Monday, 16 February 2015

Scotland Again!


Ballachulish

I'm ashamed it's taken me so long to post this year! No real excuse I haven't had any horrible lurgeys, I haven't had much work to do on the church newsletter & website and I haven't had a lot of babysitting to do. The weather has been quite good so I haven't stayed in much. Done quite a bit of gadding about locally & taken a few photos so maybe I'll get to post some.

I've done a lot of knitting, shawls mainly. Now three are waiting to be blocked if I ever find the time!

Well I've got some of my rail tours for this year. Can't believe I've got two Scottish ones! I'm going to some of the places I went last summer & some brilliant new ones.

I did love Ballachulish which is not far from Fort William. We travelled up from Glasgow on the West Highland Line. Keeping my fingers crossed nfor a fine trip. It pelted down the whole day so we could hardly see a thing on the journey. I was told it was a gorgeous trip, well I might get to see it this time.

It was so serene & peaceful in Ballachulish. The photo above is of the old hotel we stayed in which was on the edge of Loch Leven. 

The photos below are of the Loch & you can see how lovely it was even in quite dull weather. Well it is Scotland.




I had to laugh at what two Americans said to me complaining about the hotel. "The company should never send people to hotels where there are no shops & restaurants". I think they must have expected Disneyworld! Not sure how I held it in!


Not sure if we'll be going here I haven't got the final itinerary yet. It was very photogenic & has been used for lots of films including Skyfall. It was hard getting a photo without anyone walking in front of you to take a photo!


 Eilan Donan Castle

Off again to Isle of Mull on the ferry from Oban. I enjoyed that ferry crossing.



Ferry to Isle of Mull


On the Crossing to Mull

Didn't get to stay on Mull last time, only toured Duart Castle but I think we're staying in Craignure for three nights. Hope we get to Tobermory this time & see the lovely location for the children's TV series Balamory! Always wanted to go there but won't get to see Archie's pink castle!


























Inverness
I'll get to Inverness again. I liked it but didn't have enough time to see much. Another dull day but at least it didn't rain.


I'll get to go on the Jacobite Steam Train again alias Hogwart's Express! A lovely journey from Fort William to Mallaig especially great crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct. 


Glenfinnan Viaduct

Any Harry Potter fans will remember this from the scene with the flying Ford Anglia! The photo isn't good because it was taken from inside the train & the windows were closed. There were people in cars following us & stopping every so often to wave to the train. Just hope the weather is a bit kinder this time.


I'll be in the lovely Edinburgh a few times. The weather was gorgeous both times I was there!



National Gallery





Princes Street Gardens

This time I'll also get to Glasgow which I also love.

Now the new places I'm going to are Aberdeen & right up to Thurso & John O'Groats at the top of Scotland to catch the ferry to Orkney & the Shetlands. We'll also be travelling on the Royal Deeside Railway & going to Balmoral if the Queen isn't in residence! WOW!

I'm also going to Pitlochry, Plockton (where they filmed Hamish Macbeth) Urquhart Castle Loch Ness, the Hebrides, Staffa, Iona & Fingal's Cave. Double WOW!!!!!

Here's a link to my map of the places I'm visiting in Scotland. See how far up north Shetland is from Thurso. It's a fair trek, halfway to Norway.

My other tours are Cornwall & Lake Garda, Verona & Venice. Gorgeous!

Think it's going to be a hectic summer. Just hope it's a good one weatherwise especially on those sea cruises around the Scottish islands but I'm not holding out great hopes! I'll enjoy it whatever the weather. 

33 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes Scotland has a quality about it that even on the dullest of days the colours are beautiful.

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  2. Better late than never! Wow, I enjoyed this post immensely and now I guess I will have to watch SKYFALL to see that castle. Glad the Americans made you laugh. At least we're good for something. LOL A couple of the places made me think of Portween (sp?) and Doc Martin.

