____________________________________ Good Morning Villagers Today is Part 2 of our Jill’s wonderful trip to Scotland with some brilliant photo’s.
Saturday – our 2nd day of trips out and today we were due to go to Fort William via Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. We set off after breakfast in rather a dull drizzle but before long the sun pushed its way through the clouds. The mountain tops were covered in mist and cloud though so when we reached Rannoch Moor it was very spooky not being able to see the tops. We stopped at a “viewpoint” and there was the obligatory piper playing his bagpipes with his bucket nearby, for people to put money in. There were a few other coaches there, one of Chinese young people who all wanted their photos taken with said piper. I declined, and just took his photo when the crowds had cleared. On we went and reached Fort William at about 12.00 noon. The plan then was to go up the Nevis Range in a cable car but some of our party didn’t want to do that so we dropped them off in town and then went on the few miles down the road to the Cable Car station, the driver said he would pick us up in about an hour and a half.
We got on the Cable car and were soon whisked up into the clouds and on and on upwards where the clouds parted and we had the most fabulous views!
And a little waterfall for Nick! lol….We were amazed to see just below us on the cable car was a mountain-bike track and some very daring young boys were pelting down the hillside risking life and limb just below us!
We wondered how they got their bikes up the mountain but then noticed there were racks on the back of the cable cars that they just hooked their bikes on to, went up the hill and then rode down it!
Back at Fort William we had another couple of hours to have lunch and a walk about in the sunshine. I got lunch at The Hog Roast and treated myself to a hot pork and apple-sauce bap which was very tasty! Coach picked us up about 4.00 p.m. and we had a very scenic drive back along a different route, all the while Bob the driver was telling us tales of Rob Roy and bandits etc. and regaling us with his many stories. We drove past Castle Stalker – a favourite “chocolate box” photo of a typical Scottish Castle, went over the Connel Bridge and Ballahughlish and back to the hotel in plenty of time to rest and get changed for dinner. That night I tried Rumbledethumps which were excellent!!
Sunday was our day to Mull and Iona. We had an early breakfast and set off on our journey to Oban to catch the ferry to Mull. After the 45 minute crossing we embarked on Mull and began our drive to Ffionphort to catch the foot ferry to Iona. Well, the scenery on Mull was as spectacular as I had been told by Jan and all of you, and I was agog and keeping my eyes well and truly peeled the whole way watching for signs of raptors! Saw a Short-Eared Owl fly over the road in front of us, and later it perched on a fence post but flew off as the coach went by. Later on the journey I saw two buzzards gliding over the hillside and then a bit further on a Golden Eagle!! That was a first for me and I was thrilled!! One of the downsides of being on the coach was we couldn’t just stop where we liked, but even if we could the roads were so narrow and winding it would have been dangerous to stop! Most of the roads were single traffic with passing places, so I took the opportunity of taking pics through the window while we slowed for traffic. Reached Ffionphort where we left the coach and became foot passengers on the little ferry over to Iona, which we could see from the mainland, only a 15 minute crossing.
The first thing we saw was Iona Abbey which I was surprised at seeing it was much bigger than I had imagined, and the village was much larger than I had thought too. There were even shops! As well as the usual cafe and souvenir shops. We walked through the Nunnery which was very interesting, and on to the Abbey and had a walk around there marvelling at the carvings and engravings and super stained glass windows. In the chapel next door to the Abbey was a swallow nest right in the top of the roof trusses – I tried and tried to get a photo of 5 little babies peeping out of the nest, but they kept moving about so much and each photo I took was too blurry!
We then made our way back to the coach and drove back to the ferry to Oban. Just as we got there it started to rain and the ferry was delayed so we had a one-hour wait doing nothing! There was a little Tourist Information place with a shop so I busied myself looking in there and bought a few souvenirs of my stay on Mull and Iona, including a silver Celtic Cross necklace that I rather liked. Eventually we boarded the ferry and made our way over to Oban. This was the Wimbledon Men’s final day so as there was a TV in the Ferry lounge I watched that rather than get blown about on deck! We had to leave before the end though, so I was pleased to get a text from Julie later on telling me the result – that Murray had lost! Back at the hotel in good time for a rest before dinner and give in our quiz sheets which we won and got a bottle of wine to share between the 4 of us.
The Dyfi Osprey Project and the Scottish wildlife Trust have kindly given their permission for us to post still and video images from their webcams. To visit their sites please click on the relevant link. Loch of the Lowes. Dyfi Osprey Project.
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