Travelling by Ship

 

05.30 o' clock early morning, in view of the journey all tiredness is forgotten. Everything is fixed and assembled, about 8.20 o' clock the journey to Amsterdam/Ijmuiden starts. Within Germany the excursion is running well, however after the Dutch border everything changes. Though we were warned by an emailfriend we took the direction via Groningen to the north on the dam over the Ijsselsea. Detours and obstruction seem to be usual here. Alkmaar is a badly marked disaster.

 

 

Nevertheless we reach the Felison terminal at Ijmuiden in time. The embarking appears to be endless, however finally we enter our 4-person standardcabin on the 'Prince of Skandinavia'. It is enough place for 2 adults and 2 children for a comfortable overnight stay available. Shower and toilets are clean and expedient. Then we watch the departure of the ship. Backside ahead she leaves the terminal and after a half turn she finally goes off in direction Newcastle.

 

 

The supper - a dinnerbuffet - is abundant and good. After that we are filled up in a way, that we are no more interested in any activities or conversations on board, but staying lazy in the cabin or at least leave the cabin for inspecting the ship. The air in the small cabin is quite good. A small ventilation system cares for the consumed air. The sea is calm during the night, the pills against seasickness are not required and we all get enough sleep.

 

 

The other morning we get up freshly and enter the breakfastbuffet in the 'Seven Seas Restaurant'. The breakfast fits every need and we go on deck to look for Newcastle.

Already soon we see again the dock, at which we were greeted at our first travel by bagpipers. This time unfortunately there are none, too bad. The loudspeaker of the ship calls in 3 languages, to proceed to the cars. We land at radiating sunshine at the Royal Quays.

 

 

 

Here comes the part I was afraid of the most: going by car through Newcastle onto the A696 in direction Jedburg. The left-hand traffic is not the real problem, rather it is the usual problems, to get along oneself in a foreign city in compose traffic. Compliment at the motorists, they are very considerate. We are following the traffic-signs to the airport and as we reach the small town Ponteland, we worked out the worst. We are in a fantastic mood and the children ask again and again, if we are already in Scotland. The landscape gets interesting and we forget the boring and laborious distance through Holland. The landscape gets more exiting, it goes up and down.

 

 


 

Arrival in Scotland

 

Border

 

There it is - the Scottish boundary stone. The traditional piper is just taking a short break.

We pass Jedburgh and after some merry upping and downing the mountains we reach our next goal:

Edinburgh.

 

 

 

Easily we find the bridge over the Firth of Forth, the bay of the 4 clans who once ruled here. After paying a fee we pass the hanging bridge.

On we go, following the M90. Passing Loch Leven, the expectation on the Scottish adventure further raises. Perth now, we are on the A9, and I’m remembering my first hitch-hiking tour through Scotland - a long time ago.

 

 

Edinburgh Loch Gary

 

The closer we get to our destination, the longer the miles seem to stretch. Dunkeld, Ballinluig, then finally Pitlochry.


There it is: the long yearned for roadsign to Loch Rannoch. A short stop on the bridge over the River Garry, a CD with good ol' country music inserted, and off we go on the B8019 passing Loch Tummel.

 

 

 

The drive on the narrow street is unforgettable: on the left the steep descend to the water, on the right big rocks and high mountains.



A water dam is to be seen behind the trees, we are passing small cottages looking like wich houses in a fairy tale. As the Schiehallion comes into view, we are in good company, for behind us drives a jeep of the Forest Commission.

 

Entry

Kinloch Rannoch

Finally we reach Kinloch Rannoch and my heart gets a tendency to bounce. Everything seems to look just the same like many years ago.

I would have loved to visit Pub no. 2 were once I spent so many happy evenings, making new friends. However in the Burrannoch hotel a fire has raged 4 years ago, which has destroyed strangely enough only the entire roof on a length of 40 meters.

 

 

 

Craig Varr, from where the view to Kinloch Rannoch - Loch Rannoch is beautifully as I remember, is luring in the distance.

 

Further we go on the north of Loch Rannoch, passing a posh hotel with 'Outdoor Activity' and dry-skiing slope.

 

 

Craig Varr Kinloch Rannoch

We are passing Clach well b' Jobairte, then the large Powerstation Aulich.


