Scotland/Ireland 2017 – #07

[Categories: Travel, Photography, Photography 101 Forever]
(Click to view, scroll down and click to view larger.

Wed. 26 April.

Last night was a one-nighter in the aging, 3 to 4-star (?!), Columba Hotel Inverness.  We are doing 2-1-1-2-1-2-1-2-2 in terms of overnights during the tour and many are VERY nice. Perhaps I’ll do a hotel retrospective later.  Every hotel has been fully functional (though thermostats seem to be a common irregularity), nearly every breakfast and dinner provided by the hotel in sumptuous buffets morning and evening, and we have been well fed.  The Columba is aging and less refurbished than any other but it provides us shelter and sustenance.  (Bring washcloths if you come.  Several of the hotels have not provided them, most others have.)  I like the staircase at the Columba and it’s on a pretty river, the Ness.  I don’t think there are any ugly rivers in Scotland or Ireland, or they are well hidden.

Inver means ‘mouth of’ thus ‘mouth of the river Ness’, from the Scottish Gaelic ‘Inbhir Nis’.  ‘bh’ is pronounced like ‘v’ in Gaelic, generally.  Exactness warrants a thorough study of the language and I’m not going there.

The River Ness of course flows from Loch (lake) Ness, home of the monster(s).  I’m not going there either.  We didn’t see he, she, or it. We proceed along Loch Ness to view points of the Uruquat Castle.

From Uruquat Castle we make our way down the loch and head west to Kyle of Localsh and the bridge to Skye, not extant when I last visited in 1990 (the bridge, not the Kyle).  On the way we stop at Eilean Donan Castle:

Isle of Skye photo op:

On Skye The Clan Donald center at Armadale is a beautiful stop for lunch, gardens, and a thorough museum of Clan history.

To continue our journey we take a ferry from Skye to Mallaig.

Next stop is the Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel, the landing site of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 to rally clansmen for the Jacobite Risings and restoration of the throne to the James Stuart family.  The history of Scotland is incredibly fascinating. Wikipedia enlightens.

We finish the day at the Isle of Glencoe hotel in Ballachulish (no pronunciation lesson here other than the c is silent as in Balla-hoo-lish).  There are nice views from all rooms.

Near the hotel is a slate quarry, 26 million pieces produced in 1845.  Slate is great!  …for roofs etc.  It weathers and lasts.  It’s everywhere in this area.

Tomorrow is another day, so I’ve heard.  Profound…

9 thoughts on “Scotland/Ireland 2017 – #07

  1. Welcome to another day…you made it….

    I would bet you would enjoy the trip even more at the end of may..

    Now that you are our Scottish expert : What is the best time to avoid crowds and cold ?

    On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 8:26 PM, John’s Space ….. wrote:

    > JohnRH posted: “[Categories: Travel, Photography, Photography 101 Forever] > (Click to view, scroll down and click to view larger. Wed. 26 April. Last > night was a one-nighter in the aging, 3 to 4-star (?!), Columba Hotel > Inverness. We are doing 2-1-1-2-1-2-1-2-2 in” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha! I suspect the cold is much easier to avoid or deal with than are the crowds. At least one can dress for the cold. Our experience and that of fellow travelers (see RSF-raised CK’s blog ) is that we tourists are swarming everywhere. As you’ve noted before the dead of January was once a good time for quiet inside great museums of Europe. Is it still? Only one way to find out. Outdoors that time of year will be short daylight hours and coooool. Weather however is the proverbial dice roll. This website advises: . We were told about the great August festivals in Edinburgh, the Tattoo, the Fringe Festival, all a month-long celebration. And that the crowds would be hugely greater. Gee, I wanna go! If they would stop fighting in the Middle East I suspect we tourists would inundate that land too, helping to clear rubble, rebuild, and leave money for the privilege. Go figure.


    1. Some in our group said ‘no more castles, please!’ while I personally never tire of them. I’m endlessly fascinated to see how people lived and worshiped (re: ruined abbeys) centuries ago.


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