Monday, October 12, 2015

Over the hills and far way

Lucky for me, my tour guide extraordinaire, Graham, has already blogged about the second day of our Scottish Highlands adventure.  Otherwise, I would never remember the names of the places we went that day.  Balnacara, Lochcarron, Applecross, Sheildaig,Torridon, Ullapool.  The names sound so romantic to me!


I thought the beauty of Ireland was soft and enchanting.  Here I met true grandeur.  You've probably never heard of gasping grandeur but that's what I thought it was.  I literally gasped a number of times at the majesty of the scenery.

Graham stopped and backed up so we could get shots of the sign at the turn off to the Road to Applecross.  I thought the sign was a little understated.  I'd say that road is not advised also for the nervous or those lacking in confidence.  


The road is single lane with frequent passing places.  You can see the passing place sign in the next photo, just up ahead, a bit off centre. The indentations in the roadside safety barriers should work as a warning to drive carefully.  The road name in Scottish Gaelic, means Pass of the Cattle; it was a drovers' road.  Not for the first time in my life have I pondered that a drover's life had its own rewards.  It has the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, and is the third highest road in Scotland.


Traffic on that road was light so we didn't have to stop to give way too many times and we had a few photographic opportunities as well.  I think this one was taken from my passenger seat window.  I was surprised at the amount of grass managing to grow in that rock.

 
From a passing place on the way to the top

There was a brisk breeze at the top - 2053ft (625.7 metres) - where we stopped at the lookout.  Had there not been I would have wanted to stay much longer.  

Looking across to the Cuillins on Skye


Now I know why the Scots sing songs about who will take the high road and who will take the low.  Trust me, go for the high.

Mind you, down at sea level on the other side had its attractions, too.


But, you don't stay at sea level for long in this part of the country.  It's just a fabulous place to drive around if you have an aversion for long, straight roads.


There's a view around every corner.


  Slioch above Loch Maree 

By the time we arrived in Ullapool to catch the evening ferry to the Outer Hebrides, I was in love with Scotland.  The weather was the coolest I'd experience since leaving home but still not cold. 


 We had time for a walk around the town taking in the sights of the port before the ferry arrived.
 


Before long we were aboard the ferry and heading towards that place I'd heard so much about from Graham and his blog, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and the Outer Hebrides.


And, finally, there I was - in Graham's kitchen.  Felt like home to me.

5 comments:

  1. Single lane roads without much traffic tells you you're in some beautiful area.

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  2. Wow. Yes, i can see how one would gasp at the beauty.

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  3. They even built a new ferry to carry you over the sea to Stornoway.

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  4. Beautiful views. It is just lovely seeing "our" views through your eyes.
    We have had my cousin staying with us and she had never been to the Islands before. Seeing it through her eyes has made me more appreciative of the island on which I live. Glorious day here today and so we are off to Rodel for the day - remember it and the beaches?

    Looking forward to more pictures from you!

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  5. Scotland! I would love to go there and see just what you saw. Moody and fantastic.

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