“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change
that goes on, deep and permanent, in the
ideas of the living,”
– Miriam Beard
In the summer of 2010 I slept in a haunted castle. Or so I was told that it was haunted by several ghosts and well, that is good enough for me. Carbisdale Castle is located near the Kyle of Sutherland (in the Scottish Highlands) and was built for a duchess. How cool is that? Nowadays, Carbisdale Castle is used as a youth hostel and it turned out to be one of the hostels that I stayed in for a night during my five day adventure of the Scottish Highlands. Nestled up on a hill and surrounded by woodland, the castle was a beautiful place to spend the night. However, that didn’t stop me from being terrified to go to the washroom, look in mirrors, or open my eyes even a peep once the lights were out. Unfortunately… (ok, so I’m secretly thankful!) I did not encounter any ghosts. But I did sleep in a castle that was said to be haunted. So, that bucket list goal was accomplished! Maybe now I need to add on a new bucket list goal: have a real, ghostly encounter? Even the thought gives me the creeps.
I’m hesitant about joining tour groups. It doesn’t matter where I go, if I go alone or with a friend, I am always convinced that I can just do it on my own.. and also, I always think it will be a lot cheaper than it would be to go on an organized tour. Despite that, I chose to sign up for a tour of the Scottish Highlands with a friend of mine. The two of us, along with a girl she had met earlier on her travels were all booked for the same tour: The 5-Day Highland Fling, a five day tour through the company Haggis Adventures. Those five days turned out to be the best five days I had ever had and, to this day, they are certainly still very high up there on my mental list of best days ever. I was extremely happy that I decided to book through Haggis Adventures. My group, whom we all dubbed “The Ayemac Clan” and even got a girl to draw a lovely crest for ourselves, was amazing. Truly the greatest group of people.
During the next five days, memories were made that will continue to last me a lifetime. Within five days I did many things. I did whiskey shots before lunch. I called out to Nessie and was fully prepared to offer a girl from our group as a sacrifice. I played in Neverland, the home of Peter Pan. I touched a tomb that has now cursed me with bad luck for eternity. On the other hand, I dunk my face into a freezing river in order to have eternal beauty. I rode around in the biggest, brightest yellow bus with the words Wild and Sexy on it for five days. I sat and saw a train cross over the Harry Potter bridge. I learned some traditional Scottish dance moves. I kissed Hamish the Hairy Coo. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. And whenever I see the letters DSL, I think of Deep Scottish Love, without fail. I actually asked a Scottish guy last summer if he knew what DSL meant and I was very, very disappointed that not every Scottish person knew what that meant, as I had believed.
I have always meant to write a post about my time on the Highland Fling tour but for some reason just never got around to doing it. Over the last two days, a video made by one of the guys in our group was rediscovered and has been circulating Facebook. I’ve watched it five times today already and have shown it to people who probably don’t actually care. So, I thought I would show it to all of you as well! Enjoy! And thank you, Rob, for the incredible video!