As a culmination to their trip to Scotland, my parents and I stayed in a little town called Pitlochry in the Highlands for the weekend. I say little town, because it was about five blocks, but for the highlands that’s a BFD. Pitlochry is probably one of the larger towns in the center-ly (non-coastal) area of the highlands. So adorable!
We took a bit of a round-about way to get there on some wee roads that some might call paths (much to the chagrin of my poor driving father). First stop: the Falkirk Wheel. Apparently some sort of mechanical/civil engineering marvel, it’s basically a canal that lifts the boats 80 feet in the air instead of using 11 locks or somesuch. Pretty impressive actually! We even got to see it work and shtuff.
And nearby was…. the Antonine Wall! I’m fairly obsessed with this Roman wall business (don’t ask why), and since Hadrian’s Wall is kinda far away, I was willing to settle for next best. There wasn’t any stone left… but there was a ditch! That Roman (slaves) actually dug on the northern side of the wall. Yeah, that’s right. A ditch. That Romans dug. In 150AD. No need to be impressed.
Stopped by the Falls of Dochart in Killin before arriving at our destination hotel in Pitlochry, which was strangely full of old people (don’t worry about it). We also drove through part of the Loch Lommond National Park, where we saw some beautiful highland scenery and even snow. Real snow! (from afar)
We visited the Blair Atholl Castle, a castle from the 1200s (ish) that has been preserved the way it was in the 1700s. It was so different from the other castles I’ve seen! It was stuccoed white on the outside, making it look like a place someone might even want to live in sometime (imagine that). And the furnishings and plastering inside were amazing. We drove around the highlands quite a bit, eventually stumbling upon the Queen’s View, a view over Loch Tummel and some mountains and such that apparently Queen Victoria used to really enjoy. So there you go. Even their views are old here!
We happened in be in Pitlochry at the same time as this yearly event called the Enchanted Forrest. Upon hearing about it, we had no idea what it was, or if it was worth going to. With a little info, we decided to go for it and bought tickets. At 9pm, we met in town and took the bus provided to this forest a little ways from town. Exiting the bus, we walked into a wonderland of lights and music. It is basically art that plays with light and music as you walk around the forest. It was beautiful. I’d never seen anything like it.
On the way home (I mean back to Edinburgh – I guess it’s my home now!), we stopped by Scone Palace (pronounced /skun/, so don’t even), where the Scottish kings were crowned for hundreds of years. We didn’t actually go it, but we appreciated the sheer size of it (from afar). And I got to find the center of the star-shaped hedge maze (like frickin’ Harry Potter) and meet more coo, so I was happy.