I know nothing about cars. Makes or models mean nothing to me. However I do love driving, and believe that there are few ways to better see a country than by its roads. When I first decided to take a weekend trip to Scotland, my plan was to catch a train to Glasgow and rent a car from there. Last minute train prices were less attractive than I’d estimated, so I resorted to plan B – rent a car in London.
My original price quote from the company, which I paid for online, was very reasonable. Upon picking up the vehicle though I was slapped with a few “hidden fees” that doubled the original price. It was then I realized that the car – a Fiat 500 – was also going to be my home for the weekend, since the extra charges had swallowed my lodging budget for the trip. I’m not done dealing with the car agency yet…
About an hour north of London my phone died, which was my only tool for GPS. And, naturally, I had forgotten to pack both a phone charger and computer charger. Luckily the UK is a small island, and I knew I was heading in one direction – north. However, trying to follow the street signs led me about four hours off course. So around 1:00am, after eleven hours driving, my eyes-lids grew heavy.
I just pulled off the shoulder of the highway, reclined my seat and closed my eyes. It was hard to sleep. Every time a semi-truck sped by my Fiat would rattle back and forth. Just a few hours later though the sun woke me up. And after giving myself a few firm slaps across the face I was wide-awake and driving off once again. This time knowing that I was on track with only four-hours left.
If Scottland were a woman I’d marry her. The reason being that the country exudes every desirable quality and characteristic I’d ever look for in a person. Strong, beautiful, reserved, authentic, mysterious, interesting…and she’d be older than me;) Most of all though, what stood out to me was Scotland’s authenticity and beauty. No place I visited was a tourist attraction, but everywhere welcomed visitors. The people had real work – fishermen, distillery workers, farmers, barmen, and teachers. And no one was wearing a kilt for the tips.
My pictures hopefully speak for the countries beauty. The area I was in, the Isle of Skye, was the most intriguing landscape I’ve ever seen. Rain clouds rolled down the hills like ghosts wondering the landscapes, every cloud leaving behind it an ominous mist. And this was consistent throughout all the locations I visited – Portee, Skye Bridge, Fairy Pools, and every road along the way.
Driving away from the Isle I stared out at the magnificent sunset and called the woman I love…Mom. During that conversation she suggested that I visit Glasgow and look up my long lost relatives, the Logan’s and the Marr’s. Turns out I’m Scottish. Yup, I hadn’t the slightest damn clue. And learning of it made me ask myself, “Sebastian, maybe the reason you feel the need to do so much soul searching is that you don’t even know where you come from. And maybe instead of staring off into clouds and ponds all the time asking, “who am I?” you could – I don’t know – ask your Mom?”
I didn’t end up locating any distant cousins in Glasgow. However I did feel a bit more confident trying to fake a Scottish accent – because, you know, I was in the homeland.