After some sleep, we woke up again for breakfast and an 8:30 bus call. Alan brought us near Fort William to Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the country with its summit at 1,344 m above sea level (4,409 ft). Fun fact: Ben Nevis’s North Face is where your black fleeces get their name.
On we drove to Glencoe, another haunting region of the Highlands where trains of cloud poured over the peaks and padded the mountain faces. We took a short hike down into Glen Coe, where the ground literally sinks beneath you like a sponge because millions of years ago there laid a glacier, which slipped away after the Ice Age. Now the ground rises about 3mm every year through the continuous soaking of rainfall.
In the Trossachs, we pulled over to say hello and give a scratch to Hamish, the most famous highland coo in Scotland. He was raised in isolation during the Mad Cow Disease rage, and apparently doesn’t know he’s a cow.
The drive back to Edinburgh was bittersweet. I realize now how absolutely, unbelievably, overwhelmingly beautiful northern Scotland is, and how overlooked it becomes by sitting so close to the booming cities of the UK. My heart has been opened up to the Highlands, and I expect I will sacrifice another trip to be drawn to it once more. But then again, life is full of surprises.
Back in Edinburgh, I walked back to The Elephant House for some dinner (Chicken Tikka jacket potato) and hot chocolate and then dessert (Chocolate fudge brownie again, because it is to die for). Danielle, a law student I met on the trip, met me there and we talked for a few hours about all sorts of things (our trip, travel, student life, religion, religious practice). Then I had to leave to catch my bus back to London.