Monday, March 7, 2011

Scotland 3: Durness, My Love

It's this little tiny town at the edge of the island, right there where the land meets the sea and beautiful things happen. It was rainy and dreary and wonderful when we finally parked the car and took the trail down to what we had anticipated would be a highlight of our trip. Smoo Cave is supposed to be one of the top 10 things to see in Scotland if you're a nature lover, and the boat trip around the waterfall inside the cave was one of our top priorities when we planned the road trip. I'm going to be honest with you, and tell you that Smoo Cave is so much less awesome than it should be. And, okay, fine, it was flooded while we were there which made the boat trip impossible (in fact the waterfall had expanded so much that trying to look at it was pretty much the equivalent of being violently smacked in the face with some seriously grumpy Scottish water). But still, it's not like rain is an unusual occurrence around those parts, you know? Also the cave was small and it did not contain any Smoos. In fact, I still don't know what exactly a Smoo is. Talk about a let down.

Smoo Cave, from inside. Note the lack of Smoos.
 Smoo Cave from above. Still no Smoos.
Durness from the cliffs.
Looking out to see from just above the cave. 

And then there was the sea. Am I the only one who does not equate Scottish beaches with white sand and glittery turquoise water? Well color me misinformed because that's exactly what we found at Durness. And the cliffs topped with green grass and heather were like the unnecessary icing on that cake made of gorgeous. We climbed up, we climbed down, we went through gates that we probably shouldn't have toward vistas that were less safe than breathtaking, and we loved every minute of it.

Again, caption not really necessary for this level of awesome.

And when we woke up in our cozy B&B the next morning, we practically bounced back to the beach for a second look. As with all our stops, we left before noon, but not before stopping by the nearby artist's colony where we sampled some serious artisanal chocolate. And, as with all the food we had tried so far, it was pretty dang grood, yo.

 So cheesy, and happening anyway.
The Sea!
What? It's a honeymoon, people. Lovey-duvey stuff happens.

Oh wait, that last bit about the food all being awesome? Total lie. I forgot (or perhaps attempted to purge from memory) the dinner we had at the local pub the night before. I don't really remember what I ordered or what it tasted like. I do, however, vividly remember the side of haggis that Mr. Awesome ordered. And oh, for the love of all things edible, was it every disgusting. Greasy and meaty and like no other taste I've ever had the misfortune of experiencing in my mouth, that stuff is NOT for the weak. In fact, when the bartender noticed the little dish of haggis looking almost untouched after we had both sampled (and repented of) it, she walked over chuckling and said "Couldn't take the haggis, eh?"

No, madam, that we could not.

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