42

It’s been awhile since I posted anything about my Big 42nd Birthday Year Travel Plans.  A lot has changed in the world, and at this point, I’m pretty sure Egypt is going to have to wait a few more years.  Especially with this new, completely wrong-headed and immoral war with Syria we’re plotting – it just appears the region will be too unstable in 2015.  So, I am turning my attention to my back-up plan: England and Scotland.

The problem is narrowing it down.  I want to go everywhere in Great Britain!  I am trying to make it a good mix of everything I love: history, geekery, and nature.  Also, I have always wanted to sleep on a train, so naturally I’ll travel from London to Scotland via the Caledonian Sleeper train.  The little rooms are so cute.

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Once in Scotland, as part of the geekery, I will visit Edinburgh’s Castle (Hogwarts!) and ride the jacobite steam train.  Any Potter fans out there will recognize this iconic moment from the film:

Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Hogwarts Express

It is believed to be one of the world’s most scenic rail trips.  It will take me to the coast town of Mallaig, where I will hop a ferry to the Inner Hebrides islands.  White sand beaches, turquoise water…sounds like the Caribbean, right?  No, it’s still Scotland!

anthony-waltham-white-shell-sand-scarasta-beach-north-west-coast-of-south-harris-outer-hebrides-scotland-uk

Mull, I think, will be my home for at least a couple of days.

Duart-Castle-Isle-of-Mull-Scotland

From Mull, it’s possible to visit Staffa, famous for Fingal’s Cave.  There is nowhere else like it in the world.  I have always wanted to go there.

4681115733_5741ec75c4_zIn addition to being stunningly gorgeous, these islands are also FULL of wildlife.  Whales, otters, and my primary focus: Puffins.

They aren’t afraid of humans, and will readily approach.  This can even happen:

Puffins!!!!

I have also located the hotel chain I will stay at while in London and Edinburgh.  easyHotel.  I LOVE this concept.  What do you need in a European hotel?  A bed, a bathroom, and a super-central, clean, safe location.  Nothing else, so why pay for it?  EasyHotel is such a brilliant concept.

Maybe one night I’ll spring for the tv.

Or not.

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