Photo Update on Scotland

Hello! I am in Killarney, Ireland right now.  Wifi in some places has been spotty & I’ve been out and about. I will write more later but here are a few photos of Scotland from after I left off. Edinburgh will come soon. 

River Ness in Inverness

“Wobbly” foot bridge over the River Ness

Whisky quote on a Scottish Pub

Inverness Castle that is actually law courts

On my Isle of Skye tour we stopped to see some Highland cows (or coos as they pronounce it )

So are you gonna feed me?

Scottish Highlands (Loch Clooney)

Scottish Highlands

Young bagpipe busker at Eilean Donan Castle

The beautiful Eilean Donan Castle

View of Portree , Isle of Skye

The drive back to Inverness

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World

Scotland Highlights – Part II 

After my near miss I settled nicely on my train to Edinburgh Waverley where I then connected to a train for Birnam and Dunkeld in the Perthshire region. I came here to listen to some traditional music at a pub known as The Taybank. They hold trad music sessions every Thursday.  Plus I wanted to see a small Scottish town and this one fit the bill nicely. I lucked out too as during my full day there it was sunny and a bright 21C. Now my face is red – who knew I’d get so much sun in Scotland?! I had booked my stay at Jessie Mac’s Luxury Hostel. The price was good and the location superb. Only 5 minutes from the train station and a pretty 10 minute walk from Dunkeld. I was met by Dot just outside the hostel as I was arriving late. Located in a beautiful old building it was more like a lovely B & B than a hostel. My 4 bed female dorm was clean & cosy. It also had an ensuite which is always a nice touch. Complimentary tea & coffee in-room, clean linens and towel, large lockers, extra blankets, plugs and lights for each bunk – it really had everything. Oh and free WiFi, a large full service self-catering kitchen and a nice lounge area. It was also quite secure. I had pre-purchased a hot breakfast at time of booking (online). I had a choice of full Scottish Breakfast or Vegetarian Breakfast plus all that came with the Continental Breakfast. It was a bit expensive in my opinion but the food was good. The next day I opted for the Continental Breakfast. 

The ensuite

My dorm room

view from dorm room window

My full Scottish Breakfast

Dunkeld and Birnam are both cute little towns. It was perfect for me to start here and adjust to jet lag. I was happy to discover the Beatrix Potter Gardens across the street from my hostel. I learned a bit about her family’s summer visits to the area. There was also statues of Mr Fox, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, Benjamin Bunny and of course, Peter Rabbit. 

A short jaunt away, over the bridge is Dunkeld. A cute town that has a number of walking, hiking and cycling trails. There is also a place for off-road rentals. Fly fishing on the River Tay is popular and there are many places to rent equipment. The Aboretum in Dunkeld is perfect for a lovely walk. The area has been referred to as a “Tree Zoo”. Native and transplanted trees can be found here.  I love trees so it was a perfect walk for me after perusing the grounds around the old church. And yes, I did hug a few trees. The town itself has some historical aspects. One in particular has a tie to Canada. The second Prime Minister of Canada, Alexander Mackenzie lived in Dunkeld. I learned that on a small placard stating what many of the buildings in town were. 

That evening, after a two hour nap (ugh, jet lag) I headed to the Taybank Pub. Not a big place but certainly great for music. I grabbed a pint and chatted with an older woman who filled me in on these “trad music” sessions. Most of the musicians this evening were in town for a fiddle workshop. Part of the program is performing at the Taybank. There was a good number of musicians, over a dozen.  They did take up most of this small pub but it was certainly worth hearing them. One of the musicians was a woman I met earlierthat day at my hostel. She had come all the way from Washington, DC in the US for this workshop. 

The next morning, after a bit of difficulty trying to get train info for Inverness I lucked out. A woman I briefly spoke to at the pub was staying in my hostel. Ends up she was driving up to John O’Groats to catch a ferry to Orkney. She offered me a lift and I paid her for the gas. I made a new friend and has a nice drive up through the start of the Scottish Highlands. I love travel!! 

View of Dunkeld from the bridge

Dunkeld Cathedral

Flowers along the River Tay

Arboreteum Walk

Arboretum Walks

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Scotland Highlights – Part I

I have been here now a few days. I arrived safe & sound into London Heathrow but then that was when the adventures began. I purchased a Heathrow Express train ticket to get me into London in 15 min and then a short Tube ride to Kings Cross Station so I could catch my train to Dunkeld & Birnam by way of Edinburgh. It was gonna be tight but I should have had 10 – 15min to spare. Well that certainly did not happen! Somehow I was put on the Heathrow Connector which is slower by about 10 min AND NOT closer to the Tube station, as I found out. So I was behind and had to go further to make my subway connection. So there I am running around the station like a crazy fool. On top of that I’m sweating from carrying my pack and being out of shape (note to self: join a gym!). When I finally did arrive at Kings Cross Train Station it is 1:56pm and my train is at 2:00pm. I quickly spot a train attendant and ask where do I enter. She directs me down the way and around the corner. I get there and need a ticket or something to enter. In a panic I ask another attendant to let me in yet not making sense. It’s 1:57pm now! Luckily he understands me and allows me in. At this point I run waving my ticket to Platform 2. The attendant by the train asks where I’m going. I try blurt out “Edinburgh” while panting heavily. He holds the door open for me as I scramble on. I look at the station clock and it ticks to 1:59pm. Relief washes over me and sadly, so does more sweat. I’m a mess but I’m on the train! Once I catch my breath I look at my ticket – Car D, seat 27. I’m at the front of the train and have to manoever myself, my backpack and carry-on through three first class cars, the food car (with a cart in the way) and three other cars before I get to mine. Everyone else is all settled in. I get to my seat and it’s taken. I really wanted that window seat. Hmmmm….Yay! I spot another one across the way. I decide to take that one as I shouldn’t be sitting beside anyone anyway , LOL. Despite my close call with missing the train I thank the Universe for letting me catch my train! Ah, travel stories! 

All pictures taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju /Wanders The World 

Time Off to Travel

Hello folks. There will be no Sunday Special happening until June. I offer in its place random pictures & posts of my time in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland  I’m looking forward to my adventures. I will also be updating on my Instagram account @Wanderstheworld #wanderstheworld and on the blog’s Facebook page. Two more days and I’m off!