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Scottish Road Trip Day 2: A Drive Into The Highlands… Eventually!

Scottish Road Trip Day 2: A Drive Into The Highlands… Eventually!

We awoke early and refreshed on the second day of our Scottish adventure, ready to begin our drive into the Highlands and put our painful journey into Edinburgh behind us. All that we needed to do was pick up our car from the nearby Hertz location and we’d be on our way.

Unfortunately our rollercoaster journey was to continue – upon arrival at Hertz, we were informed that because Amy was under 25 years of age (and Kieron had an expired license), they couldn’t rent us the car we had booked as it wasn’t covered by insurance. Apparently a flaw in their website was to blame for allowing the booking to go through – but that wasn’t much good to us now, was it?

Dejected we headed back to our hotel, unsure of what to do next. Do we stay in Edinburgh for our entire time in Scotland and cancel the road trip, or do we look around and see if another rental company could help us?

Amy driving our Scottish Rental Car

Amy driving our Scottish Rental Car - thanks Alamo!

We searched online for car hire from Edinburgh and fortunately Alamo came to the rescue, letting us book another a rental car at a similar price. The only problem was that 3 hours had elapsed by the time we finally picked the vehicle up, meaning that we got on the road in the afternoon instead of the morning.

Our first stop was nearby Stirling but because of our delayed departure unfortunately we didn’t have time to step foot inside Stirling Castle. Instead we just stopped briefly to use the bathroom and take a couple of photos. We didn’t mind though – Blair Castle was on our way and from what we were told was much better value.

The entrance to Stirling Castle

The entrance to Stirling Castle

Things were finally starting to look up again… or so we thought. Unfortunately everything started going downhill from here. Because we were traveling in November and were forced to leave late due to our car rental bungle, our planned stops didn’t go quite as planned.

We discovered that the stunning Blair Castle is only open on the weekends as of November 1st (after being open daily during the summer season), the Blair Athol Distillery closed at 4PM (we arrived at 4:05PM) and the Salmon Ladder and Pitlochry Dam closed for viewing on October 31st.

Talk about one fail after another!

Tip: If you’re planning a Road Trip, do a little research beforehand to make sure the attractions you’re visiting are going to be open!

Path at The Hermitage

Path at The Hermitage

We did get to stop at The Hermitage woodland park for a short walk, but by the time we arrived at our accommodation in Aviemore it was long after dark and we were more than happy for our nightmare day to come to an end.

It probably can be best described as “one of those days” and truly proves that not everything about traveling is fun. At the same time we can’t complain – we were still in beautiful Scotland and had a couple more days to explore some of the best the country has to offer!