After our Edinburgh stay, our next journey will bring us up to Scotland Highlands for the next 5 days! While we were in Edinburgh, there are many tours that will bring you up the highlands.
However, we decided to drive up ourselves! Because that’s where we can have all the fun by traveling on our own! Nonetheless, if you hate planning your own journey, you can always join customized tours that bring you to fun places too!
Collecting out car at Edinburgh Airport
And so our first stop, is to the Edinburgh airport to collect our car! We booked the car few weeks back, and we will be collecting it at the airport, as it has a huge fleet of cars for us to choose from.
Same for you. If you’re planning a road trip up the Highlands, rent a car from the airport, instead of the train stations. Read on to find out why!
We rented our car with Hertz, all done through the website. When we collected the car at the Hertz counter at the airport, it was quick and easy. The personnel just needed to go through our booking.
The personnel also told us about the added insurance coverage, that will cover all damages of the car, and even if it is stolen, we don’t have to pay a single cent. It is additional few hundred dollars for the 5 days. So for a piece of mind, we upgraded our insurance coverage.
And we got our car!
But hey… we booked the Ford Focus on their website, but instead got a Mercedes C220D! We were so excited having such a cool upgrade! And this is our first time going on a road trip together!
So it’s a Mercedes, but we have never driven one. We struggled for a long 5 minutes, before knowing how to start the engine, and get used to the other buttons and signals. But we’re drivers, we end up figuring out everything ourselves.
Their seats even have heating elements too, and will heat up the seat when you came back from the cold outside.
Here we go… to our first stop at Pitlochry!
First Stop – Pitlochry
It’s a long way up but the journey is quite smooth. Probably because the Scotland expressway is really easy to drive. The traffic is smooth, the road is smooth (no pot holes or whatever).
And because we have 3G network and GPS on our phone, we just need to follow the map and drive. This is our first time driving overseas!
We reached Pitlochry in a 1 hour or so, and we had our lunch there. The GPS gave us a wrong turn and brought us to some residential area to park our car. Doesn’t matter. It’s quiet and let us pose with our Merc.
That’s the reason why if you’re also renting a car for your road trip in Scotland, retrieve it at Edinburgh airport as you may have a better fleet of cars to choose from… without additional charge!
So we drove to the city centre and park our car, and found some simple cafe for our lunch.
Just like the other lunches we had in Scotland, we also had fish & chips here. It’s the most common food there. This time, we had mac & cheese too.
We parked our car for 1 hour. So after our lunch, we walked around the small Pitlochry town. It’s really small hence there’s nothing much to walk and see. But it’s a good pitstop for us to take a break before we set off again.
So here’s the Pitlochry city centre!
Second Stop – River Tummel
As Valerie drop up from Edinburgh, now it’s my turn to drive!
Next stop is River Tummel.
And here’s the route we’re going to drive…
Not a long drive, but it will be a scenic one. As you can see from the map, we are driving along the river line.
But it’s also all greenery, with sheeps littered here and there.
They are quite amazed there’s cars driving pass their territory. Quite a nice scene driving past these little sheeps.
More sheeps! Sometimes they bleat back at you.
As you can see, we’re driving along the river line too.
The inner roads here are really quiet. Only you, the trees, and a few sheeps here and there.
But the scary thing is… these are all one-way lanes.
In other words, if there’s another car who wants to overtake me, both of us have to manoeuvre our way out really carefully, or either one will drop out to the side.
But luckily, there’s no other car, except others.
This tells you how quiet and little populated the place is.
And this gives us the opportunity to drive slow, and park wherever we like. Without worrying about parking space or crowded areas.
So here’s the first viewpoint of River Tummel!
We drove slightly downstream, and we reached the Tummel Bridge. (viewpoint #2)
And we drove down further, and even closer to River Tummel. We’re at viewpoint 3!
After this, I drove out of the narrow lanes along River Tummel, and handed the wheel over to Valerie. And we’re off to our next stop!
Third Stop – Inverness
This is an hour plus ride up to Inverness. Higher up into the Highlands!
Don’t let the map intimidate you. It looks like a long journey up.
But again, Scotland’s highway are easy to drive. No jam, smooth road.
It’s just up up and up.
We’ve been on the road for quite some time, and our next stop is straight to the hotel that we’ve booked earlier at Inverness.
Our hotel is Mercure Inverness Hotel. A hotel that’s set right in front of River Ness. Near to Eastgate shopping Centre, Mark’s and Spencer and Tesco.
That’s us and our rented car which have come a long way up to the Highlands with us.
We checked in at 7.45pm. The Eastgate shopping centre is closed. There’s no other places for us to go for that night.
Nonetheless, we still managed to catch the sunset at the bridge.
It can be the backdrop of some wallpaper. If you like it, just go ahead and download it. Just credit my page will do. (But please don’t sell it, because I’m giving it to you for free too!)
It was already 8+pm, and the day is still so bright, but everywhere else has closed.
EXCEPT this Chinese restaurant.
It’s like a god-send to us. If you’ve followed us on our UK trip so far, you’d see that our meals are the typical western meals… fish and chips, sandwiches…etc.
But finally, we get to eat some Asian food!
So when we saw this Jimmy Chung restaurant, it’s a no-brainer. That’s the place we want to have our dinner. Furthermore, it’s a buffet dinner!
The price comes up to almost SG$25 per person. I can say that the food is not the best chinese food I had, but compared to the meals we’ve had in UK, it is the only chinese we’ve had so far. No complaints.
So after our dinner, we went back to our hotel to rest, after a long day on the road.
We’ll only be staying at Inverness for 1 day.
The next day, we’ll be setting off to Nessie!
So… does the Lochness Monster really exist? Find out in the next post!