Wednesday 01 June 2011

D-Day + 2

Today we traveled. We woke up at 4AM local time to get to the Dublin airport for a flight to Edinburgh. Once there we picked up our rental car and headed out north, to the wilds of Scotland, chanting “on the left, on the left” as we went. Except for the roundabouts it was a mostly uneventful drive up to Inverness, although Mom had a strong tendency to be a bit too far to the left.

Our first real stop was at Daviot Wood where we used the toilets and got some tourist information. It had some very nice looking hiking trails but we were pressing to get up to our destination so we passed them by. I bought a detail map of the roads at our destination but promptly forgot about it and didn’t remember it until we were almost ready to leave. Yay.

When we reached Inverness it was around lunch time. We were just a few miles from Loch Ness and the staffer at Daviot Wood had recommended the Dores Inn on the south (less touristy because of a smaller road) side of the Loch which we decided to give a try. It was a nice drive and a very nice lunch (the maccaroni and cheese was superb). Highly recommended if you happen to be driving around near the north end of Loch Ness.

We played on the shore for a bit but the water was far too cold and choppy to go in. The kids found a playground there and had some fun. The wind was very fierce.

Corwin contemplates Loch Ness

Next was a long drive on the A9 which passes for a major road in north Scotland. It’s a narrow two lane road with traffic both ways. As we found out later it’s one of the most dangerous roads per passenger mile in the UK. We were actually stopped for an hour or so around Golspie due to an accident, which, based on the car wreckage, was very likely fatal. It didn’t really affect Mom’s driving much, as she was already about as wound up as she could get. The kids, of course, had utter faith in Mom’s driving capabilities.

After a subsequently uneventful, if long with great scenery, drive we arrived at our lodgings, a small cottage which was all ready for us. We met the owner and our friend Sharon there, both of whom had stocked the refrigerator with some essentials (e.g., coffee and milk). The cottage is just in front of an abandoned quarry which we explored a little bit. The view out the front is in to another working quarry but the views out the back are spectacular, just like a fairy tale landscape. The quarry was used to get flagstone (for which the local area was famous) and you can see examples of it in the back yard fence of the cottage.

For dinner Sharon took us to a local restaurant in Castletown where everybody knew her name for a nice dinner. Afterwards we walked down the harbor and climbed out on to a quay. We explained lichen to Alice, which comes in a variety of decorator colors up here.

Then it was off to bed for us, even though it was still light. Corwin got a room on the first floor to himself while Alice and Charles shared a larger bed up in the loft (a converted attic that was rather cramped for adults but fine for our wee ones).

Vista from the cottage

Posted by Dad about Family at 23:09 | Ping URL
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