Another beautiful castle I see on my roundtrip, but unfortunately this one was als closed. If you want information about Inveraray castle, please take a look on this website :
Opening times :
1st April - 31st October:
Monday-Saturday from 10:00 to 17:45 (last admission 17:00)
On Sundays from 12: 00 to 17:45
Adults £6.30, Senior Citizens £5.20, Students £5.20 and children (under 16) £4.10. A familiy ticket (2 adults & 2 or more children) will cost you £17.00 (prices 2007)
Favorite thing: This is the famous Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain! We only passed by infront of it by our coach as we headed towards Loch Ness adventure. Many people It is also probably the most dangerous! Unfortunately, many mountaineers lost their lives on Ben Nevis.
- Mountain Climbing
Favorite thing: We arrived in Fort William in need of a laundromat. Unfortunately, FW has no public laundry services. The only place in town was the Croit Anna Hotel. We were relieved to find out that non-guests were allowed to use the facilities. They only have two washers, and two dryers, but we didn't mind the wait.
The Croit Anna is located 2.5 miles south of town.
Back in Devon! Wow, was I glad to be here after that long journey. This is me in Honiton, where we visited our friends Terry and Vivianne. We had a wonderful New Years Eve.
The vacation is at an end. Devon.... hmmm, makes me think : I still have to write my stories about Honiton and Devon. I have been here so many times. But that is going to be another time and another page....
The 30th of December, it is time to go home....... but that wasn't as easy as it sounds.
The car of my friends broke down, and that on the 30th of December. Everything was closing because of Hogmanay (the New Years Celebrations in Scotland). I never heard about it, and wondered what it was all about. But a few years later, during the millennium, I celebrated Hogmanay in Edingburgh. And wow, those Scottish people now how to party!!! But that is another story.....
In the mean time we are here, with a broken car, no spare parts anywhere to be found in England. The repair shop was closing because of Hogmanay, and no rental cars to be found anywhere. We tried almost all day, phoning with the lease company of the car, and trying to find an alternative way to get to the south of England. But finally, early in the evening, we were able to rent a car.... what a day it has been!
But we had to get to Devon still. A very long drive, all the way from Scotland to the south. The journey wasn't easy, we got thick mist and and ice rain on parts of the journey. Finally, very very early in the morning and totally exhausted, we arrived at our friends house in Devon. Sigh, what a relief!
Watching the sunset
Staring at the sunset, sitting on the ledge, overlooking the water. Sigh... wish I was there again. The day is at an end, it is time to go back to the cottage. Tomorrow we are leaving Scotland. But this has been a trip I will never forget.
The harbour at Mallaig
The enchanting fishing village of Mallaig. From here there is only a ferry to the islands. It is very nice to stroll around this little village.
We visited the aquarium here : Marine World. It is nice, but for me not a must see. You can read more about the aquarium on their website :
I don't know if this is the correct name in English, but we call them Scottish Higlanders. Well, I had to make a picture of that of course!!! When I got home, they laughed about it. Why take a picture of a Scottish Higlander??? Nothing special about that..... there is one in the pasture further along the road!
Spoil sports!!! I still like it :-)
The road to Mallaig is beautiful. At first you drive past Loch Shiel and then the road winds further for miles and miles taking you through beautiful landscapes. It start off with forest, and than pastures, with the plains just before the coast. And at the end is the picturesque village of Mallaig. It is the end of the road, so no other way back than taking the same road again. Which isn't bad, because it is a beautiful route. But Mallaig is also the point where you can take the ferry to one of the Scottish Isles.
It was so pieceful and quiet on the road, and all of a sudden we saw a deer. I love to see wildlife, and this was such a great surprise.
A closer look at Glenfinnan Monument
A closer look at the monument. It is a tall column headed by a Highlander in full dress. You can climb this column, but unfortunately was closed when we where there.
The tower is now in the custody of the National Trust for Scotland and a Visitor Centre here (open April - October, tel/fax: 01397 722250) which tells the Prince's story.
I wish I could have climbed the tower. The view you must have from up there.... wow, that must be so great. Take a look at the next picture to see what the view is like from the ground, and imagine what it must be like from the tower......
It is hard to believe, but the best of my trip is still to come..... the road to Mallaig!
You really should take this road, when you get a chance, it is so beautiful. It was the highlight of my vacation, the place that comes to my mind, when I think about Scotland. Mallaig itself is not so spectacular, it is an enchanting fishing village. The road to Mallaig has no real spectacular highlights..... but the whole trip, the winding road, the changing landscape, the piece and quiet.... wow, it is great!!!!
And you have to make a stop at the Glenfinnan Monument! Glenfinnan is where Prince Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie) first landed in Scotland to 'head' the Jacobite Uprising, Scotland's last rebellion in 1745-46. That first summer day, few clansmen showed up to greet the Prince, but slowly, as the hours passed, more and more came, until finally Cameron of lochiel arrrived with 700+ clansmen.
In 1815, the Glenfinnan monument was built by Alexander MacDonald of Glenaladale in memory of all the clansmen who had fought for the cause.
This is the view you have at the Glenfinnan Monument on Loch Shiel. It was such a perfect day to see Loch Shiel. What a wonderful light, so strange, but so amazing. The mist is hanging over the lake, the sun is shining brightly and trying to get through the mist. A view I will never forget, this for me is Scotland in the winter.
It was -20 outside, and my toes felt like they were freezing off. But this view, oooh, I just couldn't get enough of it! I could stare at it for hours, but I was dragged back to the car after a while. Hahaha, not everyone wanted to stand here for hours, because their feet where getting too cold :-)
Urquhart Castle (pronounced as 'Urkhurt') This ruin of a castle is beautifully situated on Loch Ness. This picture was taken in December when the castle was covered in a thin layer of snow. When you look closely at the water you can see a beautiful phenomenon. A river flows into the Loch Ness and the warm and cold water meet each other. This results into a thick fog just at the point where the two meet waters meet. It gives a spooky but beautiful effect.
It is almost certain that the earliest parts of medieval castle date from early 1200's. The building of the castle was probably finished around 1350. The castle switched hands many times and has know many battles. The ordinary people of the Great Glen went through a great deal of suffering and devastation in those times.
But in the 1600's the castle was abandoned by the Grants to the people of the Glen. Those walls which had for so long been a cause of suffering to them, now became their comfort as they dismantled masonry and removed stones to build their own houses. Now only some ruins remain of what once was Urquhart Castle. The castle is beautifully situated on Loch Ness though, which make it worth while to visit it.
Opening times :
April to September :
Monday-Sunday 9:30am to 6:30pm;
October to March :
Monday-Saturday 9:30am to 4:30pm;
Sunday 2:00pm to 4:30pm
Last ticket sold 30 minutes before closing.
Directions : On Loch Ness, near Drumnadrochit on the A82.
More info on:
Spooky Loch Ness
Oh, isn't this a spooky effect! I am at Loch Ness, there is a mist hanging over the lake, and the sun is trying to brake through the mist. In the distance we see two silhouettes.... they look almost like monks. Hmmmmm, I feel like I am standing at this lake hundreds of years ago. I try to spot Nessie, but of course for nothing. She is probably hidden in the mist grinning at me.... no way she will let me take her picture.
My friends decide to stay in the cottage today. But I want to go out again, I just can't get enough of this beautiful country!!! I plan to go to Loch Ness, it is not so far away... and be honest.... can you go to Scotland and not look for Nessie? Well I couldn't! On the way to Loch Ness I saw this war monument.
It was such a gorgeous day, the sun was shining brightly and there was still snow everywhere. I still can't believe how lucky I was with the weather.