Originally published 10 March 2012
We left Glasgow this morning and on my first foray as a left driver. I did fine. About two hours out of Glasgow, we stopped at a car park on the side of the road. We wanted pics down the valley of the loch. It was raw, very windy, mist/rain, and cold. We are probably 40 miles from the nearest town...with no one but another car and a small motorhome at the car park. We took our pics, got back in the car, and were looking at the map and having a drink of water.
A real deal piper
We began to hear bagpipes.......it was surreal. We looked to see where it was coming from. A man had come out of the motorhome in full kilt and regalia and was standing on the bluff piping. It was truly a point where you could have been no where but Scotland. As Laurie said, you look up and expect to see Braveheart charging down a mountainside. This is like no place I have ever been.
Somewhere in central Scotland
We drove through the central highlands pulling off and taking pictures, more amazed at each stop than the last. We reached the village of Glencoe and stopped for fuel for the rental car. At $ 8.60 a gallon american. Luckily it only took about ten liters.
I understand....but it's a bit different!
The proprietor had been to america and had even gotten a speeding ticket in New York state when he shipped his motorcycle to America and toured. His wife ran a lunch wagon in the filling station parking lot. We got sandwiches and chips, and chatted with her and Donald, the town snowplow driver. It seems that Donald was in a bit of a spot as he had went out drinking the night before with his friends instead of coming home like he was supposed to. The woman in the lunch wagon was razzing him about it mercilessly. We had a lot of fun eating lunch out of a trailer in a gas station parking lot!
Glenfinnian Monument, between Fort William and Mallaig
We left Glencoe and headed toward Fort William. We stopped for groceries at Fort William for a picnic tomorrow. Then on to Malaig to catch the ferry. We saw the Harry Potter bridge (Glenfinan viaduct). Just outside of Mallaig, a red stag deer was right at the side of the road grazing. They are HUGE!. We arrived at the ferry landing, and backed our car onto the ferry. We left for Skye, a short 25 minute ride away.
Our car in the ferry hold
We met a friend on the ferry named Neal. He was an American from Alaska and he was traveling alone. We planned to meet Neal later for a beer. We checked into the B and B, went into Portree, and started laundry at the hostel...the only laundry in town. We headed across the square and had a great dinner, pints, and Neal showed up and shared his haggis with us.....and it wasn't that bad! There were also 3 drunken Scots there who were incredibly fun! The Scottish people are so friendly and have been so nice to us. I LOVE Scotland!
Hoisting an ale at the Isles Inn, Portree Scotland
Tomorrow, we head to Neist Point lighthouse and Tallisker Distillery for a wee dram. I fully expect to be just as amazed tomorrow as I was today.
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.