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    1. Have to say I didn't recognise the castle from the film. I think the two American ladies mustn't have checked the itinerary. They loved Inverness. There were lots of shops & I manged to get them a room with a view of the castle! Yes the view from the boat as we left Oban does look a bit like Port Isaac where they filmed Doc Martin. I just wish we had time to get to the beach on the way to Mallaig. The white sands were fabulous. That train run is fabulous.

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  3. Fantastic! I lovedyour Scottish pictures, they reminded me of that special feeling I always get in Scotland, something about the look of the skies and the water, can't quite pin it down.... oh, and feeling a bit chilly too, even in summer! :)

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    1. Yes Scotland is a really special place. Other than Edinburgh I hadn't been there for nearly forty years. The air just smells wonderful & the serenity of the places is wonderful. It felt a bit like that in the Austrian Lakes too. The weather changed so quickly there even in August & the light quality & clouds over the lakes were very similar on dull days. It was very different on the hot sunny days though!

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  4. Fantastic! I lovedyour Scottish pictures, they reminded me of that special feeling I always get in Scotland, something about the look of the skies and the water, can't quite pin it down.... oh, and feeling a bit chilly too, even in summer! :)

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  5. You are getting to do what most people like me just dream about.
    Loved the post ,my fathers family or of Scottish descent.

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    1. Yes I am lucky but it is hard work sometimes & the pay isn't good. However it's worth it as I love seeing places that I never would get to see even though they aren't too far away!

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  6. What beautiful photos. Looks as though the trip was a success. I've never been out of the USA, and I've never even been in all the states here. In fact there's lots and lots to see right here in our own state of Ohio which I haven't seen. I've never been much for one who likes to travel. I prefer taking mini trips and back home by bed time.

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    1. I do like travelling but I love coming home too. Makes you appreciate it even more.
      Sometimes there are lovely places really close to home & I enjoy vising them too. I hopped on a bus a couple of weeks ago with my free bus pass (age doesn't have many compensations but the free bus pass is one). I went up to Hexham in Northumberland, visited the abbey & had a scone & a coffee there. I wandered around the town for an hour & then got the bus home. A nice trip out. I'm doing this again on Friday with a couple of friends & we're off to Alnwick which I posted about last year when I went to the Barter Bookshop. My friend's husband had always wanted to visit the shop but never did. So we'll toast him with a coffee & a cookie biscuit!

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  7. wow, those photos - your itinerary, all of it - just wonderful! Love seeing these areas through your lens. I will definitely check back to see more as you go on your travels. There is a certain artist I love and his CD's are Sons of Somerled and Stone of Destiny, Patrick MacDonald - wonderful to listen to and see images. Have fun on your trips.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G61AmCqtzN4

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    1. Enjoyed that video & music. Eileen Donan Castle certainly gets in on all the photos & videos.
      On my tours I'm going to try to write each day up as it happens then it will be easier to post than going back afterwards.

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    2. good idea - keeping a journal every day will make it easier i would think.

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  8. Beautiful photos. I've never been to Scotland and your post made me think of arranging a trip there,
    sometime in the future. I hope we will make it .
    I also hope you enjoy all your travels and share many more happy moments with us.
    Tina

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I hope you get there Tina just don't forget your mac! Even when the weather is poor it still looks beautiful but when you get good weather it's fantastic. So serene.

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  9. Like Patty, I've never been out of USA, except when we visited Niagara Falls on the Canada side. At that time I didn't need a passport to cross over the border, but now days things have changed and to go to Canada we need a passport of which I don't have one.

    I really enjoyed reading about your vacation and loved the photos. I enjoy seeing other places through the eyes of others now days. Thanks for sharing and look forward to the new ones you will be posting from your holiday this summer.

