A quine and a loun in the land of thistles

Posted: September 28, 2014 in Europe, Scotland
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I am talking about Scotland here in Scot language. 🙂

So Richard and I decided to take a little holiday around the August bank holiday up to Scotland. We had a week, and our main destination were the highlands so instead of flying up there and rent a car to get around he drove up all the way with a stopover in the Lake District.

Scotland has always been a dream destination for me but somehow when you are living in England you are always opting for warm and sunny destinations..This was a perfect time to choose Scotland having spent half of this year in the tropical Central -America..

So the first night we spent in a lovely B&B just passed Keswick in the middle of nowhere:) It was actually a perfect escape from the city..We left London at 8am and got to the Lake District by 3pm with little stops on the way.

We took a stroll in the huge green fields and the nearby lake..it was warmish and sunny..but windy.

Ravenstone :) hay ride And this amazing view..

The B&B is called Ravenstone Manor- nice rooms and location however they were a bit smaller than they pretended to be. The service was a bit slow…If it was a backpacking trip I wouldn’t describe the place like this but again if I was a backpacker I wouldn’t have stayed in a flashy place like this:)

After the great egg benedict and cooked brekkie we headed to Scotland. Stopped at Loch Lomond in two places, at Balloch and Luss. In Balloch beyond the Maid of Loch (built in Glasgow in 1953, taken in sections to Balloch, and re-assembled on the slipway) we visited a shoe shop I never heard of before called Pavers. Now this wouldn’t be news just itself but because I bought 2 pairs of shoes (on sale) and one turned out later to be too small we got involved in some additional adventure later on…(they say no regrets..however…..)

After Balloch we made a short stop in Luss. Now this is a little perfect postcard looking town with lovely flowery gardens and a sea front.

Balloch Balloch Luss Luss Luss Luss Luss Luss

We drove through Glencoe’s majectic mountains then we got to Fort William, in a beautiful B&B with stunning location called Hillview Guesthouse where we spent 2 nights due to our greatest adventure next day..climbing the UK’s highest mountain: Ben Nevis.

Glencoe Glencoe Glencoe Hillview Guesthouse Fort William Hillview Guesthouse Fort Will

Next day the big day..both super excited and hoping for the great weather that was predicted. I wasn’t too worried..thought after the 5000m Villarica volcano a 1344m peak wouldn’t be a problem. Well…it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Many people were climbing it on the day we chose, the sun was shining, the wind was moderate..the trail was steep:) First we had to climb up rocks, then we had a half an hour ‘easy part’ passing the lake just before half way and from the waterfall a solid 2 hour uphill. We even found a little snow patch! On the top it was cold but sunny and windy. Had lunch, spent 30 minutes up there and made our way down. It was a total of 8 hours ..4.5 up and 3.5 down. Great experience, would do it again!

Ben Nevis Ben Nevis Ben Nevis Ben Nevis DSC_0893 Some crazy people On the top

 

We got to know after that 9 days out of 10 you can’t see anything above 700m, hence why people turn up with maps and compass…Lucky.

The next day we were sore…..especially after driving hours and then getting out of the car..

So the 4th day’s destination was the Skye island. We took a gamble on the ferry from Mallaig, it was fully booked when we got there but luckily got in on stadby. Otherwise it would have made no sense to go to Skye for only a half afternoon. The area is 1656 km2 and has about 10.000 inhabitant. The island is mainly living of agriculture, tourism and fishing. The capital is Portree, very pleasant little town with some nice cafes and a colourful harbour.

Traffic jam Portree harbour Before the vote Skye Skye Skye Skye

 

After Skye we headed to the Eilean Donan castle..we caught the best time to visit..sunset.

Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan Sunball

We spent the night in Plockton, tiny village (smaller than where I come from which is a rare find, 800 people living in). Next day discovered a few pretty trails.

Plockton Plockton viewpoint Plockton viewpoint The famous Scottish cow

The last mission in Scotland was to witness the Loch Ness monster.. Having a vivid fantasy I believed more than 50% of the existence of the monster..the first afternoon we visited Inverness, had a great meal in a fine dining restaurant in hiking kit among flashy night dresses and suits around us..Friday night style;-)

Next day we did a private boat trip to hunt down the monster and when I say private ..it was a boat with a capacity of min. 100 people but nobody turned up:) After the unsuccessful attempt to catch the monster we went to the exhibition centre to see the scientific explanation of the monster’s existence or non-existence..and finally we headed to Pavers to change my shoe for a bigger size. Sadly it was an outlet store (like most Pavers shop) where they could not exchange the shoe..I was ready to drive around Scotland to find a High street shop instead of Outlet shop but luckily Richard had a bit more brain and figured we can do the exchange online.

Inverness Inverness Inverness Monster hunt Nessie

So we headed back home..with a stopover at a place I bet most of you did not hear..Redcar:) But before this we stopped in Pitlochry at the Atholl Palace Hotel for a lovely afternoon tea.

So Redcar..it’s by the sea…and getting there Saturday evening might not be the true picture of how the town looks midweek. The biggest surprise was that none of the pubs served food at 8pm. 🙂 The room however looked stunning..the best on this trip with a deluxe bathroom.

On the last day we stopped for a little hike in the Yorkshire Moor which was great then Richard drove us home and finished the week with a lovely fish and chips:)

Yorkshire Moor Yorkshire Moor Yorkshire Moor

 

 

Comments
  1. jeanny says:

    I read it finally! 🙂 Amazing places!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s