15.03.2016 - 15.03.2016
Kevin and I met up by his old apartment at 10 and headed out of town. Our original plan had been to go to St Andrews, then visit a castle and a whiskey distillery. Kevin suggested a new plan: St Andrews and then up to Inverness to see Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands.
We got to drive through much of the countryside en route to St Andrews, including the town of Dundee, which Kevin had much scorn for.
St Andrews was a very yuppy place, but rather enjoyable. We first went to the ruins of the old cathedral, which were stunning. Thy were right along the coast and much of the grounds had been turned into a graveyard. After wandering about for a bit, we walked over to see the golf course - the first golf corse in the world. It was simple, but nice. We stopped for lunch at an Italian place called Tony Maccaroni; we each had our own pizzas, which were huge!
The drive up to Inverness was gorgeous. The day had started our quite cloudy, but it cleared up completely during our drive. The scenery was breathtaking: rolling green hills, snowcapped mountains. It took several hours to get to Inverness, which is just a town right near Loch Ness. We turned back toward Edinburgh along the Loch Ness road.
Loch Ness was much larger than I had expected; something like 20+ km long. We would stop at times along the road to take pictures and admire the scenery. There is a castle nestled next to the loch, which we completely missed on or way; we turned around and came back though. They were closed, but we got some great photos. Oddly a military helicopter was hovering nearby and the flew away... hunting for Nessie....?
The sun started to fade as we continued our drive. The last that we stopped to see were some mountains that had misty clouds rolling down them. Quite amazing to see. Once it got dark we drove along a crystal clear lake that perfectly reflected the surroundings, but it was too dark for pictures.
Along he drive we listed to the radio, sang our ridiculous songs in our ridiculous voices (Sweeney Todd!, South Park bits, etc). It was just like old times when we'd sit around playing Warcraft together spouting out random nonsense.
We got back to Edinburgh around 21:30 and we settled on Chinese for dinner. It was really tasty; I had sweet and sour chicken and we split some fried rice. They were near closing and didn't seem happy that we came in, but we weren't the last customers there (good old Chinese abuse and scorn!).
It was time to say goodbye, which proved very difficult for me. I'd had such an amazing time with him; it brought back all of the wonderful days of Seattle: mocking Jay, Warcraft, drinking, Rock Band. I'd decided to change plans and come back to Scotland this fall during my epic trip, spending five days or so in Edinburgh. Knowing that we'd be seeing each other that soon helped with goodbye, but it was still difficult.