A visit to Scotland had been on the top of our wish list for years. We go in the Spring. We want to visit the Northwest, and we make reservations for a house on Skye for a week. It is sensible to go in the Spring, and not in the Summer because of the midgets. We leave 23 April, and we will be away for a total of about two and a half weeks. The quiet and the space and the friendliness of the people ensure that we will certainly return to Scotland some day. It's a beautiful, wonderful country. The photos on this page try to convey the story of our holiday. Click the photos for enlargement. On this page you'll find a collection of the most beautiful photos of our holiday.
Early morning on the boat to Scotland. It's a very large night boat (IJmuiden-Newcastle), and we don't sleep too well because of the light, the heat and the noise.
On the way from Newcastle to Loch Long we have an afternoon break in Drumlanrig Castle. There's also a nice museum of bikes made in Scotland. There is no doorkeeper, no guide, just nobody. People trust us. I feel right at home.
Laura is drinking tea in the heated ex-stables of Drumlanrig Castle.
View from behind at Drumlanrig Castle, with a symmetrical garden, the middle of which is yet many yards away from the middle of the castle.
Somewhere in the garden of the castle we find this burial site. We suppose it's for the horses, because on the stones we read the names Cherry, Fancy (1945-1957) and Tango (1959-1977).
Laura in the garden of the castle. It's a wonderfully peaceful environment for an afternoon break.
For our first night in Scotland we have made reservations at the Village Inn in Arrochar, a village on the shore of Loch Long, a lake near Loch Lomond that has an open connection to the Atlantic Ocean. As a welcome there are teddy bears on our beds. It's a nice hotel, with good food and drinks and with friendly people.
Usually the weather is good, but sometimes there are short burst of wind and rain. Here is Laura on a parking place.
A village where we have lunch, just before the Skye bridge.
Lots of broom and on the right a view of the (very high) bridge to Skye.
We want to go to Harris, but when we arrive in the harbour town Uig in the north of Skye, it appears the boat has already left. Too bad. We phone our B&B on Harris, and we decide to stay the night in Uig and to leave for Harris the next morning. We manage to find a nice B&B (Drumaine) and a nice restaurant (Ferry Inn). The cook at the Ferry Inn (later our B&B-owner Joy will tell us that he used to be a roadie for The Who) is entertaining and tells us what we might want to go and see on Skye. Joy of B&B Drumaine is from New Mexico and is married to an Englishman whom she met when she was living in Japan for ten years. We get to pick our room ourselves. The door of the house will not be locked. There is no criminality here (well, apart from that one lady who recently managed to steal 10.000 pounds from the post office). I took this photo in the mirror of our room in Drumaine in Uig.
The boat to Harris is swaying. I run into someone from Curaçao, and he calls it a storm. He is searching for MacBeth's grave.
There are many small islands along the coast line of Harris.
Typical landscape on Harris. Harris and Lewis are two connected islands (part of the Outer Hebrides). We are on the southern part called Harris (for the sake of confusion: North Harris is in the South of Lewis).
There are hardly any trees on Harris. In some places it resembles the landscape of the moon, but it is often swampy and mossy, with brooks and lochs and here and there some shrubbery.
A cemetery on Harris with a beautiful sandy beach behind it.
Laura is leaning in the wind on the beach of Luskentyre. Harris has a lot of these beautiful sandy beaches. But the rough winds make the beaches freezing cold.
The castle Amhuinnsuidhe is privately owned and lived in (on the door is a sign saying: please bear in mind that this is a private residence). Actually it is situated in the middle of the road, one of two roads on Harris.
Near the road is a school, right in the middle of nowhere. The view from the schoolyard is quite something.
The next morning we hike in the surroundings of our B&B.
We make sure we keep close to the road. It is easy to get lost here, and not too many people live here.
More landscape on Harris.
And more still.
Inside a tweed store on Harris.
In a nice tea room in Tarbert, the harbour of Harris, there is a beautiful and soft puppy.
We sail back to Skye, and drive to the B&B in Carbost we have made reservations for (on this photo). They have home made sourdough bread. Carbost appears to be a nice village, and the Talisker-distillery is very prominent. The view is beautiful (again).
Most of the time during our guided tour of the Talisker-distillery we are not allowed to take photos. But we are allowed to take photos of the oldest casks they have, Talisker from 1979 (behind glas).
