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    Travelling through the Scottish Highlands

    Richard's version of the story

    On a not so distant long weekend, when royalty was out and about celebrating one of their finest's wedding, I got challenged to a few days out on the Highlands. After looking around for my tartan kilt, bagpipes and... oh, OK! I jest, I jest. Co-worker Sarah challenged me to a voyage to the Highlands, confessing she had mistaken me - before I had opened my mouth and my Irish accent was revealed in all its splendour - with a kilt-wearing, ginger bearded man of the north of Scotland.

    As I had never visited the Highlands she thought I should definitely be introduced by none other than herself - who had never been there before. She prepared the visit so well, though, she fooled me into thinking she was absolutely acquainted with the sights, smells and sounds, and I only became aware of the fact when we were already back down with our car hire in Edinburgh. By the way, Edinburgh is more than worth a post of itself, so I suppose we'll leave that one for later. Just have a look up there at one of the views the city has to offer and wait for when one of us decides to write more about that specific part of the visit.

    What I thought would be the hardest part of our journey was actually convincing Sarah to let me drive the car hire to Inverness. Which, eventually, was a matter that resolved itself, as we were supposed to take shifts, yet she soon traded the wheel for her ever present camera. Gladly able to drive around while she gave way to her artistic vein, car stereo loaded with a few of my favourite tunes (interspersed with a few of her own), we set ourselves on the road, starting from previously mentioned Edinburgh.

    Half way through we just had to stop to snatch a picture of those two lovely animals you can see on the picture. Sarah trying her hand at some unfortunately misplaced jest by stating that they could also be two friends travelling together: I, the larger of the bunch and she, the delicate and graceful smaller beast. The incident had already been forgotten when we had reached Inverness. You can already imagine how many pictures Sarah took of Loch Ness's waters, in search for Nessie. I can assure that we did not see anything quite like in the shape of an otherworldly entity, but that didn't stop Sarah. We eventually settled by the side of the lake and enjoyed one of the brilliant meals I had prepared for the journey. At first I teased her with the notion of haggis, but she soon called my bluff and discovered I had taken homemade lasagna instead - a recipe my Italian ancestors had passed down in the family.

    The following day we headed with our car hire to Aberdeen, with a stop on the way to visit Dunnottar Castle. It's just one of those castles we imagine instantly when thinking about the glorious days of the historic Highlands. Notable visitors once included famous William Wallace, Mary, Queen of the Scots or even King Charles II, so the now ruined castle's remains by that fantastic cliff top shed an aura of greatness that puts visitors in absolute awe. The sight alone is beautiful, though.Writing about Scotland isn't easy. The greatest problem is knowing when to stop. I'll leave some room for Sarah's version of the story, because I know she'll be eager to write about the toil and trouble of travelling with a grumpy half-ginger man.

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