Travel Report

2nd club trip to Scotland

March 23. - 28. 2011
Prestwick, Gourock, Edinburgh,
Speyside, Inverness, Skye, Mull, Iona, Oban Argyll

Theme: "Scotland in a Nutshell"

day 0 , day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5

day 3: From Inverness via Loch Ness and Loch Garry to Eilean Donan Castle.         Skye.         To Mallaig by ferry and then to Oban.

Saturday, March 26th, 2011. Yesterday was really exciting, but today we go through the breathtaking Northwest Highlands to the famous Eilean Donan Castle and to the Isles: First island: Skye. Another day overcrowded with impressions is going to come up...

Inverness and Loch Ness

We get up early. Our today's program is huge and will be full of interesting things. We have Full Scottish Breakfast, which is not this "full" this time. We load our luggage into the car, take some photos of the B&B, the Struy Guest House and then Jens starts the engine:

We leave the car at a first photo stop on Loch Ness. The place is ideal.

This parking place is not for overnight stay - maybe Nessie appears...

First destination: Loch Ness. We go along the A82 on the northern shore of Loch Ness to Drumnadochit.

There's a beautiful view over the central part of Loch Ness from here.

Der View over Loch Ness towards its southern shore. - it IS a mystic place ...

A little bit clearer: Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. Today it is a museum and in summer season it is crowded with tourists, becaus many bus tours go this way. At this season everything it is thank good quiet and nice.
we are looking to the deep dark waters of LOCH NESS . Maybe it happens right now for us. Of course we hope that we are the ones who see the Loch Ness Monster for the first time since many years. The photo and film equipment is ready for the documentation of the event.

Loch Ness is very long but not this broad. The far going view to southwest - to Fort Augustus.. At the shore you can see Urquhart Castle erahnen.

Some more miles along the A82 southwestbound and we have our next stop in Drumnadochit, the centre of the Loch Ness Monster discoveries and Exhibitions.. Here there are at least 2 original and official Loch Ness Monster Exhibitions and a Nessie Shop (turn right at this crossroad), which breaks all records in puncto numbers and type diversity of Nessis toys. Except this at this shop you can buy original used kilts.

later on we are lucky: Ladies and Gentlemen: NESSI !!! - sadly only in a pond near the exhibition and made of plastic.

Ralf, our steel contructor finds this nice suspension bridge over a small river near Loch Ness.
Links das Building of the "Official Loch Ness Monster Exhibition" in Drumnadochit. Here all information like Loch Ness and Monster photos, fakes, sonar and submarine explorations is collected.

Die A82 in Inverness direction. The road signs here are bilingual: top/yellow. gaelic and below/white: english. here you can a litlle bit gaelic.

A very nice construction to a separate standing house.

Loch Garry and Kintail

Our route goes along Loch Ness until Fort Augustus. We don't leave the A82 in Invermoriston though Glen Moriston is worth seen, but we go via Fort Augustus to Invergarry where the A87, one of the "Road to the Isles" drives starts. It ends at the CALMAC ferry terminal at Uig on the Isle of Skye. Our next destination ist the Loch Garry ViewPoint up there in the Northwest Highlands. Looking at the weather we see that we will dive through the cold front. Far at the outermost northwest we see the shining sun. In front of us the thick dark rainy clouds.

Nestled between the mountains one can have this great distant view over Loch Garry and Kintail.

Deeply impressed we go through the lonely valeys of the Northwest Highlands. The landscape scenery is simply overwhelming: Here a reflection of the Kintail mountains on the water surface of Loch Cluanie. Added the unusual silence and the barren beauty of the scenery.

We go through Kintail. We can't take our eyes off this beautiful landscape - although or because the now starting drizzle.

Street scenery. Sometimes you can see a car passing by. This area is nearly completely uninhabitated.

Eilean Donan Castle

The A87 attains inhabitated area at Loch Duich near Shielbridge. Scotland enthusiasts affiliate Loch Duich without any fail with a castle. But not any castle - no wth THE CASTLE: EILEAN DONAN CASTLE. Coming from Shielbridge we have to pass some land tongues until we can see the castle for the first time.

