ToLt Days 2 and 3 – a whole country and a bright welcome

So those were two days who went by as one. They kind of were one because those were the days we drove across almost the whole length of the UK from South to North. We had a beautifully bright morning in Folkestone, where we lingered a little because it was so beautiful at the beach. We stole raspberries and met dogs. Mungo, a very interesting sort of fellow, managed to steal Sammy’s ball, which meant a big delay for us. We bore it well, though 🙂 Still, we weren’t too bothered about the drive up to Scotland. Especially since we were told there were no delays on our roads around London at the moment. Well, moments change into other moments. Fact is: it took us about 6 hours and more before we came to Lancaster. From there the drive was easier, the streets a lot less congested and the landscape started to become really interesting. A glimpse of what was to come.
However, I think next time I will drive by Folkestone in the evening and drive northwards during the night. All in all in took us eleven hours and 30 minutes to drive 800km. We arrived at Luss on Loch Lomond at 11.30 p.m. Around Glasgow I have lost the faith that we were ever to leave this road ever again. I was convinced that I would be driving on that road for the rest of my life. Like in ‚Groundhog Day‘, you remember? I saw myself waking up every morning in Folkestone and bound to drive up the whole country. Like E V E R Y single day for the rest of my life. Really. Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night because I dreamt of that congested road again. No, just kidding. But it was gruelling.
So, as soon as we arrived at the ‚Alderdale B&B‚, we went to bed. But not before Siobhan walked in on some other guests, who were already sleeping. We weren’t told that there was more than one party staying there. That is: we were told, but too close to the arriving date, while we didn’t have any internet. Coincindentally, telecommunication broke down that day around Luss, so we didn’t have any chance for communication that day… The B&B is really cute and perfectly located. Just a few steps down the road is the wonderful Luss General Store, where I could spend a lot of money. Also the Loch is really close.

In the morning, we were gone from the B&B as quickly as we have arrived just a few hours earlier. We packed the car and took our food and Sammy to the lake, where we had a wonderful breakfast out in the open, ‚on the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond‘ and in the sunshine. It was fun while it lasted. Unfortunately that’s where we were introduced to the infamous Scottish Midges. The first but so not the last encounter…

After that we had a similar day to the one before – except it was just incredibly beautiful and not tiring at all. We were driving all day but only had to cover 400 km, our destination being Uig on Skye. It wasn’t just that the landscape was indescribable, also we were lucky and the weather provided ’spells of sunshine‘.

Our journey included a visit to ‚Highland Titles‚, where Siobhan visited her ‚estate‘ for the first time ever. I found Highgland Titles on Facebook last year and decided that it was the perfect gift for Siobhan’s upcoming 50th birthday. The whole trip was her fault in the first place because she had decided to present herself with the gift of traveling to Scotland for this very birthday. Owning a piece of that wonderful land would just be the cherry on the cream on the birthday cake, I thought. And it was. So we went to Glencoe Wood in search of her piece of land. She had an app that would point the way there and very helpful people assisting with everything else. In the end she even got a ‚I visited my ‚estate“-pin.

After that we drove on in the direction of Fort William. We took a left turn to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct. If this hadn’t just been a station on the journey Skye-wards, I would have timed the whole thing. But being what it was, we could only go there and see if we got lucky. The Jacobite didn’t show, of course. We were there at 5 p.m.  It would have passed the viaduct at about 7 p.m. but into the wrong direction. So there was no chance to capture it. However, the skies decided to give us a huge spell of sunshine and so I still got some nice pictures of the place. Train or no train.

After that we drove back to Fort William and from there on to Kyle of Lochalsh. Neither Siobhan nor me were aware that we would be passing by Eilean Donan Castle. We were on a Road Trip, like a sampling trip, to get to know the country. So we haven’t had a to-do-list. Just routes. So it was a major suprise when that familiar silhouette suddenly showed on the horizon – and in the most dramatic light setting there could be. Raining but huge rays of sunshine breaking through heavy clouds. So we pulled into park and I got my shot – accompanied by a bagpipe player who just came down the castle brigde. It couldn’t get any better? Sure?

We hardly had any time to catch our breaths from this when we drove over Skye Bridge and were welcomed in the most  beautiful way the isle could have found. There is just no way to describe the evening sun breaking through the clouds and the red-golden light, the rainy curtains over a few parts of the coast and how they captured the light. Also, there was no way to halt, so I cannot even show you! But we both will carry this with us to the grave. There were already many emotional moments, but this is bound to be Number One.

We managed to arrive before 10 p.m. in Uig. So now we’re staying at a very special Boutique Hostel called ‚The Cowshed‚, where we got checked in and shown arround immediatly. Then we could move into our pod. There are two pods on our dog friendly area, where there are fences so the dogs cannot get out and may run free. The pod itself is small and functional but very clean and intelligently designed. Also, big bonus, it looks out over the port of Uig and you can see North Uist from our patio. Everyone arriving here stops and takes a picture of the view immediatly. If you ever go to Skye, stay here, it’s amazing. Just remember to pack lightly. Which is not a problem since you can even wash your clothes here, in addition to cooking your meals in a big beautiful communty kitchen – where I am now sitting writing this post.

After we got settled in we sat down for a quick bite, but went to sleep soon – thus concluding what turned out to be Siobhan happiest day ever. Isn’t that something? By the way, we annointed some words ‚word of the day‘. So far ‚blind summit‘ made the list, along with ’spells of sunshine‘, and a few others I might remember tomorrow. So long!


The first ‚word of the day‘ was ‚Crianlarich‘, by the way. Because of the way our german navigational system pronounced it, which made us burst out with laugther. ‚Hidden dip‘ will continue to be part of our lives as an insider joke. Lasting trip on just about every level 😀

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