The end of April, generally, isn’t the best time to visit Scotland. When I ventured there three weeks ago, there was snow on the ground the week before I arrived. Yet, when I finally reached my host parents’ home in the village of Kincraig (near Kingussie) after an interesting commute, involving a replacement bus service due to a landslide on the track, Peter (my host dad) assured me the weather would be splendid for the weekend. Splendid turned out to be a bit of an understatement.
On Saturday, we hit it off right away by having the best porridge I’ve ever had. Granted, I don’t eat much porridge as it is, but now that I’ve had Sarah’s (my host mom), that’s the version I’ll be making for myself from now on. Good thing that breakfast was deliciously hardy because we spent the day biking through forest around Loch Inch and canoeing on the actual lake itself. While Eunji (the other student with me this weekend from Brighton) set off with Peter, Sarah and I created rumors of a new monster in a Loch, with my helmet decoration, while biking through the woods. We stopped for lunch beneath the base of the Cairngorm mountain range and headed back to the house for a canoeing afternoon on Loch Inch. Of course, that resulted in being completely soaked through and we ended our day quietly reading in the sun room that had been heated throughout the day.
Sunday was an even better day! Eunji and I started off with a walk around the loch on our own, just taking in the absolutely beautiful sights of Kincraig. Obviously, the pictures describe it better than I could, but it was wonderful to have to time to appreciate the view. In the afternoon, Sarah and Peter led us up a hill across the way from the house. I could actually see the hill from my bedroom window and when we reached the top (very self-satisfying after the steep ascent), the house was directly beneath us. On this walk alone, we saw ospreys in the nest, an eagle, red squirrels and a herd of deer seeking shelter from the approaching storm that night) in the forest. We also came upon the stone ruins of what was once clearly a village on the hill on our descent.
It was honestly amazing to spend the weekend in Kincraig; my hosts were very welcoming and gracious and the landscape was a wonderful alternative to London. After my weekend, I rushed back to London to get ready to welcome my own parents to London, which you’ll hear all about next week!