The B846 now passes Learan Farm straightly.

 

 

After a few minutes at bright sunshine we reach the old Scottish hunting-castle Talladh-A-Bheithe. It was built around 1840-1850 and looks simply enthralling.


Indoors it is set up in the old style (Adam Style), outside there is a large park, lawns for sunbathing and a wonderful terrace. Directly facing the entrance is a small stony beach, were one can do some fishing or make campfires.


Tallad-A-Beithe Cottage No. 2

 

After we were welcomed by Mr. Ludwig, a German from Mainz, we make ourselves comfortable at Cottage no. 2 for the next few weeks.

The walls of this small outbuilding are, like all other walls of the castle, somewhat more than 60 cm thick and it is pleasantly cool in the house. In the evening we have a campfire at the Loch Rannoch after a long time again.

Very smoky and very weary we finally go to bed and enjoy a quiet night. Well, we have to get used to the bed-linen. Terry cloth and hard pillows are not to everyone’s taste.

 

 


 

A Trip around Loch Rannoch

 

The other day a fantastic trip around the Loch Rannoch follows. We take off at the timeless little town named Kinloch Rannoch in direction south.



At the small monument, which reminds of the first World War, a small beach is. From here it is a good view along the entire Loch.

 

 

Along the south side of the Loch and there, where the Blackwood of Rannoch starts, we stop for a moment, having a look at the hidden place we had stood on our journeys no. 3,4 and 5.


It is not easy until we find again our old depot. It is more muddy here as on the very first journeys, which date lay back still already decades. We never have met so many Midges, too.

 

 

 

This time is it extremely bad, although the weather conditions has been dry and hot in the past months, thus no good basis for Midges.


Could it because in the north of Scotland many trees and plains were cleared and so the midges are trying to get back their forests? How knows...

 

 

 

The street passes Carrie. A small torrent under the bridge invites for a little break. Then we reach the place, my friend Michi and I stood in the year 1972 the very first time during journey no 1.


The old pine of 1972 next to the Loch Rannoch stands still at its place. After so many years...

Their knobby roots encompass now a plain of 12 squaremeters. The stem is so thick meanwhile, that I can embrase it with both arms only by half.


 

The entire south side of the Loch has decayed in the last years also here so very, that on this side camping ist not to be recommended.


We are passing Rannoch School - already closed since a few years - further to the small peninsula Eilean Mor. Via Croiscrag we reach Finnart Lodge. From here one has on one great view at the island Eilean nam Faoileag - which means isle of seagul- a tower in the middle of the water.

 

 

We had visited this island already once with a boat and found instead of treasures and mysteries only an old, small masonry and abundantly insects.


What for this island has been built? We learn by a resident, that here MacGregor, better known as 'Rob Roy' was held caught
here. We pass by an old church behind Little Finnart.

 

 

 

We notice a small, miserable school near the Rannoch Barracks, before we reach Bridge of Giaur on move to the left on the B846.

Now the very beautiful distance along the Gaur heading Rannoch Station is waiting for us. The tide of the River Gaur invites to put in the feet for the cooling down.

The next hold is the Powerstation of Gaur.

 

 

Here a footpath flared up to the dam. Above arrived, one is suddenly on the waterline of the small Loch Eigheach.

To the left the way it descendly leading down the dam. Further the journey jeads us to Loch Eigheach along to the small ruin Doire well h-Innes, whatever that may mean.

 

 

 

From here one sees already in the distance in direction of Fort William the railwaybridge. It does not take long, and we have reached the small station of Rannoch Station.
We have a break with tea, coffee, scones and shortbread in the tearoom of this romantic, small station, as the train from Mullaig comes. Then we go back at the Loch Eigheach and further to the River Gaur, passing Rannoch Lodge we are back again at the Loch Rannoch.

 

 

We continue this trip on the northern side of the lake and we happen Camusericht Lodge, where a small beach invites us.

On this side of the Loch now and then sandy beaches appears, which one can enjoy. Indeed are there, where also cows are nearby, some ticks and we had to altogether three time these stupid beastswith a tweezers off our legs.

 

We cross the Bridge of Ericht and leave the Powerstation behind us.

At Killichonan we want to know: is McGregor really is buried here, as we have read in a fairy tale?