View of Carbost, with the distillery near the water (the ocean).
Our house on Skye, near Elgol, appears to be much bigger than we had expected. There are no less than four bedrooms. In the central hall is a table tennis. There is a breathtaking view. It is quite remote, on a dead end. The road turns into a grassy path and about 50 metres further is the house.
The whole house is decorated in a seventies-style. This is the dining room. It was built in the beginnin gof the seventies and has only been used by its owners for a few years, before it got rented out. There hasn't changed much since then (except a new washing machine, micro wave, television). It even smells like the seventies. Scattered around the house are some photos and other personal belongings.
More seventies-interior. Soon we will have turned the large chairs around to be able to watch the view outside.
View of the garden and the sea from the house. The surroundings are wonderfully quiet and it is very dark at night.
Laura in the garden in front of our house.
Laura brings the tea while I am in the garden.
The house is so big that we (exaggerate slightly and) distinguish a west wing and an east wing. Here is the view from the east wing (the kitchen) onto the west wing (the veranda). Pictured are, front to back, the dining room, the hall with the table tennis, the living room and far away the veranda.
Road in the vicinity of the house.
View of our house from afar.
A path through the garden and a forest leads us down onto our sea beach.
View of the surroundings of the house.
The village our house is in, Drinan, has only four houses. The village has no street names, only house numbers. If you look closely, in the distance you can see the farm of our neighbours.
There are many sheep and lambs, but also many cows, and several places where highland cattle graze. They too are in the fields and on the street. Cattle grid does not exist to keep cattle off the road, but to separate various fields.
A farmer busy harvesting peat.
A ring in Duncan House. The cook of the Ferry Inn in Uig had recommended a visit to goldsmith Garth Duncan. Garth Duncan has a Scottish father and a Finnish mother, and lived in California for a long time before he realised that his roots actually were in Scotland and that he needed to return. He has all the time and is very friendly, like almost everybody we meet in Scotland.
Laura near the "otter bend", a bend in the road along a bay. We have named it the otter bend because we're told many otters live here. But they don't show themselves to us.
The Blue Shed Cafe, our favorit tea room on the road to civilization. Good, hand made, biological cakes. And behind the tea room is a meadow with a pig.
Yours truly (photo by Laura near the Blue Shed Cafe).
Laura (recognizable because of her pink pants) is in the panoramic landscape. This is the start of our walk, that turned out to be a bit too long.
Together in landscape in Scotland (photo made using a self-timer).
View of Camasunary Bay. Our hiking path goes over the beach and then back again along the steep coast line. Almost every day of our holiday in Scotland the weather is beautiful, with sunshine and a clear blue sky. Today is almost twenty degrees and we both get sunburned.
The way back is close to an abyss along the coast.
Laura hiking in front of me on the path. Approximately here one of Laura's cuddly toys manages to escape from the pocket of her trousers. We walk back and search for it, but we don't find it back.
Strange cloud formation above the mountains behind the house of our neighbours.
Beautiful scenery in the Northeast of Skye.
Laura with the fence atop the steep cliffs.
Lambs on a grave, that's really photogenic.
Decayed church with grazing sheep.
Scheep near a grave.
View from our house at sunset.
Find the heron.
Bar in Sligachan.
Sheep on the road.
When we wake up on the morning of our last day on Skye, it is really snowing for a little while. But about fifteen minutes later there is sunshine again.
On our last day on Skye we take a boat trip. There is just the skipper, Colin from California/Londen and us two. We sail from Elgol to Loch Coruisk, on Loch Scavaig, and we have a beautiful view of the mountains, the Black Cuillins.
Loch Coruisk is difficult to reach over land. Of of the pathways passes the "bad step", a point where it is very difficult to cross the rocks.
Around Loch Coruisk many seals are enjoying the sun. One is at this moment going back into the water.
A river from Loch Coruisk flows into sea.
Laura near Loch Coruisk.
Near Loch Coruisk I see a red, plastic crate in the scenery. That will not do. I climb some rocks to take it away. In this photo Colin carries the crate back.
Old aeroplanes above Loch Scavaig, photographed from the boat.
A small and very cosy tea room in Balquhidder, where we stay for a few days.
Building an old castle in Edinburgh.
By accident we find this beautiful pub in the buildings of Edinburgh University.
On this page you'll find even more photos of our holiday.
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