A Travellerspoint blog

Inverness - Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Inverness

On the way to Leault Farm, we called into Aviemore just outside Inverness for a tea and wee break, but the gift shop was closed. It didn't open until 9.30 am. I'm not really sure why we went there because as we had just left the hotel, surely nobody would have wanted to go to the loo anyway. That was a bit of a waste of time.

Phoned Pam and Scott Clark-Dickson and agreed to meet them at our hotel at 3.00 pm. Scott lived over the road from Peter and me when we were kids and his father died when he was a little boy and our father kept an eye on the family as they were growing up. Scott is probably about 10 years younger than me. Pam is an Aussie girl and after she and Scott were married, they moved to Inverness and have lived there ever since. Not sure why, because it is freezing in winter. They now have a son named Donald who is 6 1/2 and he has a lovely Scottish accent. Pam is a free lance journalist and Scott is now a guide for the Scottish Heritage Society.

We visited Leault Farm and watched the sheep dogs at work. One of the dogs had appeared in Monarch of the Glen as Hector's dog. It was great to watch them and one really loved Peter and wriggled its way in between his legs. The shepherd was very good but it was quite damp underfoot and cold
standing in the elements watching him. There were lambs for us all to nurse too.

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We drove on to Culloden Moor Visitor Centre and walked through the exhibition and around the battlefield. The exhibition centre was very well done and as we stood in the centre of the imax theatre, we experienced what the battle was like on Culloden Moor. It was great. I enjoyed the walk around the battlefield too. As we passed a crofter's hut, some actors in period costume, yelled out to us, thinking that we were the English enemy. Of course, we yelled back that we were from the colonies of Australia an

d they wandered over and we had a great chat with them. As like everyone we have spoken to, they wanted to know all about us and we actually saw Adam again in the streets of Edinburgh a few days later, where he was dressed up at Braveheart. We had lunch at the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre.

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McIntosh was our paternal grandfather's middle name.

Back to Inverness and visited a kilt maker. It was very interesting but we had to cut our visit short to get back to the hotel to meet up with Pam, Scott and Donald. It was lovely to see them again and to meet Donald for the first time. We spent three hours together. We had a drink in our hotel and then went for a long walk along the river to the island and then back again. A bird did a poo on Pam and on my new coat. Thank goodness I bought this coat in Australia before I left. It was a last minute purchase, just in case I needed something like it in the UK - well, I have worn it EVERY day. It was been great.

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We dressed up for dinner and had a nice group dinner at the hotel and then we were entertained by a man and woman singing Scottish songs; a woman playing the bagpipes and girls doing the Highland Fling and other dances. Peter got up and danced with one of the girls. It was a fun evening. We had dinner with Kathy and Michael from Melbourne and Jan and John and Lisa and Paul from the USA.

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Posted by gaddingabout 05:28 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Glencoe to Inverness - Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Glencoe to Inverness

Left Glencoe and drove to the Glenfinnan Monument for a photo stop. Lovely place. I can remember being here with Phil in 1998 and it is just as lovely 13 years later.

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At Mallaig we boarded the ferry to the Isle of Skye - a 45 minute trip. The weather is quite warm and nice, but you still need a light coat as the breeze is cool. The locals are in sleeveless tank tops!

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We spent about 2 1/2 hours on Skye wandering around. It is just lovely. We visited the Clan Donald museum and had lunch in a little cafe on Skye and they even sold Bundaberg ginger beer there. It is made in Queensland, Australia and is the best ginger beer and I can't but it at my golf club in Canberra and they sell it in the middle of nowhere, on the Isle of Skye!

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We travelled back to the mainland via the bridge.

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We had photo stops at Eilean Donan Castle, Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness on the way into Inverness. It's raining.

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The hotel is nice, but no bath.

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Had dinner with Terrie and Steve from the USA.

Posted by gaddingabout 03:31 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Glasgow to Fort William, Argyle - Monday, 18 April 2011

Glasgow to Fort William, Argyle

I have got a cold and have lost my voice and feel very average. Great!

We left Glasgow and drove along the banks of Loch Lomond. At Tarbet, we boarded a boat and cruised for about an hour on Loch Lomond. It was just lovely, but FREEZING!

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Amy, Peggy and Peter

Drove to Inveraray Castle and had a guided tour of this Campbell home.

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Wandered around the town of Inverarary and had lunch at a pub. We had "Coronation Chicken" on a baguette. Coronation Chicken is chopped up chicken mixed with a light curry mayonaisse and raisins and all the English people had it for lunch at their street parties, the day that Queen Elizabeth was crowned as Queen.

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Went to the chemist and got some throat lozenges.

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I don't know where these photos were taken but we obviously stopped along the way from Inverarary to Fort William for a photo opportunity and you can see why. Scotland has stunning scenery.

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The Isles of Glencoe Hotel at Fort William. Nice part of the world.

We spent the night at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel at Fort William, Argyle, on the edge of a lake. Lovely location. We walked to the village before dinner and bought some Vicks to rub my chest. This cold is getting serious.

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We had dinner with the only other Aussies on the trip - Chris and Patricia from Bowral and Kathy and Michael from Melbourne. Peter stayed up a bit and had a drink with Peggy and Amy after dinner. I had a nice bubble bath and went to bed early.

Posted by gaddingabout 06:26 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Glasgow - Sunday, 17 April 2011

Glasgow - our "Scottish Dream" tour commences

Lazy morning - breakfast and then a long walk down by the Clyde River. I am getting a bit of a sore throat. We had a quick lunch at Subway and then back to the hotel to commence the "Scottish Dream" tour at 2.30 pm. Our bus driver is Alan and our guide is Fran.

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We started with a city tour of Glasgow and then spent an hour or so at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

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We saw these kids when we were outside the Museum and they wanted me to take their picture. I did, but checked with their Dad first that it was okay. Some people get funny about strangers taking photos of their kids.

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Fran is Scottish and is a bit hard to understand, but I am sure we'll get used to her accent.

Back to the hotel for pre dinner drinks (to meet the other tourers) and then into dinner. No one was mixing much, probably because we didn't have an exclusive room just for us. However, we said hello to Amy and Peggy from Chicago - nice girls who travel together a lot. I think they were in their late 30s, early 40s, so we chatted to them for a while and actually had dinner with them.

After dinner, Peter went for a swim in the indoor pool at the hotel.

Posted by gaddingabout 05:22 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Ayr to Glasgow - Saturday, 16 April 2011

Ayr to Glasgow

We left our lovely B&B in Ayr today and travelled to Glasgow by train which took 45 minutes.

We arrived at the Menzies Hotel, where our "Scottish Dream" tour starts tomorrow. It is quite a nice hotel AND OUR ROOM HAS A BATH. YIPPEE!!! I haven't had a bath for a week! (I've only had showers and I LOVE relaxing in a bath). We have now been gone from Australia for a week - it seems like ages.

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We went for a huge walk into the city of Glasgow and Peter saw his first Scottish piper.

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We called into William Hill (the TAB) and we both had a bet on the Scottish Grand National that was being run in Ayr that day. I came third on "Always Right" and won 14 Scottish Pounds while "tinny" Peter won 47 Scottish Pounds just by coming fourth. Told you he was tinny!

We had a nice dinner at the hotel and spent the evening bringing the diary up to date. The room is very hot but it is pretty cool outside.

Posted by gaddingabout 05:03 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

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