Scotland IV Recap, Part 1 - Western Scotland

It's the moment that so many of you have been waiting for, folks! It's time for post 1 of 3 about mine and Ethan's Scottish adventure! I'm so excited to share all these amazing stories with you and take you along on our beautiful journey with us. It really was a remarkable trip - the absolute best of my entire life - and I'm looking forward to reliving it again while I write this. I can't wait for our next adventure - any guesses where we might end up? Leave them in the comments below!

My Boyfriend

Over the course of the 9 days, we bounced around from place to place a lot. So, rather than try and recap everything chronically, I'm going with a different approach - geographically. This way, over the course of the week, I'll be sharing a different corner of the country on each of the 3 days - Western Scotland, The Highlands & Islands, and Eastern Scotland, respectively. This way, I can start the posts where we began and finish where we ended - rounding the whole trip our nicely, saving my favorite place for the end. <3

Once we had landed and finally finished struggling our way through the car rental process (see my recent post all about it, if you haven't heard the story), it was time for our vacation to truly begin!

When I lived in Scotland the second time, I lived in Glasgow for a year. As much as I absolutely adore Edinburgh with all my heart, Glasgow will always hold a special place in it because I have some really fond memories there. Besides, despite what some people say, Glasgow does have its charms. So, with this thought in mind, I planned to show Ethan some of what Glasogw had to offer. We drove westward for just over an hour, making a quick pit stop at a service station for refreshments. When we got to Glasgow and finally found a parking space (which took what felt like more time than the drive itself, honestly), we checked into our lovely first hotel - The Grand Central Hotel - and both took much-needed showers to wash the long flight and all the stress away and give our trip a clean start - literally.

Grand Central Hotel

Honestly, that first night was pretty low-key for us. We cuddled in bed for quite some time and just relished in the fact that were in a foreign country together. It honestly was the happiest time of my life and I think Ethan would say something similar. We cherished every moment together and I'll cherish those memories forever.

But I digress - we ended up grabbing a late dinner at one of my favorite British takeaways - Barburrito - and then turned in for the night. We both went to sleep with massive smiles on our faces and rested peacefully until we arose bright and early the next morning, ready for adventure.

Glasgow Flowers

The next day I took Ethan on a drive around the city, stopping for Ethan’s first Greggs - an experience all U.K tourists should have - for his first sausage roll (which he loved, by the way). Then proceeded to the Glasgow Necropolis because he has a thing for historic and slightly eerie places. We walked up the hill in the rain and gazed at the city below. Soaked, we returned to the car, drove out to the West End of town where I used to live, grabbed a coffee at my absolute favorite coffee place in town, and then saw a few more sights, including the university where I worked and the one where I went to school, and then headed out of town. Regretfully, we didn't get a ton of time in Glasgow, but there's always next time!

Greggs
Glasgow

We drove north about 30 minutes to a small town called Balloch, where we would be spending our next night because Ethan and I wanted to see Loch Lomond together. In my opinion, the song couldn't be more right - those really are some "bonnie, bonnie banks".

We looked in the shops and spent quite a bit of time just taking it all in - what a sight.

Loch Lomond
Scotland

Then we took my little fish lover to the aquarium, where he was in his element, for sure. We had dinner back at the restaurant in the hotel and Ethan got to experience his first proper Scottish meal. :) And I finally got to enjoy one of my favorite Swedish ciders that I long for every day at home.

And then our adventurous spirits took over and we hopped back in the car and drove 2 hours into the harshest snow storm Scotland had seen in a long time. But the views of the highland mountains in the snow were totally worth it.

Scotland
Scotland

We stopped by Oban, because I've always wanted to go there. And even though it was late at night, I'm still glad to be able to say I've been, all thanks to Ethan. :)

Then we muddled our way through the weather and headed on back to our room at The Tullie Inn and tucked in for the night.

We woke the next morning and had our first full Scottish breakfast of the trip, which I've always loved and Ethan really enjoyed. Then we took off in our Mercedes, headed for my for favorite city in the world.

Our first few days in Scotland were pure bliss. At this point, we couldn't wait for the coming week. Everything we had done, seen, and eaten so far had only made us more excited for all the wonderfully Scottish things to come. I am so glad we took it easy for our first few days so we could rest up fully and beat our jet lag before the fun really began.

I’ve always found Glasgow to be a wonderful city - warm and funny and full of kindness.
— Gail Honeyman