It is raining but what's the odds ! We park the car pay our fee ath the new and modern visitor centre and go via the bridge leading to the castle buildings..
Before the gate on the outer yard. (left and center). The slogan of the Clans MacRae above the gate (right).

The lochside of the inner yard. Yard is slightly overexaggerated because there's nearly no even surface - rocks everywhere and many stairs.

Of course we look around in the castle - sadly it is not allowed to take photos inside. As part of the castle tour one can visit this balustrade and have a beautiful view over loch duich.

The castle is inhabitated. Theres some light in the adjoining building and there are name singns at the door - maybe of kind of caretaker. On top of a roof there's a bell..

 A different part of the inner yard. Stairs leading to the central hall.

There are nice walkways around the castle.

Driving the A87 until Dornie Hall, we see Eilean Donan Castle from the other side with the Kintail mountains in the background. A motif that is to be seen on uncountable photos.

Isle of Skye: Kilt Rock

Between Sgliachan and Portree, the main town of the Isle of Skye we have great views to the Cuillin Hills. The weather gets nicer and we have sunny spells. In Portree we are behind the cold front. The air is very clear and a little bit colder - phantastic. Our destination is the northern peninsula Trotternish. Passing the Old Man of Storr, we can have great views to the isles of Raasay and Rona.

Near the parking place there's a board with information about saurus marks found near Staffin village.
We have heavy rain while driving to Kyle of Lochalsh. The rain stops as we go via the Skye Bridge. At least we can see the impossant bridge canstruction. We are happy: freuen uns: Apparently we passed the cold front with these heavy clouds. It is getting brighter and brighter and the sun appears. We pass Broadford on the A87.Near Luib village we see the Cuillin Hills for the first time. Step by step these great hills get free of clouds.

Shortly before the village of Staffin we leave the A855 and turn to the right to the parking place of Kilt Rock ViewPoint. Some cars are already here and there's a fresh breeze here.

near Staffin, Trotternish, Isle of Skye
seen from the viewpoint.

An unbelievable scenery: Kilt Rock, changing its colour every minute because of the different clouds that are shaddowing the sun from time to time. Sensational !! now we have some round turn views here: At first we hold the camera over ´ the cliffs - to the turquoise blue sea. where the sea-spray foams the rocks.

Walking southbound from the voewpoint you can see the bird breeding grounds in the rocky cliffs. A quite safe place.

Another view to the south: There are nice walkways along the cliffs.

View from Kilt Rock southbound. you can see the still hanging rain clouds.

Over the sea in the distance we can see the Scottish Mainland: the rocks and cliffs of Applecross in Wester Ross.

View from the viewpoint to the west, over the Trotternish hills. Lateron we will go over these hills to continue our journey.

And this is the ultimate proof photo: We have been here ! Our group this time completely at one photo in front of Kilt Rock. The excursion to here was it really worth.

We continue our journey via the Quiraing, a hilltop road starting north of Staffin by turning to the left. Serpentines lead to a completely differen landscape scenery: It is like in the Alpes: A scant highland plateau, where people cutting peat can be watched sometimes. At the western end of the road the view opens at once and large part of Skyes west coast near Uig can be seen. another beathtaking view.

Directly at the western edge of the Quiraing the CALMAC Uig ferry terminal can be senn from above. The A87 ends there. The big CALMAC vessels for Tarbert on Harris (the Outer Isles) leave from this pier. This is the northernmost point this Scotland trip.

Isle of Skye: Talisker and Sligachan

From Uig via Portree to Carbost Ralf tries driving on left and gets to know that this is not this easy and that some practise is necessary... In Carbost we want to visit the TALISKER Distillery., that welcomes us with best weather.

at first we take many photos of the TALISKER Distillery in Carbost on Loch Harport.

So we walk around beween the buildings and take photos of wall with the Talisker logo and try unavailingly to spy through the distillery windows.

