I half to admit, I owe one to the Universe now. What do I owe, you might ask? Well, I have return a kindness done to me and pay it forward by opening my home and my time to a traveler visiting my home state.
On an icy-cold evening in Northern India I met two other backpackers, sisters, nestled into a tiny restaurant in McLeod Ganj. We shared a table, there was not a seat to spare in the warm and cozy one-room restaurant, and backpacking stories during the hot meal. When we parted ways several hours later, they casually mentioned that if I headed to Scotland that I should stay at their mom’s house for a few days.
Now, although the offer was genuine, all parties admitted that they didn’t think I would actually take them up it. Four months later, I did, and spent a really lovely four days touring the Scottish highlands and glens with Jeannie, mom of two other RTW backpackers on year-long journeys. Jeannie graciously opened her home to me and made it her task to give me all of the highlights of eastern Scotland. Here’s a mini look at the some of the highlights from my trip to the highlands and glens around Dundee, Scotland.
A hike to the top of the gently rounded mountains afforded views of the River Tay, the North Sea and all of the low-lying farmland.
The small fishing town of Crail is quite and quaint. Small pottery shops hide in the small side-streets and the perfect cuppa tea awaited us overlooking the Sea.
Then a quick drive by Glamis Castle; this is where the Queen Mother spent her childhood.
A warm fire and hot chocolate in Kenmore at a bright and roomy restaurant overlooking Loch Tay before heading out to Fortingall to see this ancient yew tree. The tree is thought to be as much as 5,000 years old and the oldest living organism in Britain and perhaps even the world. The base of the tree was once 56 feet wide – until souvenir hunters hacked at it and natural erosion has taken away other parts. Most of the space inside the wall was once tree trunk.
More hiking surrounded in fields of Scottish heather…just like the song “Wild Mountain Thyme.”
I really loved St. Andrews and would have loved to have spent a day or two poking around. The small city is best known for golf and for Prince William attending Uni there – but it’s so much more than that. Thoroughly enjoyed this pretty little town.
And that about wraps up the highlights of the Scottish glens and highlands. Thanks to Jeannie’s graciousness I was able to explore a lot of the nooks and crannies of this area of Scotland. Again, I owe one to the Universe and loved being able to have an insider’s take on the best local hikes and towns.