The Highlands or Bust!

How great can five long days in a big yellow bus with the words “Wild & Sexy” written on the side possibly be?

Extremely.

The past five days have been a whirlwind: between ferries, speech drafts and presentations, and essay drafts, it feels as if no time has passed at all, but at the same time, it has been the longest week of my life (well, that may be an exaggeration, of course. We’ve all been through finals week!).  In truth, I don’t remember the names of the towns we stayed in or of all the monuments and national parks we stopped at. All I know is that the 17 of us had an absolute blast.

On Tuesday, we took a ferry up to the Isle of Lewis and made a stop at the Butt of the Isle of Lewis. There, we stood at what felt like the edge of the world – to the north of us was the Arctic ice cap and directly to the west was Nova Scotia. This edge of the world is stunning. Black cliffs, spongy land beneath your boots, and an overcast afternoon make for one heck of a view.

Cliffs at the Butt of the Isle of Lewis

I also had the opportunity to see Loch Lomond. During a brief, unplanned bathroom stop at a visitor’s center on the Loch, I hopped off because I needed a photo. I was a choir kid in high school, and my junior year we sang “Loch Lomond”, a traditional Scottish song. To this day, it is one of my favorite pieces I have ever performed with that choir, and so I knew I had to get a photo of the Loch so I could say I’ve been there (even if only for about 5 minutes!).

The bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond

Despite my attachment to Loch Lomond, I must give the award for my favorite views to Glen Coe, in Clan Donald country. It was another short stop, and even the fifteen minutes we spent there could have easily been stretched to hours, but Glen Coe was a beauty. Standing in front of these huge, majestic mountains, I felt as if I was standing in a super high-quality photograph that people would (and probably have!) paid a lot of money to have on display in an art museum. The mystic beauty of Glen Coe can’t be beat.

Glen Coe
I have to own up to taking a highly stereotypical photo there, because truthfully, I couldn’t resist.

In the end, the Highlands are an unbeatable experience and a must-see if you ever find yourself in Scotland. The experiences I had in the Highlands are going to stay with me forever, and thankfully, so will the photos.


Victoria Davidson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City double majoring in History and Foreign Languages and Literature with a German emphasis. Victoria is spending July abroad with the faculty-led UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.