Picknick at Ben Nevis

My dad is not just my dad

Time to write an introduction to the Scotland trip I made with my dad last month.
With your dad? you might think.
Hell yeah with my dad!

Dad and me in the forest
On our first hike of the trip: an easy stroll through the forests around Dunkeld. We were greeted with rain but we didn’t care one bit.

You might have noticed from previous writings that I usually travel alone (and love it). So being in almost constant company while on the road – sharing cars, bedrooms and bathrooms – is a bit of a challenge for me. I’m used to doing things my way, and that’s not entirely what happened in Scotland.

My two biggest regrets are:

  1. Sticking to less challenging hikes, skipping the longer ones altogether
  2. Cancelling a couple of very scenic rides (like the one in Southern Skye)

The main reason for these rather last minute changes were an over-estimation of my dad’s abilities to effortlessly navigate:

  1. The hills (they are indeed a wee bit higher than the Belgian ones)
  2. The roads (which are actually fine but, however, still need to be driven (on the wrong left side))
It’s funny how they say women carry a lot of stuff while clearly I was the queen of packing light and my dad was the king of making a mess out of everything 🙂


Planning-nut as I am, there have certainly been times where I was a bit annoyed when an excursion got cancelled. If only I’d known this before, I would think, I could have made our planning even better!

That said, things are what they are and splendour is splendour, whether at a thousand meter peak or at sea level. Scotland has so much on offer, and it’s beyond pretty wherever you go. Climbing a Munro might be spectacular, but so was our easy hike up to the Old Man of Storr (to name just one). You don’t need to be a mountaineer to get the most out of the highlands.

Old Man of Storr in the mist
When we set out on our walk to Old man of Storr it was mystically misty. By the time we hiked back down the sky was bright blue. Welcome to Scotland everyone!

Most importantly, this wasn’t just any trip to the highlands. This was a trip with my dad, and we’d been dreaming of it for a long time. Who cares about a few miles less on the meter or a little less elevation gained? I can go climb those hills all by myself at any time. But that’s not what this was all about.

The girl I met at breakfast in our Edinburgh hostel probably said it best. When I told her I was travelling with my dad, she paused for a moment and asked: “So your father is your friend?” And after I nodded “yeah, sure!” she added: “That’s pretty nice. My dad is just my dad.”

There you go.

I might have imagined some things differently, but who cares? I have an endless list of things I loved. Number three might be the road trip through Glen Coe. Number two could be the Cairgorms.
But the indisputable number one

is doing it all with my dad.

Picknick at Ben Nevis
Enjoying a lovely picknick in the valley North of Ben Nevis

Bottom note, ’cause fair is fair: I’m pretty sure I annoyed my dad plenty. For example by:

  1. Singing dreadful tunes (like Tetris) out of nowhere for no reason
  2. Making graveyard jokes while driving along steep cliffs
  3. Nagging consistently about not having seen any hairy cows (until the point where we found them, after that I started constantly retelling the tale of the glorious encounter)

I’m such a delight to spend hours in the car with!

How about you? Do you like travelling with family? Let me know in the comments below!

And stay tuned for more tales and pictures of our Scotland adventure under the Europe-Scotland category!


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