Hanging with Nessie

Lena Gryaznova University of Edinburgh, Scotland


October 9, 2014

This past weekend, I went on an Arcadia sponsored trip to the Scotland Highlands and ohgoodness, what a weekend!

Our first stop was the Blair Athol Whiskey Distillery. They make a single malt whiskey, and we got a very informative tour of how they make the whiskey.

We then stopped for a quick lunch and on to Leault Farm, which is a sheep farm. There we got a demonstration of how they use their border collies to herd sheep. Each dog is trained individually and has his own commands that he responds to for left, right, sit, stay, etc. It was amazing! They even had a blind dog that herds sheep by smelling them, thus knowing where they are. I then got to shear a sheep and it was SO MUCH FUN! Apparently I have 'great shearing technique'. We then got to bottle feed some orphan lambs and play with puppies.Teeny tiny puppies that were just so cute and darling! Because of this I have decided to move to Scotland and become a shepherd. And be sure to check out this video!

Then on to the site of the Culloden Battle. It was very windy, but the museum was really nice and informative and our cultural guide did a very good job of explaining everything and now I feel like things are clicking into place and making sense :) To condense an hour of information into one sentence, all you need to know about Culloden is that the poor Jacobites lost miserably.

The next morning started off with heading to Loch Ness! After hanging with Nessie for a bit, we took a boat over to Urquhart Castle and had a very cold and windy tour there. We then headed to Ben Nevis, which is the tallest mountain in the U.K. It is used for skiing and mountain biking, and is quite a steep and cold climb. So we took a Cable Car up to the top where we took in the view and ate lunch. I had Game Pie, which was like Steak pie, but with pheasant, rabbit, and venison. Quite tasty, and I followed it up with the most delicious scone ever. It has cherries baked in and had a shortbread tasting crust = super yummy.

We then took a quick stop at Glencoe. It is a volcanic and ice created valley/canyon, so pretty lush nature. All of Scotland is quite lush due to the mass amount of moisture the plants get = they remain very green and lush.