time to somewhere completely ancient. it's surreal in the best of ways.
4. You love a road trip. I love a road trip. Always have, and fortunately, so does David. We rented a car in Edinburgh and literally drove our way through the country. There are many one lane roads that feel a bit hairy, particularly since you're driving on the other side of the road than you do in the States. I had the luck of being passenger on what's typically the driver's side and a couple times I needed to shut my eyes. But it was fun and so beautiful. So many lovely towns to stop in. So little time. Oh and bonus- UK radio. BBC Radio 6 is so my jam. I found myself writing down everything new they played and singing along to Blur and other classics. Excellent.
5. You appreciate nature, but maybe you're not outdoorsy. OK- if you are outdoorsy, you are going to LOVE it in Scotland. Hiking, biking, all of that. But if you're more the type to just do a walkabout and breath the fresh air and pet a baby lamb, then jackpot- you can do that too. Guess which one I prefer? ;)
There are so many other reasons to love Scotland- it's loaded with charm and it's romantic as could be. It's full of great museums and there are dogs in every pub. The pubs themselves are wonderful and full of local color, and of course, pints and single malts abound. There's a resonating quirk that makes my heart sing. People there are eccentric and interesting and as mentioned, extremely kind. Oh and huge bonus- the whole country is green as green gets. And green is my happy color so for me, there's nothing better.
Also, there are a million ways to slice it up in terms of where to stay- we did everything from a beautiful boutique hotel in Edinburgh to a wacky pod hotel in Glasgow (the bed was heaven) to a small in in a small town in the Highlands to the most lovely little bothy Air BnB complete with a pet lamb which I named Lambo. I love a place where you can experience different lodging- it makes it so much fun to explore. You can go super high end in Scotland or go way more dialed down. Feel like there's room for everyone and that's what makes it such a great choice.
Anyway, if you want my full itinerary happy to send it to you. Just write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put it together for you. Oh and I guarantee I'll go back again. Because there's simply something about Scotland. Cause that's what's up this tartan of a Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in Speyside single malts and excellent adventures. XO