 

 

Indeed he has nothing to do with with 'Rob Roy', who was spelled MacGregor.

The old cemetery is completely locked and on a police-sign warns of entering.

 

 

 

However, the walls are not especially high and after few minutes we find the grave of Robert McGregor who died in 1835.


It is one of the few gravestones, the inscription can be read clearly. It is quite awful here and we progress on our way back home.

 

 


 

Through wilderness up to the north

 

 

 

We are leaving Kinloch Rannoch behind and turn to the left at Balmore on to the B847.

It has nothing to do with the Castle Balmoral, where in august the English queen stays. Wonderful way rules a ban on air traffic of warplanes in the total area the Tay Forest, which densely fligh over the area.


Often the noise is really painful, it is a genuine disgrace, that the Scots have no pilitical possibilities to get rid of this english attitude.

 

 

 

Via Trinafour we pass the Glen Errochty. Behind Arch Bridge we reach the A9 at Calvine in northern direction.


On the left and on the right high rocks are our companions, to our left the majestic outlook on the Glen Gary. The Railroad accompanies us for a few miles, the shadows of the clouds slip over the mountains.

 

 

 

There is a sign 'Welcome to the Highlands' as we enter the Forest of Atholl drive.

In between the A9 becomes two-lane and that is each time our chance, to overtake slow cars and truck.

It is quite hot on this day and we smile regarding the snowsticks at both sides of the street, which mark the streets in winter.

 

 

On the rest area Ralia we stop and it is selfunderstood in Scotland, to find very clean sanitary plants.

On the continuation direction Aviemore the traffic becomes always denser. As we reach Aviemore, emerges a gigantic Felswand to our left.

These walls are illuminated at night with floodlights visible for many miles.

 

 

The River Spey, which was since many kilometers our companion, leaves us now and as we cross the River Dulnain, the landscape changes.

We are passing beautiful jaws and heather.

Then excitement, as we cross the River Findhorn and pass at the Loch Moy: in the pine forest of the Drummossie Muir rages a forest fire. The fire department of Inverness interferes, smoke is everywhere.

 

 

Finally the fire department appears to get the fire under control, we can move on and reach Inverness.
As we drive over the bridge of the Longman Point after Craigton, we have a fantastic view. On the left the Beauly Firth and on the right the Moray Firth is.
A few minutes later we reach Black Isle. A long bridge leads us over the Cromarty Firth and we see several drilling.

 

The terrain has become meanwhile quite flat, we refuel once more to reasonable prices at Kildary, until we reached Tain and turn on the A836.


Shortly after Bonar Bridge we stop for a look at a high bridge on the Carbisdale Castle, also Castle Spite called. It was build by Comtess of Sutherland, Mary Caroline Mitchell from 1906-1917, a sign tells. I wonder if she really did it by her own....

 

 

Since we are in a hurry, we leave out the famous 'Falls of Shin'.

A short stop in Lairg follows and again we find out that in Scottish pub one rarely gets something for lunch.

Again and again I must think of the words 'Altnaharra is not the Sahara' as the A836 turns into a narrow single track.

 

Flat area, frames by mountain ranges, very beautiful solitude, to the left side accompanies us a small river: Tirry.

 

A primeval landscape, now and then Cattle Grids. We get to Crask Inn, much to our surprise a sign in German language points out 'beware of lambs'.


Then we reach Altnaharra, we pass on further to the north to the Loch Loyally.

Many gadflies live here, every now and then are to be seen the remainders of abandoned houses.


They serve now as accommodation for the sheep in cold nights. We see fleecy gras, fern, heathen and birchs during we pass at the small hole Croggie always more more highly come.

 

 

Then the end of this very beautiful, lonely ride through the wilderness has come, we reach Tongue and are rewarded by a fantastic view at the bay of Tongue.

We make a side-trip after Durness over the A838 around the Caves of Smoo Cave for a visit. Aside a small youth hostel it goes one over a dam in the Kyle of Tongue and gets exciting.

 

 

The landscape changes, rocks around - a 15 %-slope aside a mountain - descent through a fantastic landscape.

 

Further we go to Loch Eribol, which indeed is no Loch but a bay. We have to drive to the other side. Beside decayed houses many trailers of dropouts stand here.

