Thursday, September 4, 2014


I splurged.
Just returned yesterday from a family trip to Scotland! We had an amazing time and actually relaxed a lot more than we usually do on trips since there weren't too many things we absolutely had to go see while we were there (as opposed to say... Paris, where there's some historical monument or statue every other step), and my feet are forever grateful we skipped the walking tours suggested by the guidebooks. Last time we did those walking tours I actually gained leg muscle. My calves looked more fit than they had in probably my entire life. Honest.

Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock in Autumn & Night Sky
I took a lot of pictures while we were there, but none of them were digital as I had decided to lug around 2 film SLR cameras with me already, so the only pictures I can show right now are of my acquisitions from Scotland. Of which there are quite a number, so there is no shortage of photos in this post, at least! I'll sort through the film once it's all been developed - the colour ones at least, the black and whites and redscale will take a bit longer - and see what, if any, to show after. But we did finish off a lot of film while we were there! In fact, we were afraid we might have to purchase more while we were there. Fortunately we didn't run out, and we returned home with a canister in each of our cameras to finish off here before developing and printing.

Leather wallet from Iona
 We stayed a couple of days or so in 4 places before coming home. First was Glasgow, where we took the city sightseeing double-decker buses to see the sights and get around in general.We didn't do much in terms of shopping here (in fact, I did zero shopping here and only got the PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW pin above), but I loved the general atmosphere of the place! The people there, and everywhere else in Scotland, were so friendly that I was a bit surprised at first. Not saying that people here aren't friendly, but it was noticeably different. It may have to do with population density.

From there we went to Oban via the rail. If there was a place I would've liked to stay a little bit longer in, it would be here. All the food we tried here (and just about all throughout our trip, actually) was delicious, from seafood (fresh!) to pastries (and the accompanying coffee). I only wish we made it in time for the waffles from the Chocolate Company (we were about 15 minutes too late for them). We went on a cruise from Oban to a couple of the islands nearby as well: Mull, where we saw sheep and cows wandering around while we were on the bus tour, to Staffa, which was as beautiful as it was terrifying when trying to take pictures at the edge of the cliffs, then finally to Iona, from whence I got my new wallet (above), before heading back to Oban.

Souvenirs from a leather store in Kyle of Lochalsh
On our way to Inverness we took a little detour to Kyle of Lochalsh for a couple of hours. We heard the scenery from the train would be stunning, and it definitely was! I have a tendency to fall asleep on moving vehicles though, so I only got the beginning and a couple of glimpses during my waking moments. I also got these adorable piggy banks for my friends from Kyle of Lochalsh (I'm keeping the owl for myself). There was some yarn I was very tempted to get from the store next to the leather store, but I had yarn stores marked out in Edinburgh and wanted to be sure I didn't overspend and add too much to my stash. I'm afraid I may already have a SABLE.

They're piggy banks! So adorable!
Next was Inverness, home to Nessie of Loch Ness. To be perfectly honest, I would rather have spent another day in Oban and taken out a full day in Inverness. We got there around midday, checked into the hotel, walked the River Ness to the island in the middle and back, ate at a pub (delicious! And cheap!), and retired for the day. Then the next day we went for a cruise on the Loch Ness. I must be honest and say it was rather boring. The scenery was lovely for the first couple of minutes and the sheep caught my attention, but the castle at the end of the cruise was a huge let down - we didn't go into the castle, but it was so tiny and nondescript we had to ask each other if that was what we came all the way there for! - and I napped a bit on our way back. Needless to say, no Nessie appeared.

Harley of Scotland sweater!
We took the first train we could to Edinburgh the next morning and toured the Old Town. Since it was a Sunday, it was pretty busy, with lots of stalls along the sidewalk. I wandered into Canongate Jerseys & Crafts Ltd and saw this beautiful Harley of Scotland sweater in petrel blue in my size! Well it has a tiny bit more positive ease than I usually wear, but I'd probably wear long sleeves under it anyway, so it all works out. The sterling silver ring (above, with wallet) was purchased from one of the numerous stalls selling Celtic jewellery, and it's nice and thin so I don't even feel it when I wear it about. Then, of course, my last purchase had to be something knitting-related (I suppose the sweater is knitting-related too though), so I visited Kathy's Knits after discovering that K1 no longer has (or maybe never had? I'm not sure anymore) a brick and mortar store, and perusing McAree Brothers with nothing to show for it. I was looking for something made in the UK and preferably something I had never seen before and that was not, to my knowledge, being offered in my LYSs. So I walked out with 5 skeins of Eden Cottage Yarns, 4 Autumn and 1 Night Sky. Not sure what I'll be knitting with it, but I'm pretty sure I have enough to do something big, so I'm not too worried.

Overall, had a really nice time, and would love to go back, especially to Oban (I would really like to try those waffles). I would probably also visit some other places while I'm at it instead of just staying in Scotland next time though, unless I had something in particular to attend or keep me busy. You can tell how pleased I am with this trip:
One more shot.
Last one. Really.

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