"What an ugly photo", you must be thinking. And yes, I myself don't think it's pretty either. But when I took it, we were approaching Scotland, and at that moment I experienced a sense of wonder at a land that didn't look like I expected - it seemed... more? More intriguing, more rugged, more extensive... I'm always excited about travelling, of course. Always. But all of a sudden I realized I was feeling even more excited at this land that was surprising me even as we approached from the air...
Ah, yes, of course. Though nobody should need a reason to travel, we did have one - our 13th anniversary. We've found trips to be the perfect anniversary gifts: we both get to enjoy them, they're unique, we bond, we grow, and they're simply way, way better than anything we could ever afford to buy for each other. And why Scotland? Well, funny thing, work circumstances meant I couldn't plan in advance and my husband's plans to go to either Norway or Bolivia fell through (air fares had gone through the roof for those two by the time I could finally book things). I was left looking for a destination we could fly to without breaking the bank, hopefully one that offered either great nature, great culture, or both. And out of Ireland, the Açores, London, Vancouver and Scotland, Scotland came out the winner (with Ireland a close second, though).
This was an amazing trip. It was gorgeous. It was fun. It was a great way to say goodbye to Canada (I count these destinations as part of our Canadian experience, as they're relative close and easy to get to from here). And it was a good way to remind us that staying together takes effort, that making that effort is rewarding, and that we're pretty good together, warts and all.
Ah, one last detail before I begin with the trip's posts: Fàilte gu Alba, the title of the series, means Welcome to Scotland in Scottish Gaelic. I enjoyed seeing so many bilingual sings and, as a language buff, I appreciate Scotland's efforts to preserve and promote Scottish Gaelic. So don't be surprised if I use the Scottish gaelic version of place names along with the English version.
Our next (first) stop... Dùn Èideann! Edinburgh!