 

 

The mountains releases the view at a large bay with white beach, we have the feeling, to be somewhere at the Mediterranean, however lots of gadflies do not fit in this beautiful picture.

The way goes steeply to above and meanders further direction Durness, we are always watching out for sheep on this narrow street.

 

 

After this exciting excursion the cool cave of Smoo Cave a cure for us. It is impressively beautiful here and we listen to the sound of the dropping water, which falls down partially from a distance of 25 meters.


We take the same way back and again and again we have to jump into a passing place. Happily we reach Tongue and move on on the A836 closely the the North Sea.

 

 

 

On Single Tracks we go, at Coldbacki we have an incomparable view at the sea. We are again now on single tracks when a cow before a Cattle Grid blocks the way.

In the evening sun we enjoy the prospect of the bay of Bettyhill, then we drive a piece along the coast.

 

 

Via Armadale, Strathy, Melvich we reach Thurso. On straight distance it goes on after Castletown, passing old ruins and we decide, to have a break on our way back.


The bay of Dunnet is ahead us - a fantastic view. Finally we reach Dunnet Head, the most northerly part of Britain.

 

 

Some Minutes later we find our Bed and Breakfast quarter beside the only telephone in Brough.

We stop here greeted by the first Highland-caddle on this route. Kindly we are greeted in the house Windhaven and after we have unloaded our luggage, we visit the 'Northern of sand Sands'.

 

 

After a moderate dinner amounting to 33 Pds we go back to our Bed & Breakfast accommodation.


We find everything we need, even an internetconnection. We examine our e-mails and enjoy behind the house the view of 30 meters high reefs.

 

 

The next morning we have to leave after an excellent, extensive typical British breakfast.

Off we go further on the B855 in northern direction. We pass names like 'Many Lochs' and 'Long Loch'.

Finally we reach our goal: Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of Scotland with its typical lighthouse.

 

 

We have a look to the Orkneys and it goes back to Dunnet Bay.

 

The most beautiful beach of Scotland is here, which indeed is even better than the somewhat smaller at Bettyhill. However, the beaches of Morar, Arisaig, Uist and Harris are great, too. White sand and clear water, personally Romo and Amrum can not keep close to that.

 

We have of course no swimming-clothes, but that does not matter.


Personally me as somebody who does not like to swim too often, I go in underpants into the water and swims a short distance in the icy North Sea, ultimately the salt helps well against midges-bites.

 

 

 

Under protest of the children we leave this paradise and back it goes over the A836 after Thurso.

 

This time we are paying the promised visit to the old ruin at Castletown.

Along the A882 and the A895 it goes through heather, in the peat is stung, further on the east coast on the A9. From Dunbeath - here Neill M. Gunn lived - it is getting exciting.

 

 

The sea is on the left as a companion and the sign 'Try Your Brakes!' at Berriedale do say anything. An insane mountain - and descent begins. We can smell the rubber of our brakes during we drive down in serpents and in the next moment steeply uphill direction sea of Helmsdale. pass Bora with its Destillery and Dunrobin Castle. We cross the long bridge at Durnoch and Tain finally reaching a large bridge over the Morray Firth at Inverness. In Aviemore we get Fish and Chips before we leave the A9 at Glen Gary to Trinafour. It is a quite narrow way, which meanders up and down through a fantastic landscape.

 

Again and again sheeps are runnung at the street and we drive only slowly, until we see the Ben Á Chuallaich like a giant before us. The sun is already on her way towards the horizon, as we drive through swarms of midges in our quarter.

 

 


 

Bens and Glens - Schiehallion-Road and Loch Tay

 

We start at the cemetery of Kinloch Rannoch heading sourth-west.

Soon a sign points out, that this distance is nothing for heavy cars. Correct, as we notice later on. We pass the Dunalastair Water in a sputhern distance.

A dreamy landscape indeed, filled with sheeps.

 

 

To the right the Schiehallion raises up into the sky, while the sun laughs in the sky.

The narrow street meanders up through a various landscape filled with heather. Loch Kinardochy appears now on the left in front of us.


We see numerous fishing people. Shortly before White Bridge we are on the old general Wades Military Road, which we leave at Keltneyburn and turn left.