This waste bin sticker near the Duistillery we thought is funny.
It was clear the at this season on a Saturday afternoon no one is there at the distillery to welcome us. This signboard with the opening times shows it. But we had a small hope that Jens' arrangement with Diageo would work. This time it wasn't so.

The Visitor Centre door stays closed today.
Shortly before we reach the A87 near Sligachan we park our car near the mountain rescue service at are excited about these old arch bridgesat Sligachan in front of the breathtaking scenery of the Cuillin Hills. We are overwhelmed anothe time.

We tra to capture this great landscape scenery with this Panoramic photo of Sligachan. Surprisingly there are nice properties at this scant region - like small oases.

Following 3 of the best photos of this area. by the way: there's a web cam at the mountain rescue service building. The old, unused arch bridge with the Cuillins in the background.

Highlight: Both bridges - one behind the other !

One entry path to the climbing area of the Cuillins . These mountains have some of the most difficult climbing paths of Europe.

Over the Sea to (from) Skye: with the CALMAC ferry from Armadale to Mallaig

Then we have to enter the car urgently because we have to catch the CALMAC ferry at Armadale (Sleat) . The new build road from Broadford to Armadale allowes to drive a little bit faster than on the old small road. Jens still knows this road as a Single Track road. Finally we arrive at Armadale Pier very relaxed and have to wait a little bit before we can enter the CALMAC ferry vessel. Today this ferry line is re-activated after the winter season break. Today the CALMAC summer timetable comes into operation..

A view into the car deck of the CALMAC Armadale to Mallaig ferry.

In front of us the first houses of the harbour town of Mallaig.
For the first day everything works very smoothly and it seems as there wasn't any break. Ralf looks around the outside parts of the ferry. Theres a strong fresh breeze comming from the sea.

A small break ! for the driver.

During the passage many small isles could be seen.

A panoramic photo of Mallaig from sea side.

Via Fort William to Oban

if the reader thinks this was everything for today - far from it ! On our way to Mallaig along the "The road to the Isles" via Ft. William to Oban we still have 3 further visitor attractions.

First stop at the GLENFINNAN Monument on Loch Shiel, a very Scottish statue. Once Bonnie Prince Charlie called his Jacobites to here to fight against the Englishmen. We know that this undertake was not very successful an found its end at Culloden. As interesting as the monument is this view to theGlenfinnan viaduct - best known from the Harry Potter movies.

Just turn around and you can see the Glenfinnan Viaduct - better klnown as the Harry Potter bridge , part of the Hogwarts train line.

A zoom view of the bridge. Sadly there was no train going over the bridge currently. One of the greates train lines of the world: from Ft. William to Mallaig.
another zoom view of the Glenfinnan viaduct.

at the right the main buildung of Ben Nevis Distillery. A sign of the town of Ft. William.
If one just is at Ft. William, it is not allowed to miss BEN NEVIS Distillery especiall if the visitora a Whisky Club members. On the upper photo Ben Nevis is at the background. Its top is in cluds, like very often.

There are hills of empty whisky casks at the distillery area that are wainting for usage.
The access road to Ben Nevis Distillery. A very nicely designed area.

Can we see the Pot Stills today ?

Outside the distillery we find this memorial bycicle at the distillery fence.
Jens discovers the still room door. At once his curiosity is awaken.

Bingo: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Pot stills of the Ben Nevis Distillery.. What a great thing!
The sunset is over for many times as we watch CASTLE STALKER in Loch Linnhe in the last light of the day. From here it is not too far to Oban, where we are awaited by Mrs. Barbour at our B&B. Overfilled with impressions we go to bed. WHAT A DAY !

(C) Single Malt Whisky Club Sachsen e.V.- Report: Jens Burkhardt; Photos and Films: Jens Burkhardt, Konrad Rosenbaum, Heike and Ralf Schuster
Usage of the material not permitted except there is a written permission by the club, by the author or by the photographers.

day 0 , day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5