Day 3: Highlands, Streams, Ben Nevis, William Wallace

It felt too soon to be heading back.  We just arrived!

We were a quiet bunch on the ride back over the bridge into the Highlands again.

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The awe of the mountains kept me on the edge of my seat.  I felt that every kilometer back was like waking up slowly from an amazing dream.

We even passed a loch, that looks like the map of Scotland.

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Spean Bridge

Our first stop for the day was Spean Bridge.  Time for some coffee, a toilet break, and a chance to stretch our legs.

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Inverlochy Castle

This was the next stop.  So close to Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain of the highlands, is the scenic ruins of Inverlochy Castle.

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It was another chance to stretch our legs, sip our coffee, and wander ’round the ruins of the castle.

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Fort William

We sped through Fort William, but it looks like another town I would definitely like to come back to.

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Ballachulish

It was time to stop for lunch, so we pulled up at the Ballachulish Tourist Information Centre on the banks of Loch Leven.

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There was a Co-op there so we could grab another salad, and there were picnic tables so we could eat outside.

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We were so lucky not to have any rain on this journey.

Aonach Eagach Ridge

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After lunch, we headed in between the Highland Mountains, back towards Edinburgh, and we made a very cool stop at a small climbing point.

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I decided to see what I could do and how far I could climb.  It was time to go up.  I truly felt like an explorer!

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And yes, Akkriti climbed the hill in heels!

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So after our little hill climb, we sped through phenomenal scenery.  Once again it felt very “Lord of the Rings”

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Bridge from Harry Potter

Yes, the trip wouldn’t be complete without another movie scene.  Recognise this bridge from Harry Potter?

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Bus Music Highlight


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The music was a little hit and miss throughout the journey.  But finally the music hit! The Scottish song I was waiting for! 😉

We even got a surprise visitor in the back seat!

Trossachs Woollen Mill

Our next stop, was to meet a couple of highland cows – Black Hamish and Honey.  They were so dopey and cute.

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And it was a chance to grab another coffee!

The National Wallace Monument

freedom-braveheart“Every man dies, but not every man really lives” – William Wallace

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The Scots have a lot of time for William Wallace, and the monument at Stirling is evidence of that.  Mel Gibson may not have best represented Wallace physically (the real Wallace was way over 6 foot tall) but he definitely represented his passion and spirit.

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The monument was actually built on the location where Wallace would keep his vantage point, and even win at the battle of Stirling.

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It was brilliant to walk up the hill and enjoy the view (only 10 mins or so).

Then you could pay to go inside the small museum and see Wallace’s sword…

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Or, you could just lie on the grass and watch the clouds pass by, like Akkriti and I did…

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Farewell Stirling…

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The Kelpies

Racing back to Edinburgh, we dashed past the world’s largest equine sculptures.

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Back in Edinburgh

Well, with rain falling for the start, and rain falling for the end, the Macbackpackers journey was over.

We all had such a good time, and I met so many amazing people, and was so lucky to make new friends, who I am sure I will see again.

We caught up later that night in a pub for some drinks, singing and a dance.

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I will miss everybody and keep this trip close to my heart.  The scenery was breathtaking, but the people on the bus REALLY made the experience the best!

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Also published on Medium.

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