 

 

First of all we drive through a forest, suddenly the landscape looks like in Bavaria to us, until we reach Fortingall and find to our surprise several houses with thatched roofs.

On the left an old stonewall limits the way, to the right it is going deeply downward, only the River Lyon accompanies us.


Behind Fortingale we turn to the right side of the river. We pass Ruined Stone Bridge with his mighty waterfall.

 

 

 

Somewhere here Carnbane Castle should be, but that is so small, that we do not find it.

Via Invervar the road leads us through a timeless valley, people say its the most beautiful glen of Scotland. We are passing bridges, under them the White Waters flow. High mountain, one after another, then we reach Bridge of Balgie and turn left and much to our surprise we see: two llamas!

 

 

Constantly sheep bustle on the narrow street, wild water roars at us desperately, we see a whole flock Highland-cattle in the valley, on the left roars romantically a waterfall, on the right are noisy stairways of water.


A perfect glen!


 

The further way is very narrow and winding, To out right hand it leads about hundred meters deeply downward, so that we are afraid of each car approching us from the front.

Wild moor, then we reach a dam and find the Ben Lawers Visitor Centre. Here is an exibition of the flora of the entire landscape. Steeply the street leads now down to the Loch Tay, a wonderful view.


 

Along the A827 the road leads through Lawers and Fearnan along the Loch Tay.

Many sailingboats and motorboats are to be seen. After we have entered the Tay Forrest park, we see Kenmore, with a golfplace, a tennis court and a traffic-light and, however, Taymouth Castle.

Further we drive to Aberfeldy, a pretty and

interesting town.

 

We find a curios, old watermill for sale, however we are too short on money, therefore we drive back crossing the famous bridge of Aberfeldy heading the B846. The streets leads us through a boring landscape passing the modern Castle Menzies. We decide to make a side-trip to Tummel Bridge. The road leads through fields and forests, short way before Glengoulandi the solitude and the beautiful wilderness is back again. The old Militaryroad goes down at a 7 % descent back to Loch Kinardlochy.
After a Powerstation we are in Tummel Bridge and we proceed again on the way home.

 

 

 


 

Visiting Castles, buying Pagpipes

 

Today a visit of Blair Castle is planed. We pass through the small, sleepy small town Kinloch Rannoch to shortly before Dunalastair.
To Balmore it goes via the B847 to the Tay Forest Park.

Shortly before Trinafour we stop and have a look on the 'Sleeping Giant', a mountain range, which resembles a giant lying on the back. It is said, as long as the giant sleeping watches there, the entire area around the Loch Rannoch is protected.

 

 

 

Straight along the impressive Glen Errochty we reach Struen and Calvine to the white Blair Castle at Blair Atholl.
As a Bag-Piper plays, the sightseeing tour through the castle starts.


An amazing Number of guns welcome us at the entrance. A young guy from Sweden leads us. He is living here just for some weeks doing this job.

 

 

 

It is funny: Germans are leaded by a swedish guy through a Scottish Castle, hearing in straight german everything more or less interests over the curious life of aristocrates.


Unfortunately pictures are forbidden in the castle, so that I only can take a few pictures, without being caught by the guards.

 

 

I

 

A sign sais, Diana is buried here and we start the search.

We are quite disappointed when we reach a small statue of Diana, the goddess of the hunt - a real trap for tourists.

 

We always must think of bagpipes and finally we conclude, though not a complete bagpipe but a least to buy a beginners chanter, a practise chanter.

At Killiecrankie at the A9 we make a short break and learn some over the famous 'Pass of Killicrankié, a masterpiece of architecture. Finally we arrive at Pitlochry.

 

 

 

There is for the strengthening 'Fish 'n chips Chips' in the small Fish & Ships shop Ardchoille for 3,85 Pds.

 

Considering such prices on the British island we are quite astonished to find a beginners chanter for 5,99 Pds only. We immediately take two of it, one can have never enough.

 

 

By the way learning the pagpipe requires 7 years exercise, a flute hopefully somewhat less. Martina could play the 'Dancing Queen of Aberdeen' already after few hours quite well.

We take a walk to the station of Pitlochry and visit the playground beside a small amusement park for children. Magically a slot machine attracts us, it is the kind which ruined us already years ago in London: insert a 10 Pence pieces and watch it falling down behind a glasscreen.

