The streets were no longer buzzing with partiers when we walked back to the aparthotel this morning. This time around, our only company was the crews cleaning debris from the festivities last night, and a handful of early risers getting their steps in before the streets got crowded again. Our mission was to bring breakfast for everyone at the aparthotel and fortunately we succeeded thanks to a conveniently located Tesco, only a block from the aparthotel.
In order to make the most of our time in Edinburgh, we bought tickets for an early train out of Inverness. The others took a bus back to Fort William to pick up their rental car and drive to Edinburgh where we would meet for a special dinner, to celebrate Corey & Kate’s 15th anniversary!
We slept for almost twelve hours, though I felt like I could have slept for twelve more. When I finally rolled over in bed, the clock read 8AM. Our plan was to hike Ben Nevis, but, after a glance at the pouring rain outside our window, we began to reconsider. Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the UK, so this plan was a hard one to let go, but as the day wore on and the rain didn’t stop, I eventually accepted that it just wouldn’t be worth it. Chris kept saying, “Let’s just see how the day goes,” up until almost 1PM, because he wanted to make sure that it was my decision to not hike up the mountain, so that I couldn’t pester him with guilt-inducing comments for the rest of the trip about choosing not to do the hike!
Several months ago, Chris and I were invited to join his brother, Corey, and his brother’s family for a trip to the UK, highlighted by a four day bike tour in the Scottish Highlands along the Great Glen Way. With the wedding and honeymoon later this year, we were hesitant to commit, especially considering that Chris only gets ten days of vacation. It was tempting nonetheless, because neither of us had ever been to the UK, and the fully-supported bike tour would be a fun contrast to our self-supported tour last year. After giving it plenty of thought and coming to peace with the fact that our honeymoon would only be about one week long, we decided we would join them for the Scotland portion of their vacation (they took two weeks for England and Scotland, but, in order to preserve vacation days, we decided to meet them in the middle). After asking several times, “Are you sure you really want to include us in your family vacation?”, they insisted that they would love to have us along. We’re a bit skeptical that they invited us so that Chris would take care of any mechanical issues during the bike tour, but before they could change their minds (or learn to fix bikes themselves) we bought plane tickets and reserved spots for the bike tour!
- The general itinerary for our trip:
- Days 1-2: Fly to Glasgow, sightsee, then board a train to Fort William, where we would start the bike tour.
- Day 3: Perhaps hike Ben Nevis, then meet up with Chris’ family, who would be driving a rental car up from London.
- Days 4-7: Ride the Great Glen Way to Inverness, overnight stops in Invergarry, Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit.
- Days 8-10: Take a train to Edinburgh, relax and sightsee with Chris’ family before flying home to Boston.
Fast forward a few months, and the exciting day finally came…
We left Boston around 5:30PM, with only an hour delay for our flight. Our first flight, to Halifax, was in a prop plane!
This was just the beginning of a great feast at Mader’s German Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI. Thanks to MK for insisting that we stick around for the afternoon to see downtown and eat some great German food at one of his favorite restaurants. The food certainly didn’t disappoint, the service was fantastic and the building has some great history. Highly recommended!