Since coming back from Australia and Dubai the last three months have flown past in a blur of work, baking, djing and partying. My career break officially started on 10 May, which has left me two weeks to organise for the next leg of the trip: Canada and Europe.
Before leaving Scotland i wanted to have one last trip to take some memories away with me, so over the May bank holiday weekend (and my birthday weekend…) Ross and i planned a cross country road trip which consisted of Glasgow, Aberfeldy, Glenshee, Dufftown and Nairn over three days. In Glasgow we stayed in a hotel on Great Western Road which was in the heart of the West End right next to the Botanic Gardens and Byres Road. It had been over a year since I last visited Glasgow, and i was eager to get back. It seems to be a city that draws you back, since the atmosphere and lifestyle is so buzzing.
After a 3 hour drive down snacking on birthday goodies and listening to Frank Ocean and JT’s new albums (both mediocre save for a few songs) we arrived in a balmy Glasgow and went for a walk to the Botanic Gardens, where the rhododendrons and orchids were in full bloom. That night we enjoyed wine and tapas at Cafe Andaluz, a well known Spanish restaurant which is renowned for its baked goats cheese and marmalade dish. The most outstanding dish i had that night though was honey glazed battered chicken, it was so succulent and sweet and went perfectly with the choritzo, aubergine and patatas bravas sides. Afterwards, we had a bit of an epic pub crawl and ended up in Oran Mor for Rekorderligs until late in the night.
On the Sunday we woke up to a humid, overcast day and strolled down to Stravaigin for brunch. I just love the architecture in Glasgow, rows of tenement flats with manicured front gardens and high bay windows. After a morning of reading the paper, lattes and eggs benedict we walked through Kelvingrove Park admiring the daffodils and cherry blossoms (and skateboarders!) and spent the afternoon at the museum.
After more meandering through Ashton Lane and Byres Road, we crossed the river Clyde to Springfield Quay so that Ross could experience his first Nandos and at about 5pm we went back on the road back up the A9 to Aberfeldy. By this time it was pouring with rain, and i was driving and after a near miss in a 4 car pile up we got pretty lost, but it was fine because the scenery was so lush and green it was a pleasure to see more of that type of countryside. Eventually we arrived at Lurgan Farm B&B, and Jane welcomed us in to her home and showed us our room and private lounge downstairs. We spent the evening curled up on the sofa playing cards by the fire, it was perfect.
The following morning we had breakfast by the window looking out over rolling fields which were teaming with bird life, and shortly after that we set off again on the back roads to Dufftown, via Tomintoul (which by the way according to the news is currently snowed in.. in May!!!). The drive is incredible; you pass through green fields with sheep, forests, bare scrubland which looks as if its never been touched by humans, mountains… it has it all! After a creepy stop at the Spittal of Glenshee we grabbed coffee in this inn which wouldnt look out of place in Twin Peaks, and by the time we got to Dufftown in the afternoon it was a scorching 17 degrees. The 5 star Visit Scotland rated Glenfiddich Distillery sits proudly to the north of the town, and was crawling with tourists when we arrived. A distillery tour is free, and at the end you get to sample 3 of their most well known drams: the 12 year, 15 year and 18 year single malts. All were delicious, but the 18 year was really special – a nice after dinner dram. After a walk along the grounds we hit the road again and carried on the back road to Forres, and then through to Nairn. After stopping off at a family friends house to say hello i showed Ross the Geddes Trout Fishery, where my dad and i had fished in January. There were 7 fisherman(and ladies!) trying their luck in the early evening light, and after watching them for a while we decided to head back to Inverness since time was getting on and we both had that “Sunday Night School Tomorrow” feeling.
After getting fish and chips we watched Into the Wild, since we had both recently read the book. It was a nice end to the weekend, and since i only had 4 more days of work until i was finished i was in good spirits. I will leave you with a quote from the film: “Happiness isn’t real unless its shared.”