Winter is coming.
Overall the weather has been super mild and lovely here. They say if you don't like the weather in Scotland, wait fifteen minutes. I've never liked that saying, because lots of people say that about where they live (except Southern California, where we're pretty sustainably warm and sunny). The fifteen min quote though, is absolutely true about Scotland. It can go from sunny, to foggy to raining, then back to sunny again before I can decide which coat to take off. Today we threw snow into the mix for good measure. Even though I grew up in the mountains (which gets way more snow than Scotland) I'd never witnessed the physical snow level dropping. We were crawling around the Urquhart castle ruins at Loch Ness when we stumbled across a fine elderly gentleman who was as anxious to find someone who wanted to chat about Picts and bards and McDonalds as much as we were anxious to listen. It was a match made in heaven. So there in the crumbling castle kitchen where some fine Mrs. Fitzgibbons type had once pickled fish, we stood in the freezing sleet and talked and talked and talked. It was there I witnessed the snow on the opposite hill start out at the top and slowly creep down like white chocolate on a sundae. Ive never seen anything like it. We eventually had to tear ourselves away only because we had to get over the mountains and back to Edinburgh before we were stuck up in the Highlands. We do sadly have to go home.
On a side note, I'm so glad we came in February. The weather has (until now) been everything a CA girl could ask for, and I would much rather share the castles with a little snow vs thousands of people. It's hard to really listen to the insides of a place with lots of people around.
Andria drove like a champ through the snow. If you live in San Diego, imagine driving on the 67 with no shoulder, barely enough room for two cars, snow, and people driving 70mph and you'll have some idea of how our (albeit beautiful) three hour drive was. Roads in the US are huuuuge compared to roads here. Pretty much your heart lives in constant assurance that you're about to be hit, but your brain has resigned itself to the fate. The margin for error seems so small, but nobody seems to think anything of careening along a rock wall in the snow with a semi truck coming straight at you. All a day in the life.
We stopped at Doune Castle on our way in which is Castle Leoch in Outlander! (and where they shot Winterfell in Game of Thrones). Jamie Fraser (Sam) narrates the audio guide and you can just picture Angus and Rupert having a drink in the kitchen while Claire pounds herbs. Unfortunately, you can also picture the Starks happily existing there before everything happened.
It was the perfect way to end this trip. We head home tomorrow, and while I've loved every second of it, I'm ready to give up the ghosts and hug some real flesh and bones.