Caught Somewhere in Scotland
Join the Clan Salley on a journey through the Highlands
Scotland is known for its beautiful landscapes and Highland Cows; and it lives up to the hype.
For years, I have dreamed about visiting the Highlands, and this year my family gave me the chance to fulfill that dream. In celebration of my brother’s and my birthday, my family and I hopped on a flight to Scotland to explore a brave new world. From the green grass flickering in the wind to the uniquely beautiful architecture, Scotland has it all.
Join me as I break down Clan Salley’s (my family) adventure in Scotland!
Oban is a small fishing town known for its distilleries and fancy restaurants. It’s a great, quiet, walkable town with fabulous fish-and-chip shops (try it with gravy!), excellent pork dishes and fun souvenir shops.
There’s something special about eating fish and chips with gravy, while also listening to travelers sing sea shanties about their travels and legends. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had the pleasure to witness, and evokes a fantasy world where you are surrounded by people of all sorts of different backgrounds, coming together and having a drink.
Glasgow is magnificent!
The unique architecture was such a great change of pace from being in the United States, but the big city still felt familiar — like Detroit and Chicago. It’s a great city to wander, with random shops and bars and, oh yeah, fantastic scottish bar food. The fried haggis patties with orange marmalade and steak and ale pie were some of the standouts.
The city was full of all sorts of art, from statues to graffiti covering the otherwise-bare walls of the buildings. I even found a Tardis from Doctor Who sitting in the middle of the street.
It was here that Iron Maiden played for their “Future Past Tour.” Imagine, you're in the audience, he lights start to dim, the sounds from laser guns are blasting at all corners of the stadium and then … silence. The intro for “Caught Somewhere in Time” hits you in your soul, and you know you are about to experience one of the greatest concerts you’ve seen.
That’s how it felt when I heard the howl of David Murray’s guitar, ready to be let off its leash and released upon the cheering crowd! Iron Maiden has been my favorite band since my dad introduced me to “Moonchild” off the “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album. From that day on I was a fan, and I was definitely surprised when the band announced it would be dedicating a new tour one of it’s best albums — “Caught Somewhere In Time” — and to the “Senjutsu” album. We were already ecstatic about the news, but they then announced that they would be playing in Scotland and the rest is history.
Thanks to my family, I was able to see my favorite band of all time in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and for that, I couldn’t be more thankful. It was a one-of-a-kind experience, and one that touched my very soul.
Hearing the band play “Alexander The Great” for the first time ever live was a special treat and one that made me tear up. Another highlight was “Death Of The Celts,” considering that we were in Scotland. My dad waving the Scottish flag he bought and the sheer joy in his eyes are memories I will store in my heart forever. There were no downsides to the concert in any way, except for the merch total, which hurt a bit. Overall it was a stellar night, and may just be the best concert I have ever been to.
The Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is, in a word, beautiful. The landscape is stunning, with green hills and mountains that look like they were woven into the world by God himself. I didn’t know so much beauty could exist in this world.
Norse Mythology says the Mountain of Storr was the burial spot of a giant, and his thumb is what resembles the mountain. Climbing it was hard but extremely rewarding, given the final view. It was enough to bring me to tears and gaze at the open sea, waiting for someone to explore its vast, untouched body of possibility.
It was crazy to wake up in a hotel, open the curtains and find was a mountain or a lake staring back at. That’s an experience I will never forget.
Edinburgh was my most-anticipated leg of the trip, and I was well-rewarded for the patient wait. There was so much to do and see, so much rich history to uncover in the city … it felt like every corner had a unique story.
We toured a castle and got to see Scotland's crown jewels. (They disappointed my brother, as he thought he was going to see these big, shiny jewels when in reality, they were no bigger than our thumbs.)
I loved walking around the city and wandering into locations where the Harry Potter movies were filmed. The site location for Diagon Alley looked exactly how it did in the movies, and was home to several shops inspired by the ones seen in the films. The ghost tour was fun, and, yes, getting to eat international McDonald’s was a dream come true.
Scotland is definitely a bucket-list destination; I’m glad to have checked it off so early in my life. I’m grateful to my dad, Tim Salley, brother, Reese Salley, and Julie Meszaros for planning such an amazing trip and for inspiring me to write about our excellent adventure.