 

 

 

 

Lots of coins are lying there, being pushed forward forwards a slot. It really looks like they are falling down any minute, but they dont do so. We are convinced, at the next throw all the coins will be ours. After a couple of minutes we still have 2 pound left and spend the last money on a motorcar-race. Just the youngest of us wins all races. Then we are out of money and visit the 'Fish Ladder'. Here the Loch Fiskally accumulates and via 'stairs' the fish can jump onto the ulterior River Tummel. At the festival Theatre we reach a witty, green suspension bridge over the River Tummel. It fluctuates and despite a prohibition sign we swing there and here. Then we have seen enought for one day and we drive back via the A9.

 

 

 


 

Harry Potter and the Local Hero

 

The sky is overcast, it drizzles. A hughe bird arises frightened into the air, a flock of 20-25 crows disappeared and the sheeps lift their heads sleepy as are moving this early morning over a hidden path direction west coast.


The clouds fly deeply at the gray heaven, continuous rains has began and melancholy lies over the mountains. Shortly before Fort William we follow the bend towards the A830, the rain relaxes short-term and we drive through Corpach.

 

Industrial plants, a boring distance follows, Loch Eil comes in view. We happen Fassfern, the landscape becomes fascinating, really 'scottish', even if rains and mists hinders the view on to the mountains.

To the left emerges Loch Shiel, a 'Rumple Strip' forces us, to drive more slowly.

The track accompanies us from here through the breathtaking landscape.

 


We come to a place, which reminds us simulaneously at the film 'Local Hero'. This could be the place out of the film the rabbit was hurted by a car.


High, steep rocks, from which now and then waterfalls come out onto the street - we feel rather small. Further we go along the Loch, a railway leads at the left side further, while we are driving on the other side of the Loch.

 


 

At the end of the Loch the railway crosses again our way, via an old stonebridge it crosses over the street away to the other side.


Gigantic walls of rocks, which lead us like signs, an old bridge, then reach we the sea.

 

Knobby trees greet us, to trickle peat appears from the rock and we find ourselves suddenly on an unique Single Track. What now follows, is nothing is for weak nerves.


 

In serpents the way leads through a deep forest, cracked signs point to the many sharp bends, it goes up and down, and the street is infernally narrow partially.


Inbetween we meet again the railway. Shortly on it can suspected only, that she proceed now on the bridges, under which we pass through. We reach happily Arisaig and the sea finally.

 

 

 

 

To our surprise the street is expanded here newly amounting to multiple tracks.
In the meager area on the left and on the right we see many new plants. Then we reach Morar and of course we are sure to reached our final destination.

We ask an old Scotsman about the making of the film 'Local Hero'. Actually, at the bay were taken a few parts of the film, however the pertinent houses were built only for the film, with the exception of some on the east coast.

 

 

The famous church indeed is for many years privately owned and is found closely Lochailort, we learn further.

Too bad, but we take first times our next goal in the visor, the departure the 'Hogwart-Express' in Mullaig. It is not of course the genuine steamtrain, which we saw in the Harry Potter films, but the cars are genuine.

 

 

The steamtrain of course is the 'Jacobite, the lord of the Isles'. The total excursion of Mullaig to fort William is 42 miles long and lasts about 2 hours.

An adult pays for a simple excursion 18,50 Pds, a child 10 Pds, it is recommanded to book in advance. Transportation ist offered from middle June until the beginning of October.

 

The departure takes some time and we sit at the very beautiful, picturesque harbor of Mullaig and eat each one portion of chips.


It is picturesque beautifully here, by watching the large seaguls we forget about the time. The 'Hogwart-Express' has departed without us. We jump into the car and an nice chase begins. In no time we drive back the serpentines.

 

 

Shortly before Lochailort the train is for the first time aside us.


Suddenly the 'Local Hero' stops us: there she ist, the church out of the film. We have found her.

However the Hogward-Express appears now to be the winner of this race. We start the hunt again, the streets are empty and we can push the car.

 

 

We can smell him already, for he pulls lots of smoke behind him and then: behind Ranochan we overtake him finally.


Immediately we drive on the parking lot at Glenfinnan, climb over a fence while the rain ist still streaming and climb a slushy elevation.

