Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scotland Part Deux: (Insert Sleazy Highland Romance Novel Title Here)

When we last saw our heroes they had just fled Glasgow, high on the after effects of the worlds best cookies ever eaten, headed towards the mystical, mythical, and every so romantic Scottish highlands. One of them was enjoying the challenge of driving on the wrong side of the road while shifting with his left hand. The other spent her time wondering just how and when they would be sucked back in time to meet some steamy kilt-clad highlanders and forced into unplanned marriages for dubious reasons. Nevermind that she was head-over-heels for the 21st century American sitting next to her, that's just what happens in the Scottish highlands, people. She reads, you know. Only the best literature, of course.

The first part of their journey took them along the banks of Loch Lomond, and oh, my lovelies, were those banks ever bonny. So bonny, in fact, that the aforementioned reader-of-high-literature began to helpfully squeal every time the loch came into view "That's Loch Lomond! Like the song, honey! LOCH. FRIGGING. LOMOND!" Her ever patient husband took it all in good spirits, patiently refraining from strangling his giddy-but-insane new wife. He even pulled over to photograph the moment, and managed to stop said wife from jumping into the magical waters of the Loch in the process. Luckily the weather obliged, and it was suitably dreary and glum for such a momentous Scottish moment.
Oh you take the high road and I'll take the low road, but I went to Scotland before you, suckah!

Luckily for our patient hero, their path soon led away from those magical waters and into other freakishly beautiful scenes. His young, giddy wife, having finally exhausted her repertoire of Scottish/Irish/Pirate folk songs (they all blur together after awhile, don't they?), eventually ceased her giddy humming and began her giddy photographing. She did not require him to pull the car over....much, but took on the challenge of taking 4 gigabytes of digital images with the gleeful determination of one possessed. Possessed with the spirit of a 200 year old Scottish highlander about to steal them back in time for swashbuckling romance and kilts? My dears, one can only hope! 

Look closely, I'm sure there's a time traveling Scot in there somewhere.

Come on, highland romance novel guy, it's like you're not even trying to abduct us.

It must be admitted, at this point, that our protagonists had only the vaguest idea of where they were going that day. Beyond the general direction of "North and West", they merely hoped to get more than half way to Durness before night fall. Thus it was, with a glorious freedom from having any idea where they were, that the two stopped for lunch at the small cafe in the tiny town next the the gorgeous old church pictured below. The cafe, unfortunately, did not merit a picture. The extra strength mustard on the sandwiches and the rich, creamy hot cocoa that came afterword, did. Unfortunately, our diners were too overcome with the joy of warm food to be bothered with picture taking. (Also they thought photographing their hot cocoa would make them look kind of crazy.)
Top right: Old Church, Top Left: Old Dead People. Not Pictured: Intense Scottish Mustard on rye.
The afternoon passed in much the same way as the morning had, with giddy squealing, patient driving, and much taking of digital photos. And then there was this.

Do you really need a caption for this awesomeness?

Unwilling to leave Eileen Donan and the prospect of it being a gateway to that time travel she'd been waiting for since the frigging plane landed, our heroine decided that they would stay in the nearby village for the night, eat dinner from the local pub, and otherwise wait to be abducted by eighteenth century men in kilts. Her obliging husband quickly found them a suitable bed-and-breakfast and then ran to the pub for "anything with french fries". Oh how I wish our dear honeymooners had thought to take the camera down for what happened next. Alas, when her bridegroom returned, victoriously with his french fries, and pulled her outside for what would turn out to be one of the coolest things our lovely young bride would ever see in her life, she left the camera on the bed. And thus it is, my dear friends, that I cannot show you any evidence of how creepy/romantic/unreal that castle looks when it is lit up at night under a sky of stars reflected in the waters of the loch. I cannot even tell you, my lovelies, because it was just that amazing. 

So, did sword wielding immortals of the clan MacCloud come tearing across the stone bridge and drag our two heroes into some swashbuckling adventure as per highland-romance tradition? Given that the bridge groom not only has a growing collection of swords but also the ability to handle himself in swordplay....stay tuned, dear ones, stay tuned! 

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