Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, Our Day in the Highlands

Our basic plan for the day was to travel north through the interior, follow Glen Coe (a valley) to the coast and then follow the coast south to compete a circular route. We had read that Glen Coe is one of the most beautiful glens (or valleys) in Scotland. It also has historical significance as the site of the Glencoe Massacre. After enjoying the local hospitality for 10 days in 1692, a group of Campbell soldiers attacked their hosts killing 38 MacDonalds. Hundreds of MacDonalds fled to to hills. The attack was triggered by a political misunderstanding.

Shortly after we started our journey north we saw the ruined Kilchurn Castle across Loch Awe.

We stopped at the Bridge of Orchy for a delicious cream tea (coffee in my case) at a very nice pub/tea room.

Sometimes when you are traveling, it is the unexpected experiences that are the most memorable. That is what happened Saturday. We had stopped by the tourist information centre in Inveraray before starting our day of touring and the person we talked to was extremely helpful. He basically planned our day for us right down to the suggesting a tea room for lunch and a restaurant for supper (both of which turned out to be excellent suggestions). However it was his suggestion for us to do a drive down Glen Etive that provided us with some of the most unique and impressive scenery of our trip. The drive was down a single track dead end road that followed a river to the beginning of Loch Etive

We turned off the main road through Glenn Coe to the Glen Etive road just before this impressive mountain.

As mentioned, the road was single track but in good condition.

In this photo, you can start to get some sense of the beauty of the valley, although the camera does not do it justice. You can also see the 'passing spot' on the road. We met some cars and one camper van, but fortunately there was not a lot of traffic.

Streams flowing vigorously down from the sides of the valley joined the river and added to its volume as we travelled down the valley.

Finally we reached the end of the road. The river flowed into Loch Etive.

On our way back out the road, we noticed a herd of red deer.

When we got back to the main road, we continued on through Glen Coe and indeed it was also quite beautiful.

We continued on to the city of Oban. Oban is a major ferry port with services to a number of the islands of the Inner Hebrides. It would have been nice to have a couple extra days to visit one or two of the islands.

We continued to follow the coast south before stopping in Kilmartin to look for another prehistoric stone circle. These standing stores are at a site called Templewood.

It was almost dark when we arrived back in Inveraray. A full day. Tomorrow we head to Edinburgh and drop off the car.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. So, you're still safe and sound and driving on the correct side of the road!

    Love the highland scenery. Have you ever seen the Monarch of the Glen tv series? This post reminds me of the landscapes from it.

    Have fun! P.S. the word verification I got was "baygemo"