Month: June 2016

24 Hours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Between roaming the Irish countryside and touring through the Scottish Highlands on to Islay, we spent a wee bit of time in Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. Although our stay was brief (and fell just a few weeks before Brexit!), we packed in a full day of culture and history as we stumbled across so many unexpected gems in this quietly beautiful, cosmopolitan city. One could spend an entire vacation wandering Edinburgh’s storied streets, taking in its spectacular architecture, enjoying incredible dinners, and learning about the city’s intriguing history and residents – J.K. Rowling, Sir Sean Connery (James Bond slash collegiate nude model, as we would discover), Robert Louis Stevenson, and medieval witch hunters (who drowned their victims in a loch that once filled Princes Street Gardens) alike have hung their hats in the affectionately nicknamed “Athens of the North”. Even with only a day to spare, there’s a lot you can see and do – a stopover in Edinburgh is definitely worth your while if you can fit it into your travels! If you’re overnighting, …

The Whiskey Trail: Scottish Highlands to Islay, Scotland

When you marry a whiskey man (or whisky man, as they say in Scotland) with whom you share an affinity for first editions, bedroom slippers, bran cereals, Ken Burns documentaries, gardening, and heavily peated scotch (we are essentially grandparents in the chrysalis) it’s tough to decide on a honeymoon destination. Oddly enough, we both landed on a tiny island off the coast of Scotland through independent research (another beloved Hunt-Ralston hobby) and soon realized it would be the perfect spot to unwind after exploring the wilds of Ireland and bustling Brussels. Halfway between Ireland and mainland Scotland, the remote Hebridean Isle of Islay is home to whitewashed harbor villages, deserted beaches, windswept hills, ancient ruins, a visit here and there from Ron Swanson – and some of the very finest whisky and gin that this good earth has to offer. We set out through the Scottish Highlands with our trusty Nikon D3300 and a notebook in hand and came back with the most unforgettable experiences, new friends, memories, and some seriously heavenly drams. You can …