Into the Highlands
21.08.2009 - 21.08.2009 20 °C
I've always had a fascination; almost a sense of "belonging", with the Scottish Highlands and my plan was to get there as quickly as possible. I wasn't disappointed; we left Glasgow and travelled north towards Fort William and the scenery got better as the traffic got thinner. We travelled through the beautiful valley of Glencoe, the site of the infamous massacre of the Macdonalds by the Campbells, then on to Fort William past Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain. We went over the "crack" that runs diagonally through Scotland and splits it in two, and headed out on the "Road to the Isles" (Bonnie Prince Charlie fame") towards Mallaig. On the way we stopped at the Glenfinnan Monument, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenfinnan), which was erected in 1815 to mark the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") raised his standard, at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. I paid to climb to the top via a spiral staircase inside, where I had a great view over Loch Shiel. We continued on to Mallaig, a small fishing village, where we were to catch the ferry to the Isle of Skye tomorrow. I had never heard of Mallaig until a Scottish nurse from Mallaig came to work on our ward for a short time. Our B&B was close to the water with good views across the bay. Late that afternoon we started following a track behind the B&B, and continued up and over a few hills to another bay on the other side, where we were able to see the Knoydart Peninsula, (http://www.worldreviewer.com/travel-guides/trekking/the-knoydart-peninsula-on-foot/53377/), one of the most isolated wilderness areas of Britain. It was raining and very windy but not cold, so we eventually arrived back at our lodgings, and then drove to a lovely old hotel in an elevated spot, full of Scottish finery, where we had a hearty meal as the sun set over the Isle of Skye. Because we were now at such a high latitude (57 degrees north), and it was summer, the sun set quite late.