My 1st trip alone – Scotland August 2017

Mealt Falls

As written in my previous post, I wanted to see Glen Coe and especially Skye again, having more time to spend at both places. But because no one wanted or had time to come with me – I decided to go by myself. This was the first time I ever went on a holiday alone – or a trip. I was scared because if something happens, you are just out there on your own.

But I wanted it so badly, so I booked the holiday. I planned it all out very early in the year, so had no difficulties in finding great accommodations.

I spent 2 nights in Glen Coe, in a B & B right at the shores of Loch Leven and then 3 nights on Skye, near Broadford in an AirBnB with an amazing view across the sea, which was great for sunsets.

I flew from Düsseldorf to Glasgow and hired a car to drive up. I was so nervous I got completely lost, once I drove off the airport onto the motorway and actually landed in Glasgow city where I almost drove into a one way street – like the wrong way…

Glen Coe

Glen Coe

I finally found my way and enjoyed my drive along Loch Lomond up to Glen Coe. And guess what – it was raining the whole way :D…

When I stopped in Glen Coe on my way to take a few pictures, you could hardly see anything because of all the low hanging clouds. But I loved how green it was everywhere.

When I arrived at my B & B I was beyond happy. It was right at the Loch, with my room facing the water. The host lady was super nice and my room was very cosy.

Loch Leven

I did not stay long in my room after my arrival but instantly headed back out even tho the weather was not great. I wanted to spend as much time around the area as possible.

Buachaille Etive Mòr

When I woke up the next morning I was delighted to see the reflections of the hills around Loch Leven on the water. It was not like blue sky, but it was dry and I headed out to drive through Glen Etive. No idea how long it took me in the end until I arrived at Loch Etive because I kept stopping all the time to take pictures… Obviously once I arrived there it started raining again…

Road into Glen Etive

But I had my rain coat and umbrella and just enjoyed myself. On the way back I had a herd of deer on the road too. I then stopped at one of the car parks along the A82 through the Glen to go for walk through the hills. And this was the first time on that trip I realised I was not as prepared as I thought for Scotland’s weather and to go hiking…

Loch Etive

Yes, I was wearing proper hiking boots but I did not encountered like proper mud. So when I walked along the path which was obviously already very muddy from all the rain I started thinking I should have taken hiking sticks. Then this mud puddle came up. People were jumping on little rocks that stack out the mud to cross it or they had a partner that helped them across or a stick to hold onto. I had nothing to hold onto and my balance at this time was a disgrace. So the obvious happened when I tried to cross the puddle by jumping on the rocks – I landed in the mud with one foot drowning completely in it. I saved my other leg somehow – I cannot remember how 😀 – and actually managed not to land in the mud with my whole body! But that was the end of my hike that may have lasted 10 minutes hahaha.

I eventually cleaned my boot with some tissues and water from the little river nearby and then drove back to the B & B.

Generally I had a great time in Glen Coe then even though the weather was proper Scottish. But I took great pics and I loved it nevertheless.

Isle of Skye

The next day I was off to Skye. And it was raining… When I arrived in Breakish I recovered a little from the drive and headed straight out to the Old Man of Storr.

The first time me and my friend only walked half way up – like not even close to the needle. I was in very bad shape back then. I was not much fitter now but at least a little bit more. I started making my way up and then it poured done like hell! I had my umbrella but that did not save me much. I was soaked. And there were people walking up in jumpers and trainers. I could not believe it! It was all muddy and slippy and I really wonder how they all made it up and back down in one piece. Because I slipped as well several times.

Me on the Old Man

I kept pushing myself though because I set myself the goal to climb on the Table. And I did it. And at the time I arrived on top of it I was all by myself. I felt amazing.

After I safely arrived back down I drove up to the Quiraing. And the sky finally lifted and I had an amazing few. I was very lucky with my timing and really avoided the crowds everywhere.

Quiraing

On my way back I had a big pot of mussels for dinner in the Sligachan pub. It was so yummy. And then I was able to watch an amazing sunset from outside my accommodation. It was a great 1st day on Skye.

On my 2nd day I left very early to go to the Fairy Pools before everyone else arrived there, especially the big coaches.

On a side note I am finding it quite insane, that they do trips to locations such as the Fairy Pools where there is no infrastructure set up for so many people and generally people just not caring about what they do to nature by walking all over the place.

Walked up with heavy clouds hanging above the Cullins but at least I got to see them properly. The last time me and my friend did not get that we actually had to walk a bit to the pools ;D we only stayed at the very beginning where some small waterfalls run through the field.

Fairy Pools

Generally that trip to the pools did not last long so I drove up all the way North to Talisker Bay. That was pretty cool! Even though the way to get there was a bit adventures. I kept thinking what the hell am I going to do if I have an accident or my car breaks down? I would have been f***ed.

Talisker Bay

Afterwards I headed up Neist Point. And that was the 2nd time I realised I was not well prepared. At least not in terms of wearing appropriate clothes. It was storming and raining. I hardly made it half way to the lighthouse when I turned around. Wind and rain were slashing in my face. I was wearing jeans and my rain coat. I was soaked down to my underwear in minutes. So I went back to my car and got changed. I was thoughtful enough that I had packed extra clothes.

Neist Point

I drove all the way back down to my AirBnB which from Neist Point is basically on the other side of Skye. Rested and then drove down to Elgol. Which was just the best spontaneous idea I could have.

Elgol

And I fell in love with that place. I walked down to the little harbour to just have a look around. There were not many people there. I decided to do the short boat trip to Loch Coruisk and the banks where the seal colonies are. I was not disappointed. It was only me and a Spanish family on the boat. I saw loads of seals and it was just such a nice and chilled little trip.

Seal Colony

The next day I already had to leave back Glasgow for a night before flying back to Germany. I was so sad and already planned my next trip where I wanted to go to Skye again. And yes I booked it all the second I got home…

Eilean Donan Castle

Learning from that first trip alone:

  • Wear appropriate rain gear when you go hiking in the Scottish Highlands or drive to the sea in rain and wind 😉
  • Take hiking sticks with you if you know it will be muddy or walking on steep hills when you are not good in balancing
  • I was completely fine going all by myself. I did not feel uncomfortable once.
  • I enjoyed spending as much time where ever I wanted.

2 thoughts on “My 1st trip alone – Scotland August 2017

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