One of my favorite parts of this trip was seeing Blair Castle while traveling from Inverness to Edinburgh. The rich history is so perfectly preserved. Every room was set up exactly as it would have been hundreds of years ago. The amount of detail in the stitching of the tapestries to the floor-to-ceiling portraits of beloved family members was nothing like I had ever seen. The only comparison to a castle like this in the United States would be the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. When I have traveled there in the past, I remember thinking how old it must have been. But seeing Blair Castle, which existed hundreds of years before the Biltmore was even imagined, was mind-blowing. My favorite part of Blair Castle was seeing the grand hall, which used to hold parties or dances. I can’t imagine having such a room in my house! In addition, I loved seeing the china room containing china with the family crest.
Another one of my favorite places in Scotland to visit was the Isle of Skye. We were able to take a full day to drive along the most scenic route on the Isle of Skye. We drove along the coast and I was so surprised how cold, wet, and windy it was! I was used to the coast in the United States and figured that since it was summer, the Isle of Sky would be sunny and warm. But the weather didn’t keep us from enjoying the most beautiful landscape. We drove near the rocky cliffs of the coast and it was truly breathtaking and so picturesque. With it being the weekend and sabbath Sunday, there were many people out sightseeing. I noticed how many more sheep and cows there were here roaming in the middle of the road. This surprised me because American farms are normally electrically fenced in to prevent the livestock from escaping. Perhaps since the roads are not highly trafficked, farmers don’t feel the need to carefully watch their flocks. In addition, I felt like the landscape was a lot greener in the highlands and the ground more fertile compared to southern Scotland. As we made our way along the coast, there was genuinely nothing for miles; No schools, grocery stores, shops, etc. It made me wonder if people in the UK chose to retire to the Isle of Skye or if they commuted every morning to live the more simple life in the country. We were able to enjoy Sunday dinner, a larger lunch later in the day, at the local Uig Hotel. The menu consisted of beef, chicken, bass, or risotto. These were paired with popular sides such as potatoes and vegetables. The food was so fresh and felt more farm-to-table than most restaurants in the United States.