Our amazing trip to the Highlands

Last weekend I went to explore the Highlands with eight other interns. We rented a car and booked a small apartment for the trip. On Saturday morning at 9 o’clock we started in Glasgow. Our first stop was Loch Lomond. It was only an hour’s drive to get there. It’s a nice place. But let me say, we have seen very nicer places!

After we took some photos, we continued the tour to Glen Coe. We had lunch there and took of course again many pictures. I ate my first fish&chips and it was fanatic! Really, you must try this typical food!

After the good lunch, we drove to Fort William. This is the “last” city before the real Highlands start. We bought some food and beer there to be prepared for the rest of the trip (the beer was of course a must because we are all from Germany, so what would we do without some good beer?).

My favourite place during the trip was Glen Finnan. I hope some of you like or better love Harry Potter, if so you have to drive to Glen Finnan. Because there you can have a look at the “Hogwartslake” Normally it called Loch Shield, but I think “Hogwartslake” sounds much better. But there is also something even nicer, the “Hogwarts Express” bridge.

Because “Harry Potter” is one of my favourite movies I was happy to see all these places. After these adventures, we had to drive to our apartment. And this was not so easy as we thought! We had to drive about 5 miles to the middle of nowhere and after a lot of questions and creepy situations we found it! But the landlady of the bungalows was really nice.

After we found our rooms we prepared dinner. It was so nice to eat and chat with so many nice people. We drink some beer (reminder we from Germany) and enjoyed the night.

In the morning of the second day we woke up early and prepared breakfast. We continued the drive to Skye at about 10 am. On the way, we stop at the Eilean Donan Castle. And guess what we did there? Right a lot of pics! We had to drive about one hour to Skye. Our first stop was at Portree, the capital of Skye but we only wanted to see the nature and the waterfalls.

At around 3 pm we left Skye in the direction to Loch Ness.  Just to say it right away, we did NOT see Nessie. L
We only took pictures from the Loch and drove to Inverness. There we ate something at McDonald’s. Our trip ended at 10 pm on Sunday night back in Glasgow.

A little tip if you plan to rent a car too, try to refill the patrol BEFORE you go back to Glasgow. We could find only one patrol station in the whole city! I hope you enjoyed reading my little article and that I could give you a small impression about Scotland’s highlands!


Hogwartslake Eilean Donan Castle

Finished our woodwork at Vagen UT

When we first arrived at Vagen UT, we where asked what workshop we would like to do.  Myself and Jackie picked woodwork, we finally finished it.  We made a table, painted white and put 46 on the top, we also singed messages from each person in our group on it.  Then we presented it this morning to the people in Vagen UT, as a thank you for all they have done for us.  We have has an amazing time here, and everyone had been so accommodating to us.  We will miss them all so much.

Visit to the Swedish school

We where asked if we would like to visit a Swedish school and talk to an English class there.  Of course we said yes.  The school itself looked amazing, nothing like our schools in Scotland.  We where asked several questions about Scotland, like what haggis was like, about the highland games and kilts etc.  They also wanted us too speak the way we would normally to show the young people how different our accent was from other people who speak English, of course like everyone else here they didn’t understand it, so we spoke very slowly so they could understand.  The young people where amazing and had an American woman teaching them English.  We had great fun talking to them and from their reactions I think they had fun to.  It was an amazing way to end our trip here.

BUFFF project

We met with lota, who is the chairperson of the board and franchise leader for a few of the rehabs in Sweden.  Lota is a project leader but donates her free time to BUFFF.  The project started in 2000 before Vagen UT in 2002.  They have 9 different offices over Sweden, 1st one started in Gothenburg.  They get funding from the Prison probation service, government and from benefactors who have left money for these types of projects.  They have people who are employed as well as volunteers.  The project is for children who have parents in prison.  Who do activities for the parents as well as the children.  They do different activities such as going to the seaside for the weekend, camps in the woods for up to 20 people, day to day activities, Halloween parties, Easter parties, arts and crafts and they make a news letter which is made by the children themselves and is printed by someone who has been through Vagen UT and now owns their own printing business.  This project not only helps the children understand certain things but helps parents to connect on an enjoyable level.

Visit to karins döttrar

At Karin’s döttrar we met Katarina who is one of the founding members of Vagen UT.  They have been opened since 2003.  It was for men and women at first but is now a project just for women.  Anyone can come here, they don’t have to be directed from criminal justice or social services.  They are contracted through social services and employment agency.  20 women at most work here on different day’s but only 5 are actually employed who are subsidised by the government which the project depends on.  They make all different types of things.  I bought 2 bracelets, a hand made card and a hand made presentation box.  The things are high quality and very well made.  The women are very friendly and made us lunch which was lovely.