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    1. There are so many places to visit in the USA & all so different. Have you read any of Bill Bryson's books? I love the ones about the USA, they're hilarious. Well I love all his stuff, such a tremendous wit.
      I'm glad you enjoy the photos & my travels. I love reading other people's trips too. I enjoy seeing new places especially in Europe. It's over thirty years since I was in Venice & it was only for a day. It will be the same again this time sadly & I assume it will be desperately crowded in summer when we go. I had hoped the company would give me a trip that involved a cruise leaving from Venice so we'd get more time there. So I'll just have to look for a cruise that visits Venice in the spring next year, if I'm spared as they say! Maybe then I'll get a bit more time there.

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  10. what gorgeous photos, I wouldn't mind going on one of those tours....

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  11. These photos are just so lovely. The one of the castle looks so strange from my vantage point that it might have been taken on another planet. What must it have been like to live in such a place way up there where the winter days are so short and the weather never gets really warm even in summer? I should think it would have been hard for even the rich, with the poor at least having a space small enough that they could heat it better.

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  12. Yes it must have been awful especially for the poor in the Scottish Highlands. The English aristocracy treated them really badly. The Highland clearances of the 18 & 19th centuries were terrible, brutal & so unfair. Still for many, if they survived, it led to better lives in North America & Australia. One of the reasons why the Scots still have a thing about the English! You can't blame them, However we in the North of England could feel the same about the Scots who used to raid the borderlands but it's too long ago to be fashed about it.
    To be honest they used to kill each other. One of the places we visited was Glencoe which is the scene of a terrible massacre of the McDonalds by the Campbells. All Scots!

    With that weather you have to wonder why the blokes took to wearing kilts though! Really macho.To be fair they can some very nice weather nowadays, you just can't rely on it. Maybe global warming.

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  13. Wow Winifred!!!! I have been doing my genealogy and realized that so many of my ancestors are from Scotland. Even the ones that I thought were Irish are Scottish. My last name used to be MacMillian, and I have a great grandmother that was born in Bavaria whose Mom married a Highlander that was born in France. Trying to find out about them is difficult. I wish I knew what their religions were, because I have heard that Catholic churches kept pretty good records. I have always felt like my family has a curse on us. Sounds funny....but I have read that Irish/ Scottish people believe in that sort of things. Can't wait to see and read more about your adventures!!

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  14. Spectacular photographs, the views breathtakingly beautiful !
    I hope to visit Scotland soon, especially since my husband has just discovered his Scottish roots .
    Some people cannot appreciate the silence and serenity of vistas, it looks like a grand hotel, that's just where I would choose to stay.....no noise, just peace and tranquility.
    Look forward to more of your travels !
    ~Jo

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    1. That's interesting for you both checking out his ancestors. There's a great archive in Edinburgh Jo if you get the chance go there the National Archives of Scotland website is here http://www.nas.gov.uk/ Best of luck & enjoy your trip.

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  15. It's all so gorgeous! You are blessed to go on such wonderful tours, I loved your pictures too. And, thanks for visiting my blog, I enjoyed your comment. My hubby will be retired 6 years this coming fall and I don't blog near as much as I used to. I am trying to do better, this is a wonderful post tonight.

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  16. These pictures are absolutely amazing.

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  17. These pictures are absolutely amazing.

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  18. Winifred, so glad I found your blog today. Your photos are wonderful! Scotland is so beautiful and on my list of must-sees.

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  19. That's weird, I'm totally convinced I left a comment ere and it's disappeared!

    I love your photos. I don't know what camera you use, but you capture all the details so well. So sharp with great clarity! I've only been to Scotland once, but it was beautiful. Just as you've pictured it.

    Glad you have been busy doing good things!

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    1. I just use a Lumix Panasoni which I've had for quite a long time. Dead easy to just point & click which is what I tend to do. I'm usually trailing along after family & running to keep up. Got lost a few times in Disneyworld!

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  20. I think ONLY an American would complain about no shops and restaurants with a spectacular scenery like that wow!! And I LOVE the movie Skyfall...I love the entire Bond series really....it's one of those series that you can rewatch no matter what!

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