Scotland 2015 / by William Bryan

We rushed out of the Disclosure concert holding on to each other like a train linked together to avoid getting lost — me at the head to find/force our way through the crowd — there were 13,000 other people that needed to pick up their bags from the bag-check, and we had a bus to catch.

We left mid-way through the last song and still had a line of 200 people in front of us at the coat-check station, it was 11 pm and our bus left at 11:30, we were cutting it close. After anxiously making our way to the front of the line and grabbing our bags we rushed outside to find a taxi.

11:10 pm.

Finding a taxi outside of a massive venue, after one of the most popular artists in the U.K. just played, while competing with the 4,000 people who had made it outside for a taxi is a bit of an up-hill battle. So after losing in the frantic fight for a taxi four or five times we were starting to realize that we weren't going to make it.

11:15 pm.

We'd walked a few blocks from the venue and were now standing on the corner and waving down any car that would give us a second glance. Finally one stopped. I wasn't part of the negotiations, best to leave the new kid on the block out of that, but we ended up paying £20 to a random person (not a taxi driver) to get us to the bus station. Google Maps says the trip takes 17 minutes, somehow, we arrived with two minutes to spare. The doors closed and the bus pulled out as we caught our breath after running through the station.

11:30 pm.

Over the course of our time in Scotland, we explored Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, St. Andrews, Stirling Castle, and even managed to make it north into the Highlands. Days filled with rain made it hard to take photos, but I managed nonetheless. The five days on the ground instantly made me reminisce about my four months in Dublin two years ago. I'll have to find a way to come back for a longer period of time.

Below are a series of galleries from different parts of the trip (and country).


Edinburgh Castle

Both guidebooks and several articles online said that visitors should spend about an hour at Edinburgh Castle. We spent at least four — exploring the ramparts of the castle, checking out the Crown Jewels, and snaking our way through the National War Museum of Scotland. 

St. Andrews

It was hard to see as much as we would have liked with the sun going down around 3:45 every night and waking up late because of jet-lag, but we made the best of it. 



The wonderfully nice Scots at our hotel managed to find us a rental car on terribly short notice, so we made our way north of Edinburgh in search of Skyfall-esque views of the Scotish Highlands.

As we drove we watched the thermometer on the dashboard go from 3 degrees, down to 2, then 1, and finally it hit a steady 0. I looked up at the dark sky and wondered if it would snow. We'd packed for rain, we were visiting Scotland after all, but snow?!

A few minutes later the rain that battered the windshield grew quiet as it slowly changed to fluffy snow. We continued on as we raced the sun to the horizon, trying to see any bit of the Highlands before it grew dark.