Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scotland Quatro: Mr Awesome buys a skirt.

This day, people! This day! It was sunny, we started it out on the beach and had excellent hot chocolate and truffles for breakfast in the coolest little artist village, and then we got in our rental car to continue our journey. Little did we know it would turn into the drive of death. That's right. We went from "Oh isn't this just too perfect?" to "We're gonna die, we're gonna die, we're gonna die!" in less than half an hour.

Let me tell you something about rural Scottish roads, here. They are all very picturesque, you see. They wind down between hills and valleys, with fabulous green vistas and glinting lakes here and there, and of course the ever-present sheep. Perfect for a road trip. Unless you want to live through it.

 Be sure to enjoy the view, it may be the last you ever see.
It's sunny! In Scotland! And we're not dead yet!

Because they are also quite narrow roads, one lane really. And if you happen to be coming up on an oncoming car? That's when the fun starts. In theory you just pull over into the closest "passing place", a little crescent of pavement just wide enough for your car to fit while the other car passes. These "passing places" are scattered along both sides of the road, not quite regularly. And it's a good thing they are there too, since the road is often running along a cliff face and there really would be nowhere else to go. What's that you say? What if there's a car coming at you but no passing place to pull into? Hehe, ever heard of Russian Roulette? Because that's what it feels like. Oh, and did I mention the road winds and swoops over and around the mountains and hills? And that it rains a lot there? And that Mr. Awesome was shifting with his left hand while passing people on the left side of the road? And remember those sheep I mentioned? Oh yes, and the other drivers are NOT very good about slowing down instead of careening straight at you like frigging road-runner on crack. So basically...

We survived, but I have no clear recollection of how. I do know it involved a lot of screaming and laughing and "If this is the end, honey, know that I love you!" But somehow, eventually, we pulled into Inverness.

Inverness, my lovelies, can you dig it? We certainly could. This was one of two occasions on which we opted for an official tour of anything. Our tour guide wore a kilt, spoke with a very deep Scottish burr, and said some very misogynistic things to me. I called it a win then and I'll call it a win now. Don't look so shocked. Misogynists crack me up. They're better than Glenn Beck. Also he talked about executions and torture and stuff. It was all very gothic.

 Inverness castle. Big thanks to our tour guide Cameron, who has forever tainted this view with thoughts of heads on spikes and entrails being drug out and...ick.

That evening, finding ourselves in a "city" once again (Inverness is not actually very big, but it gets city status for being so historically important and all that jazz.), we went out to get ourselves some night life. But it turns out, we suck at bar hopping. So, we went into a kilt shop...mmmmmm, the kilt shop.

For the next hour I got to "help" pick out all the trappings. The kilt, the belt, the laced-up shirt, the socks, the dagger, the whole bit. And when we walked out of our second kilt shop I had something I'd been longing after for most of my life: My very own man in a kilt. Mr. Awesome tried to convince me to buy myself something too, instead of just letting him "get all this stuff for myself." How cute! He thought it was for him! Silly boy.

And then my new kilt owning man took me for a long walk along the River Nis at night. It was gorgeous, and romantic, and pretty much perfect. Again.

Tomorrow, though, tomorrow we start in on the castles*! (Screw romance novels, this stuff is legit.)

*Actually, we stopped by two castles on our way to Inverness, but I figure I'll just lump them into one giant "Castles" post and we can all ooh and ahh together then. Here's a teaser though: MacBeth!

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