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.
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.
Our first stop for the day was Spean Bridge. Time for some coffee, a toilet break, and a chance to stretch our legs.
This was the next stop. So close to Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain of the highlands, is the scenic ruins of Inverlochy Castle.
It was another chance to stretch our legs, sip our coffee, and wander ’round the ruins of the castle.
We sped through Fort William, but it looks like another town I would definitely like to come back to.
It was time to stop for lunch, so we pulled up at the Ballachulish Tourist Information Centre on the banks of Loch Leven.
There was a Co-op there so we could grab another salad, and there were picnic tables so we could eat outside.
We were so lucky not to have any rain on this journey.
Aonach Eagach Ridge
After lunch, we headed in between the Highland Mountains, back towards Edinburgh, and we made a very cool stop at a small climbing point.
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!
And yes, Akkriti climbed the hill in heels!
So after our little hill climb, we sped through phenomenal scenery. Once again it felt very “Lord of the Rings”
Bridge from Harry Potter
Yes, the trip wouldn’t be complete without another movie scene. Recognise this bridge from Harry Potter?
Bus Music Highlight
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.
And it was a chance to grab another coffee!
The National Wallace Monument
“Every man dies, but not every man really lives” – William Wallace
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.
The monument was actually built on the location where Wallace would keep his vantage point, and even win at the battle of Stirling.
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…
Or, you could just lie on the grass and watch the clouds pass by, like Akkriti and I did…
Racing back to Edinburgh, we dashed past the world’s largest equine sculptures.
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.
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!
Also published on Medium.