"You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."
--Thomas Wolfe

Maybe. Maybe.

But at least we visited. Scotland in and of itself is beautiful, moody, friendly and barbed. Scotland and Mr. Kilt together blew me away. I think to really know someone, you need to know where they come from. During our trip, I got the atomic blast of all things Mr. Kilt.

I met the parents, his two brothers, his brand-new sister-in-law and his best friends from university. I saw the houses he grew up in, the storied university apartment, and where he lived when he had his university internship, driving a Coke van around Scotland for a year trying to sell Cola fridges. I tried all his favorite foods and listened to all the stories about neighborhood bullies, uni pranks, sports glory (his and his favorite football team's) and his distinguished (ahem) scholarly record. We attended one of his best friend's weddings and fell in love with another friend's new baby.

I was asked before the trip by our mutual friend if I was nervous to spend so much time together but I wasn't. We fit each other and even when we had to go through the Great Train Adventure to get home a day late, I can't imagine not having him around every day.

We saw a lot on the trip. We rented a car in York where we started our journey and drove around most of Scotland, excluding the very far north and the islands. We stayed in some charming and some not-so-charming bed and breakfasts. I could not get enough of the sheep and highland bulls and I am sure we were drawing a lot of stares as we did our best imitations of the baby sheep while walking around Glasgow. I wanted to pet the bulls but Mr. Kilt thought I might be taking my life into my hands. We had a tour of the Talisker Whisky factory and I loved the smell of the malt and the sharp sting of the whisky.

I could not resist photographing everything and in the end had over 700 pictures when I got home. The landscape, the buildings, the animals and the weather worked together to create a photographer's paradise.

I was sorry to leave on Sunday night but as we arrived at the airport for our flight home we saw that it was canceled. The ash cloud strikes again! It was quite an adventure getting home. We had a few options - wait for the airport to re-open, drive, take the train, take a ferry and any combination thereof. In the end, all we could really do was catch the last train from Edinburgh to London, spend a few hours at a questionable hotel outside the train station, ride the Eurostar to Paris at 5.30 in the morning and after a 4 hour wait in Paris (where we took full advantage of the sun and Parisian sidewalk cafes and croissants!) we caught two more trains to finally arrive in Munich 24 hours later. And I still like Mr. Kilt, even after all that.

It will be my turn in late August to share where I come from with Mr. Kilt and I hope I can show him half as good a time as he showed me!

Posted from Munich


Anonymous said...

we loved scotland. i can only imagine how amazing it is when experienced with a native.

so glad you had a good time!

Expats Again said...

What a lovely post! I've never been to Scotland, but we have dear friends there and now it is a must. Your enthusiasm has really pushed the priority of this trip up a notch. Glad you were able to have this experience with your special Mr. Kilt.

Expat Traveler said...

I second that, what a lovely report. And the last photo is oh so adorable!!! I can't wait to see more photos because I know you cannot leave us hanging with just two...