“Can you find the hidden door in this room?” the smiling historian asked as she glanced at Yana’s scavenger hunt check list. Yana shook her head from side to side and started looking around for the hidden door before any of the other children could find it. Julia and I followed behind her, making sure she did not run into any of the artifacts scattered about the room.
We had arrived at Eilean Donnain (or Donan) three hours ago and were still stuck on this children’s scavenger hunt. Of course, I enjoyed running after Yana while deciphering Scottish-English riddles, but I also wanted to take the time and enjoy a couple of minutes of the wonderful castle we had found ourselves in.
After 4 hours and 36 minutes we found the last item on Yana’s scavenger list. We ran through the castle trying to find the historian we had talked to earlier so that we could turn in our findings. Yana was proud of having finally found that hidden door and even though she was the 4th child to turn in the list, she was still smiling. Yana proudly showed the historian all of the items she had found on the list, and the historian excitedly bent down and handed Yana a first place yellow ribbon. “Ich hab gewonnen!” Yana cheered. The historian gave Julia and I a wink as the three of us made our way slowly outside to see the rest of the castle.
A picturesque castle — Eilean Donnain was a breathtaking place and was one of the most memorable scenic locations my family and I were fortunate to visit in Scotland. From the time we entered that castle up until the sun started to set, we were met with friendly people trying to learn about Scottish history and beautiful views that would make you cry and faint. Set in a beautiful and tranquil part of the western part of the Scottish Highlands on Loch Duich, Long and Alsh, Eilean Donnain was the most incredible part of our journey.
If you get a chance to visit the Scottish Highlands, this place should be the first place on your to-do list.
Curtis Albers is a former abused foster care child survivor turned Army Ranger. He enjoys traveling, learning about other cultures, astronomy and generally enjoys interacting with other human beings who are just as optimistic, interesting, creative and passionate as him.