My first year in Scotland – 2019

I haven’t posted anything since beginning November. Also due to the fact that I was not really out on any adventures since then apart from one day up at Loch Earn with Claire and Sally, when we climbed up Creag an Tuirc above Loch Voil mid November.

The end of 2019 I have been spending mostly in Germany – 4 weeks all together but it is definitely feeling longer. And I am longing to be fully back in Scotland in January for new adventures. However, before I go on any longer trips again, I want to sort out a new flat for myself.

I am currently looking at either Broxburn and around or Linlithgow or Dunfermline. Dunfermline is actually on top of the list of places I want to move to.

It is not completely one year yet that I am living in Scotland but I started my new job at the 15th of January 2019 and spent a week in Edinburgh back then, so it kind of feels like my whole Scotland adventure started in January 2019.

Looking back I think it was one of the most amazing years I had in my life so far. Don’t get me wrong. It was not all rosy and shiny. I struggled a lot with my new job as things did not go as planned and I also put back on almost all the weight I had lost in 2018. And we are speaking of 20kg here. I was fine until about early summer, but then I got quite frustrated with a few things in my personal life and also experienced some more setbacks with love and my eating behaviour got out of hand again. If I would not have been out hiking so much on weekends, it would have probably been worse.

With a new place on my own sorted and finally settling with my job, I hope I can get back into a routine of more cooking better food and exercising. I already signed up for the 90 Day Plan again by Joe Wicks which I did twice in 2018 and achieved great results. I did all exercises at home and I loved how my body got all muscly and firm. I want that back. Now that I know I can do it, I hope I can achieve the same or even better results again and actually sustain them.

Generally my life in Scotland did not start very well. One week after I moved I got a cold, I had a sore throat, I could hardly speak and also had an eye infection. This all lasted for at least 3 weeks. Mid March I was finally able to go on my first proper trip and spent a night up at Loch Rannoch. Looking back it rather feels like 2 nights because I left very early on Saturday morning and drove as far as Rannoch Station. The weekend was amazing. I had the most gorgeous weather and Scotland looked beautiful with its snow capped hills under a sunny blue winter sky.

In April my manager who hired me left the company and generally things at work were a bit messy and difficult for me to cope with. I was also left kind of heart broken by a guy I had dated for a few weeks. He just decided to completely disappear.

Mid April I climbed up Conic Hill at Loch Lomond for the 1st time. I say first time, because I went up again a couple of months ago. It was my first actual hill walk if we leave aside walking up the Storr on Skye which I did in 2016 and 2017. I was really lucky with the weather this day. The views across Loch Lomond and around were breathtaking.

One week later I did a trip to Oban for a few days. From there I also drove up to Glencoe. It was proper hot that weekend. I almost got sunburnt! The next day I explored Kerrera – a small island opposite Oban. I took quite an adventurous walk around the North bit of the island – normally you would go South… I saw many lambs and loooads of coos :). Glencoe got me so hooked up again that I spent another weekend up in Coal near Fort William 2 weeks later beginning of May and also drove up to Mallaig, exploring the Silver sands along the coast. This was one of the best trips I did this year. Also managed to finally see the Harry Potter train passing the bridge. On my way back to Edinburgh it actually snowed though! How crazy is that? 2 weeks before it was 20 degrees up in Glencoe.

In May, my mum and her friend came up to visit me and also to give me company to drive my German car back to Germany. I had to go anyways as my friend had her hen party.

I did a trip up to Craigievar Castle, Dunnattor Castle and St Andrews in-between and also another trip to Invernsaid at Loch Lomond.

But for my birthday end of June, me and my friend Nadine went up to Glencoe – AGAIN 😉 – Well, my birthday we spent at Loch Lomond and were proper gutted we did not have any swimwear with us as it was hot and sunny. The next day, when we drove up to Glencoe was the hottest day of the year in Scotland with over 30 degrees in the Highlands. It was mad! We drove through Glen Etive and spent quite some time bathing our feet in the cold river. The next day was a big change though and we got into a proper summer thunderstorm and got completely soaked when we were walking through the Glencoe valley. It was also splashing down the whole way back to Edinburgh the day.

End of July I did my longed for trip to the Isle of Lewis and Harris. However, I have to admit, I planned in way too little time and also had not really planned where I wanted to go on the islands. So it all felt very rushed and not very relaxed even though it was an amazing trip. However, this is why I want to go again this year and spent some more time up there and also do a trip to Uist.

In August I finally spent some time around Edinburgh with a visit to North Berwick, Blackness Castle and St Abbs. I also finally visited the Hermitage for the first time.

Beginning of September my sister Pia came to visit and we did a trip to the Isle of Mull. We had an overnight stop at Oban first and then a great 1st day on Mull but the next day was just rain rain rain.. It was just miserable. We also had to cancel our boat trip to Staffa and Iona. So, again on my list for this year again :).

And then it was finally autumn. I have seen pictures of Scotland in autumn and had a glimpse of it on my trip end of September in 2018 but it was even better than I expected. I did trips mainly up to Perthshire – of course 😉 – and also climbed my first Munro – Beinn Ghlas. I wanted to get to the top of Ben Lawers but got too scared when it was all windy and cloudy. But I will do it this year again!!!! And also definitely Ben Lomond and maybe even Ben Nevis.

I basically only discovered the area around Ben Lawers and the way down to Bridge of Balgie because of a trip I had done to Inverary on the last weekend in September. It was an amazing trip as well as it was warm and proper sunny. I drove through Glen Orchy on my way back and ended up at Ben Lawers in proper fog and rain though. So I made the decision to go back a week later and actually climb it. I also then wanted to find the Praying hands of Mary but ended up walking up the Cairn Gorms Munro lol. So October was a lot about hill walking too ;). Topped with my walk on the West Highland Way from Kinlochleven to Fort William which almost killed my legs haha.

However, my autumn trips were some of the best of the year.

And the cherry on top this year was my Skye trip beginning of November. What an awesome end to my first year in Scotland. I was lucky with the weather and it was not crowded!

I almost feel like 2019 was a complete year of holiday in Scotland despite work. You can read about all trip in my other posts :).

And I cannot wait for what 2020 has to offer especially now that I can settle on a personal level and just enjoy going on trips.

Watch out for it :)!

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