29.04.2013 - 29.04.2013
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We didn't do a whole lot today besides travel. It was going to be a five hour drive, and we headed out early in order to get to our destination in time. Mom would pop out of the car at intervals in order to snap photos of rolling hills, waterfalls, and fields of sheep. We even drove by Loch Ness, though we didn't spot anything remotely like a plesiosaur swimming about the lake. Our one major stop was at Glen Coe, which we came across as we traversed the highlands of Scotland.
Glen Coe is gorgeous in the summer, and reportedly one of Scotland's most spectacular places to see. Our visit still gave us an impressive view, though perhaps a slightly more grey and brown one in comparison to the bright blues and greens you see when searching on Google Images. However, this gem's history is much darker than the glen itself. This is where the Massacre of Glencoe occurred in February 13, 1692. The basics of the story involve an oath made too late, unknowing hospitality, and the slaughtering of 38 MacDonald clan members. I won't summarise the whole tale, but you can check it out here.
There was a pretty comprehensive visitor's centre next to Glen Coe, which we spent quite a bit of time in as it began to rain shortly after we stopped to admire the scenery. It took us through the extensive history of Glen Coe, from the Vikings to the first clans to Percy Unna to present day. Unna is the guy responsible for much of the upkeep and guidelines maintaining the glen's natural beauty and health. In 1935, he ended up raising money in order to buy as much of the Glen Coe Estate as he could, as well as making several anonymous donations himself. He also created the Unna Principles in, which are still used in order to preserve Glen Coe for the public.
Today, you can climb, hike, and ski on the mountains. We watched a video of an experienced couple scale one of the icy cliff faces with nothing but picks and spiky shoes. When I asked my dad whether they were tied to anything for safety, he said "each other". I don't know if I'd have the guts to do that.
We arrived at our snug little cottage just before five o'clock. Hotels aside, this is probably the most compact living space we've stayed in this trip. There are two bedrooms, a washroom and a kitchen/hallway. My parent's bedroom also functions as a dining room and living room. The place is very clean, though, and was seemingly perfect until the internet connection shut down and we had to get a replacement refrigerator, which ended up in Abby's and my bedroom. Thankfully, we had it all figured out by the time Abby needed her daily West Wing fix, so our evening ended smoothly.