 

 

 

Then he comes steaming over the high viaduct, to which Harry Potter and Ron Weasley did their crazy Stunt with the Ford Anglia.


We have won the race!

Of course the film was taken from the other side of the viaduct, but that does not count at all. Feet and Clothes are wet and we drive home for this day.

 

 


 

Nessie and the Highlander

 

its a trick only ;-)

 

On our way in northern direction we leave the A9 at the end of the Loch Ericht. On the A889 we meet Dalwhinnie with her small Destillery and turn onto the A86.


Further we go along the Loch Laggan, on the left side streaming rain whilst on the right the sun laughs.


Signs with the inscription 'Hidden dip' warn us, heather, birchs and jaws dancing around us.

 

The mountains range on all sides appear to us like an army of giants.

We see large sandy beaches and in between hidden Castles on the other riverside, until we reach Glen Spean.

Before Ferrit we see a dam, near Roybridge we appear to reach each moment the clouds.

 

 

At Spean Bridge we see the 3 mountains Ben Nevis, Scattered Choire Claurigh and Chno Dearg like giants appearing for a new seconds between the passing clouds.


An impressive spectacle, even the children are quit for a moment. We then turn to the right onto the A82 to Invergary, passing Loch Lochy.

 

The street meanders through a fantastic primeval landscape, deeply flying clouds and high mountains accompany us.

It is oppressing breathtakingly wild at the same time.


We reach Laggan - here a youth hostel is - and have a break in Invergary. We have scones and shortbread, delicious.

 

near Loch Lagganseven sisters

 

We now turn onto the A87, to our left Loch Gary lies. We are frightened about the many cleared forests in this area.

While it goes always more and more highly, we notice many young jaw closely Loch Loyne, which were planted recently new.

We now find a primeval landscape, accompanies by the Five Sisters, a high mountain range. Again and again very beautiful waterfalls are to be seen.

 

 

After Shiel Bridge the Loch Duich appears: an insane prospect of the lake, it follows a street, which is sprinkled through a gigantic rock.

Inverinate, a small city, which consists only of some new houses does not fit into the general pattern. Here there is Bed & Breakfast enough.

We reach the first destination, Eilean Donan Castle, one the locations of the film 'Highlander".

 

Highlander

 

We are disappointed somewhat, for the castle looks too accurate. A family-card costs here about 9,50 Pds. We save the money for the Nessie-Exhibition and turn back onto the A87.

After all the rain during the last hours suddenly the sun ist there again. Almost we regret it, for thereby the landscape loses something from her melancholy of eternity.

 

As the sun throws her radiation on the mountains, however the contrasts within the landscape gets real in a fascinating way.
We feel like being in an other world. At the end the Loch Cluanie, shortly behind the dam, we turn to the left at the A887.

At Glen Moriston the landscape gets flat again, beside us we see a river destined to the Loch Ness.

 

 

 

In between it goes on a lovely Single Track. Lovely because one knows never, how big and how fast an accommodating vehicle is.


The noise of an back-mirror which crashes is not very nice. By the way, as I can confirm from own experience.

After Tomcrascy the street gets bigger through birchs and fir forests through we reach Invermoriston, an easy turn to the left and are we at the Loch Ness.

 

 

It lasts no 20 minutes and we have reached Drumnadrochit and pay a nice amount of 14,95 Pds for a familycard.

However, the show has improved since our last visit 14 years ago. There are meanwhile polyglot films.

One enters one cave after another and moves from room to room while listening to different audio information.

 

 

Nessie is still aliveThe Final Cut - End of the Journey

 

At streaming rain we reach Urquhard Castle and see something fantastic.

A perfect rainbow stretches itself from the left side behind the old yard over to it argue. Urquhard Castle is completely surrounded by a rainbow.

We see a second rainbow, which closes around the first.

 

This is again such a specific moment, even our children are calm. Deeply impressed we take the way back home, as suddenly the sun laughs at the sky. It is true, each valley in Scotland has his own weather. We move on through the picturesque Fort Augustus and cross the Caledonian Canel further to the Loch Lochy.

 

 

 

Individual pieces of clounds hover only few hundred meters above our heads through the landscape, as we drive home into the evening sun in.

 

 

 

 

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