Blogs from The Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 18th 2020

Sadly it was our last day in Rannoch Moor and most of the group were heading off early to get to Glasgow Airport in time for all their various flights. I had a bit more flexibility as I was in my car, so I decided that I would start early again and head back to Kilchurn Castle, which is, apparently, a great location for the sunrise and, according to the forecasts, there was actually a strong possibility of there being a sunrise. There wasn't. As I was driving there, across the moor, it was snowing really quite heavily. I got to the castle and was disappointed. Additionally, it also meant that I missed my last opportunity for a full English breakfast. All was not lost however. I needed to go all the way back to the ... read more
Rannoch Moor

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 17th 2020

What a difference a day makes. After three days of rain, rain, snow and more rain, some sky had actually replaced the ever present white sheet. That said, there was still a lot of rain, but the weather was literally changing by the minute. Rain, followed by some light breaking through a gap in the clouds, followed by some snow, followed by some more rain, followed by some full blown sunshine and than back to rain again. We stopped in Loch Ba again for the sunrise. There sunrise was not worth it, but there was a short moment when the light fell on the mountains in the opposite direction to the supposed sunrise, which made some good photographs. Some of us caught it, some of us did not sadly. Fortunately, I did. Not back in time ... read more
Scones and Tea
River Etrive
Tame Deer

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 16th 2020

It was another early start, but again a non sunrise. This time we were heading south of Rannoch Moor to Kilchurn Castle, on the shore of Loch Awe. We all got soaking wet, as did our cameras, however there was a short gap in the rain for some half decent photographs. For a few short minutes, the wind even died down enough for the castle to be reflected in the lake. It was back to The Green Welly Stop again for breakfast. I had a look around the gift shop, including the whiskeys, which it would be rude to not at least consider buying whilst up here. Apparently, price wise, we are better off getting it from our local supermarket in England. I don’t think my local Sainsbury’s has the whiskeys costing £6,950 a bottle though. ... read more
Castle Stalker
Smoked Salmon
Scotch Whisky

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 15th 2020

It was another early start and another non sunrise. Not only that, but it was pouring with rain. Today was going to be a complete wash-out. It was also almost impossible to take any photographs as the moment you took your lens-cap off, the lens was covered in water-droplets. We got back to the hotel, just in time for the end of breakfast today. We tried a few different locations for some photos, including Loch Etive, where there were some stark looking trees growing out of the lake, so it was not a complete loss. What was also nice was that, as we were passing through Glen Etive, we saw some highland deer, which were unbelievably tame and were more than happy to stand there whist 12 photographers got completely carried away taking pictures of them. ... read more
Tame Stag
Stag Selfie
Lock Etive

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 14th 2020

We were all up and ready an hour before sunrise, however that wasn’t too antisocial as the sunrise is not until 8.45am in Scotland at this time of year. That said, like yesterday, there was no sunrise as the sky was completely covered by flat, white clouds. Not ideal for photography. We went to a location in Loch Ba for the non sunrise and stayed there for about an hour to take some photographs anyway. The rain had turned to snow overnight, which bought some beauty to the scenery, despite the washed-out sky. They don’t seem to take any chances on this road, we saw numerous snow-ploughs passing throughout the day. In fact one passed us as we were getting out of our minibus, and completely covered most of us in ice and snow. We’re sure ... read more
Rannoch Moor View
Coupall Falls

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands September 29th 2019

So far up to this point Dennis had only had to drive on short stretches of single track roads, but headed up and around the Isle of Skye is predominantly all single track. On these types of roads it is a single lane but two ways of traffic must pass. You have to pull along the side in small turn offs to allow oncoming traffic to pass to avoid a head on collision. The trick is deciding who is the one that yields and sometimes you must even back up to go into the closest passing place, often with no guard rails and steep cliffs off both sides of the roadway and there is not a single straight stretch of road ANYWHERE in this country. Pretty much the entire west coast and the center of the ... read more
Eilean Donan Castle
The Fairy glen
Neist Point lighthouse

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Nethy Bridge June 18th 2019

Last night we walked around a bit after dinner and headed to bed around 10 PM. Oddly it was as bright out as if it were 10 AM. I got up at 4 AM and noticed it was still bright out! Taking a gander at the map, I found the reason: we are considerably north and thus the Scots enjoy very long days. That’s great, but on the flip side, in winter, nights are also very long, so make hay while the sun shines. Speaking of the sun, today the clouds seemed behind us and the blue Scottish skies were overhead. Our first stop was the Culloden Battlefield Memorial. This was famous in Scotland as the last battle between the Jacobites, rebellious Scottish soldiers fighting to restore King James to the British throne, versus the British. ... read more
Beauty of the Loch
One of Many Castles
Over the Bridge to Skye

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Glencoe June 17th 2019

Today our journey to the Bonnie Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond begins with an unusual sight, the sun. This is the first morning where old Sol decided to grace us with his presence. The green of Scotland is magnificent under sunny skies. A word about Tour Director. Imaging doing a job where you play mother to 30 people you have never met, all of whom have some preconceived notions about travel, food, vacation, accommodations, and needs. Imagine also, that you are on call 24 hours a day, have to plan each days activities, and make sure everyone is safe, happy, and on time. This is just a small concept of the Tour Director’s job. No matter what tour company you use, the Tour Director is critical to the quality and enjoying your tour. To add insult ... read more
Our cruise ship on the Loch
High Street Fort William Scotland
Hogwarts is everywhere

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands May 25th 2019

Too tired to write last night, so you are stuck with two days worth. We have decided we must be weak hikers. Everyone around us is going on these super long hikes. They German guy who sat next to us at breakfast was going to catch a bus, hike up to Old Man of Storr, but then walk back to the B&B. Easily 30 miles. We drove both ways of course and just did the hiking part of the hike. Oh well. We still have fun. We said goodbye to the Isle of Skye yesterday and made our way to Fort William. Instead of leaving by the Skye Bridge, we took the ferry with our car. It was my first car ferry. They really pack the cars in there. I didn't think there was anyway everyone ... read more
Another bridge
Pretty view on Isle of Skye
Harbor where we will catch the Ferry

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands May 23rd 2019

It's official: we are starting to blend in. We were walking through downtown Portree on the Isle of Skye and some guy on the street needed help and asked if we were locals. Plus, at dinner tonight we weren't engaging in conversations with our neighbors because we were surrounded by strange languages. But when the guy at the next table went to use the WC, I asked his girlfriend if they were on Holiday. They are on holiday and are from the Netherlands. She asked if we were from Skye! And that was after I opened my mouth! We have been gone over a week and we have become so European, and we still have almost a week left! We started the day with a drive to a new hiking spot: The Fairy Pools Hike. I ... read more
One of the many waterfalls we hiked to this morning
This entire area was gorgeous
Top of one of the hikes

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