Sunday, 27 September 2015

Beautiful Bonnie Scotland

In my last post I described Ireland as barren and hard.  Scotland on the other hand, in my opinion, is exactly the opposite (but then I've always been smitten with the place since first seeing it in 1972).

As we were driving from Inverness to Oban and the Isle of Luing - while consistently shouting WOW at every bend in the road - I was trying to think of the best words to describe this stunning land.  Beautiful! Certainly.  Lush! Absolutely.  Awe-inspiring!  Yes, at each turn in the road.  Scotland is without question a very special place. 

Oh, and one other word I'd use to describe Scotland, WET!   It rains a lot.  I guess that explains why it's so green and lush everywhere.  Everyday there's some rain .. drizzle blows across everything even if the sun is shining!  But no amount of rain can dampen my love of this magnificent and ancient land.

Our first week here has been filled with enjoying family and excursions in our rental car.  First, let me say something about our car.  When we were all in Ireland at Angela's birthday Sheena, George's sister who lives in Inverness, said she'd arrange for our car and pick us up at the airport when we got to Inverness.  She asked us what type of car we wanted.  I said, "just make it an automatic please!".  We had a manual in Ireland and I didn't like driving it much around the narrow stop and start roads.  George said, without hesitation, "I want a Jag".  It was a joke soon forgotten.  But, when Sheena picked us up at the airport on Sunday there it was, a bright red Jaguar car!  So we have the joy of touring around Scotland in our own Jag!  Smart.

The Jag.  All George needs now are the tweeds, plus-four, and jodhpurs and he will be the spitting image of the country gentleman.

 Our travels in pictures.........

On the road to Cromarty we saw a sign to a 'Clootie Well' with a path leading deep into the woods.  We pulled over and walked for a bit into the woods and didn't find the well ... plus we had no idea what we were looking for.  We never did find the well which is a shame because it would have been cool to see one.  'Clootie' is a Scottish word for a rag or strip of cloth and a clootie well is a place of magic and healing from the old days.  The belief was that if you dipped a piece of cloth ripped from the area of your body that was unwell and hung it in the trees above the well then you would be healed.

At Rosemarkie wild dolphins, seals and very occasionally otters come in close to shore for people to see and sometimes interact with.  We diverted our drive to see them.  When we arrived there were lots of people with telescope lenses on cameras.  We waited for over half an hour but they decided not come that day.

In Cromarty Bay we saw lots of oil platforms that were either waiting to be taken out into the North Sea or were there to be repaired or dismantled.  Lovely little bay but the oil platforms were huge and really took away from the beauty of the place.

We walked around Inverness and toured the locks of the Caledonian Canal .. from Inverness you can travel all the way to Loch Ness and through other Lochs to the ocean.

Just one spectacular view on the way to Oban and then the Isle of Luing to visit Robert's parents.  Every turn in the road offers something like this ... WOW just WOW!

The Bridge Over the Atlantic Ocean!  This is the Clachan Bridge built in 1791 and links the Scottish mainland to the Isle of  Seil.  Because the Clachan Sound links both to the Atlantic Ocean it became known as the Bridge Over the Atlantic.  We crossed it on the way to the ferry to Luing.  It is single lane and very very steep at the top!  The scenery around it is breathtaking.

This old inn just over the bridge on the island side was used by the islanders after the Jacobite Rebellion to change into pants when travelling to the mainland when the kilt was outlawed.  When they returned to the island they put back on their kilts.

After visiting on Luing we returned to Oban and had some trouble at first finding a bed & breakfast for the night.  But we happened on this one right on the harbour and they had just had a cancellation for their #1 room right on the harbour!  So, along with the Jag, we enjoyed living like royalty for another night! 

And then we left for the Isle of Skye and more scenic splendour!!  Plus more family and friends.  More tomorrow ... I hope (we're so busy it's hard to find the time to blog!!!  We're having the best time ... wish you all could be here! (Now I'm going to post this without proofreading so please excuse the mistakes)

1 comment:

  1. I could see George in the Jag, the country gentleman. Sounds like your having a great time