Edinburgh & Scotland Road Trip

June 2014

During England's ill-fated World Cup in Brazil we escaped London and took a short break up North to Scotland.  Where better to watch England lose to Uruguay than surrounded by Scottish fans?  The decision to do so first started to feel foolish as soon as we'd crossed the imaginary England-Scotland borderline as a host of Uruguayan flags were situated outside many of the locals properties.  This wasn't a trip for solely for sport though, so aside from watching this game we also spent time in Edinburgh clambering up Arthur's Seat for some wonderful views of the Capital.  

Arthur's Seat is just a tiny hill compared to our main hiking challenge that we had planned.  After leaving Edinburgh and taking a gloriously relaxed drive North through the Cairngorms, we then set our sites on Ben Nevis.  Standing at 1,345m (4,409ft), this is the highest peak in the UK.  Despite knowing this fact, we slightly underestimated the intensity of the hike.  As we set off that day, temperatures were at a more than comfortable 21c (69.8f).  Imagine our surprise (and lack of suitable clothing) when after working up a sweat zig-zagging back and forth up the mountain, the temperatures suddenly dropped as we headed straight into dense fog.  Before we knew it, the scenery had changed again and now we were trudging slowly through a section of thick snow, along with several other under-dressed for the occasion hikers.  By the time we reached the summit, the winds had picked up, we were soaking wet and shaking as well as extremely tired.  So after a very brief break we started re-tracing our steps, back into the fog and snow, until we finally felt the relief of the sunlight hitting our faces again as we joined the long winding queue of people making their way back down the mountain for as far as the eye could see.

Eventually we made it back to our car, elated with out achievements but feeling extremely drained.  To further highlight our lack of preparation, we hadn't booked any accommodation but were relieved to stumble across a hotel with an empty room at only the second attempt of asking.  Relieved, we grabbed some much needed dinner and after a quick beer, retired to bed ready for the long drive back to London the next day.

Pete Mel