Visited buff

met Lota who works with buff in her free time amazing and inspirational women buff is for kids who have parents in prison for somewhere to go talk and not too feel alone that there’s support for them and it’s not there fault that there parents are in prison because kids can blame Thereselfs parent groups kids groups so they can talk openly about stuff they go on activitys a place in the summer they go for a week in a house to do fun things plays baking cooking practise what they’re learning they have employees not to many because of lack of funds they get there funds from all different places big part of what Lota does is trying and getting funding from prison probation servicing city of Gothenburg benefactors who have left money for these type of services operators on the phones are trained up specially to do the job  kids do stuff at Easter Halloween Christmas do treasure hunts deal with addiction and criminal stuff seperately

Visiting Karins Döttrar

Met a lady Sophie in Karins döttrar got chatting to her over some soup that they made for the group was Lovely to get a 1 to 1 get to know her a bit more told me about her story about how she was a teacher suffered from depression in her own words crashed and burned has 3 kids the stigma that surrounds depression mental health and other problems i.e. addiction and stuff the lady’s who go there have there own personal problems been in bad relationships addiction mental health vulnerable needing support no got any family they have here to go which is amazing it’s like rebuilding them again giving them a purpose finding what they’re good at making them feel good about themselfs be responsible reliable it’s all women that go opened in 2003 here since 2004 to get in you don’t have to come through criminal justice or social work  this place is open any women is welcome in that has personal problems addiction mental health and others in her life 5 lady’s are employed with Karins Döttrar which gets subsidised by government they sew stuff sell it on beautiful hats teddys rugs bracelets chains even make there own presentation boxes dream catchers aprons what a found amazing is the women now are part of something a team a purpose making stuff seeing there work being bought can now look the world in the eye feel good about themselves get there family back inspirational

Jackie’s last week in Sweden

This week i went to cafe Larjes which has a piece of land for growing fruit and vegetables they also sell some home made salts and jams. The people we spoke to where all very nice to us. They showed us there workshops for carpentry and concrete they where very creative and also have a room to teach in the next day we went to Karins Döttrar’s which is just for women from many different backgrounds who come along make lots of different item hat’s, scarfs, jewellery and my favourite dream catchers which they can keep or sell. The women there where quite shy at first but as we had lunch and got to know one and other they began to open up and share with us it was an amazing experience what a lovely group with amazing idea’s i would love something on this scale back home. Finally on Friday we met Pernilla another founding member of Vagen Ut! very nice woman she sat and had lunch with us told us of her experiences. After we met Lota who runs BUFFF on her own time. BUFFF help people in the criminal justice system reconnect with there children.

Visit to Easas

Enjoyed all visits but a really loved this a place in Gothenburg Stockholm and Ludvika they goal is too have what they have in Gothenburg in all 3 it’s a place for gang members to go if they want to leave gang or criminal activity there’s a stigma attached which can make it difficult for people to get help or move forward great thing about this place your welcome another opportunity at a new life you don’t have to have a addiction to get in most places in Sweden addiction gangs and addiction most of the time go 6 places in the programme need fiancéd to get in there’s bio psyko social to work on exit rentry screening they work with the person to there needs that’s why they do screening this is s programme to accommodate the person needs do t tell them what to do speak with them so that they get there own answer to the solution had job centre that’s now shut down programme they have is amazing sell there skills and programme with the money they make it goes back in

Spoke to a lovely lady person ninnie

spoke to a lovely person called ninnie  who a met in 46 got chatting about mindfulness about 3 minute breathing space how doing mindfulness and meditation has helped in my life how it helps me relax and see things from a different angle positive affect talking to ninnie the day she has been doing 3 minute breathing space  since we last spoke enjoying how relaxed she’s been feeling and uses it after she has played guild wars 2 –and borderland 2 to help her unwind because playing computer can be stressful ninnie is 29 likes Hilllwalking running yoga computers arcrylic painting canvas been a pleasure getting to know ninnie also telling me about cutting out sugar looks after herself eating healthy and is open about going too 46 vagen ut a checked with her before I’ve put this on lost 2.6 /stone from cutting out sugar been at uni for 3 and a half year to be a school teacher struggled with it and was depressed and has showed us some stuff that she has done pure amazing my personal opinion doesn’t realise how talented she is amazing person gonnae up load some pics when a can