Blogs from Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty » Tain October 27th 2019

Here we go again. Last touches to the backpacks before saying goodbye to Dougal, and the chilly winds and first hill snows of winter in Scotland. Provided that the Ecuadorian President keeps his recent promises to the long suffering indigenous population, then hopefully the rioting, curfews, and teargas of the last few weeks will remain in the past and we will arrive in Quito in 3 days time. Its been a bit of a guessing game over the last month, with all trips canceled during the declared state of emergency, and gov travel advice saying 'only if journey necessary' . Only got green light 2 days ago ! Keeping an eye on the sparse snippets of Ecuadorian news available on internet. Very exciting. Tracy and David have, possibly somewhat recklessly, offered to look after our beloved ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty July 1st 2018

ULLAPOOL. SCOTLAND Today we are in Ullapool Scotland. Ullapool is located in the extreme northwest corner of Scotland in the Highlands on the coast. It is a bright and sunny day as we sail into Ullapool. It is a beautiful site as we clip into this pristine harbor surround by tall hills and white houses lining the shore. We are gong by coach to Lochinver. This is about 1 hour ride through the highlands. The highlands are really beautiful. I still think on all the stories that are set in this locale. There is some heather on the moor but more gorse. Sheep are plentiful. There are many lochs, she of which are fresh water others are salt water. We come to a stable of an ancient castle called. Ardvreck, the home of the McLeod. It ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty » Tain April 26th 2018

Well here we go again! Backpacks packed, weighed, emptied, repacked, reweighed again, until below the magic 15Kg mark. Mozzie repellent and Immodium packed in industrial quantities, along with the statutory 'Dr Livingston I presume' khakis. Dougal off for his Spa day tomorrow prior to his holidays with bestie, Hendry, and his feedy /walky people Emma & Jane. Better have plenty poop bags! Only 3 more sleeps! Best check that weight again...... read more

Todays trip will take us on a short loop around the Isle of Skye. Another sunny day makes for enjoyable driving. We passed Glen Shiel for pictures at the waterfall (another battlefield for the Jacobites). First castle is Eilean Donan, one of the most well known castles. Original structure started in 580. It was rebuilt starting in 1912. At that time the average house cost was 200.00 GBP. The renovations cost 250,000.00 GBP. You can do the math to figure out what it would cost today. Great tour with a lot of history. Wierd Campbell Family crest is associated with the Macrae's. Crest has a seal on it instead of the wart hog. Left to head to Portree for some quick shopping, take away lunch a picture of the harbour and off to Dunvegan Castle. Another ... read more
Glengarry parlour
Glen Shiel burn
Eilean Donan Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty August 10th 2016

The adrenalin from attending the Tattoo last night was still pumping in the morning when we woke and it will be a performance and experience that we will never forget. Although we had just a bedroom with ensuite at the Royal and they did not have a restaurant downstairs we still managed an OK breakfast with our usual muesli, fruit and yogurt and croissants rather than toast to follow with coffee. We haven’t bothered to buy another toaster since we arrived in the UK which is probably just as well for us and the nearby Fire Brigade of Cumbernauld after the toast incident of the BBA V2 which resulted in the Travelodge we were staying in being evacuated when I burnt the toast and set the smoke alarm off! The weather wasn’t that great as we ... read more
A misty day in Glencoe pass
Glencoe cottage

As I am returning the car today by 4pm in Inverness, I had to get an early start. After checking out of the hostel, I grabbed something to eat and drove to Kyle of Lochalsh over the Skye Bridge. The drive was straight forward, but because of the narrow and winding roads, it took 2 hours. About 10 miles east of Kyle of Lochalsh is the small village of Dornie where three lochs meet, sitting on a island is the most photographed and picturesque castle in Scotland - Eilean Donan Castle. Although, this castle was built in the thirteenth century, the many clashes between the Scots and the Brits destroyed the original structure. The castle that stands today was restored in the twentieth century. This castle was featured in many movies (including an Indian Hindi movie), ... read more
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Entrance to the castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty » Kenmore April 21st 2016

Geo: 56.5851, -3.99899I was awakened by the sounds of other hotel guests getting ready. I lay in bed with my eyes closed for a while and then realized that I'd been lying there for a long time. Why hadn't my alarm gone off? I finally opened my eyes to look at my clock: only 5:45. Sheesh! I fell back to sleep for another 35 minutes. Other than that, it's very quiet around here.It was another glorious day, though definitely nippy. We walked for 15 minutes to the other side of the loch to the Scottish Crannog Center. We learned a bit about crannogs on the Ireland tour, but this was more in depth. This loch, Loch Tay, held up to 30 crannogs in the Iron Age (500 BC). The Scottish Crannog Center works under the auspices ... read more
The crannog
Looking up inside the crannog
Daniel demonstrates an Iron Age lathe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty » Kenmore April 20th 2016

Geo: 56.5851, -3.99899It took forever to get out of Edinburgh this morning because of commuter traffic. It was as bad as Seattle!We stopped at a viewpoint to see the three bridges over the Firth of Forth. The first one was built in the 19th century and was admired by Gustave Eiffel. It was (and still is) used solely as a railway bridge and was one of the marvels of its day; it's a World Heritage site today. The second one was built in the 20th century and is the automobile bridge. However, due to accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and ordinary passenger cars, a 21st-century bridge is being built. This will allow the heavy goods and regular vehicles to travel on different roadways. It's quite unusual to see three centuries in a row like that.We got ... read more
Culross Palace
Culross Palace

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty » Dunvegan June 23rd 2015

We made it to the Isle of Skye last night - lots of driving to get here! We had absolutely no plans today, and decided to drive, explore and relax. Although this goes against my need to plan all details, it was awesome! There are only a few roads on Skye, so we weren't worried about searching for directions or getting lost. We started by driving west, and headed toward Dunvegan Castle. We decided to visit the Castle - but, even better - we decided to go on a seal boat ride at the Castle! Fortunately, it wasn't raining and we were able to see tons of adorable seals. Quite possibly one of the best highlights of our trip so far. Unfortunately, we also discovered the Scottish midge (aka, gnats that can bite). The one thing ... read more
Seal Boat

We left the hostel in Inverness around 9am, but had to make a detour to a wholesale store so the manager of our next hostel could buy some supplies for us to take with us. After loading up with the supplies, we headed out of Inverness. Having done the hostel manager a favor, she bought Neil a bottle of Scotch (which he swears we are going to share, but it disappeared as soon we reached the hostel!) As a reward for our patience, he took us to a "special" place, the Clootie Well at Munlocy, on the Black Isle. Don't ask me why it's called the Black Isle, as it's not Black and it's not an island. The Clootie Well is a very unusual "attraction." More or less in the middle of nowhere, just off a ... read more
Inverness Student Hostel
Clootie Well
Corrieshalloch Gorge

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