June 17, 2017

Highlands Recreation

I organized an easy-going road trip to some Scottish gems at the end of May, including the Cairngorms, Loch Ness, and the west coast.

The smooth trip, however, started rough. I planned to depart by Friday noon, but when I arrived at a car rental where I booked a car for our trip, I saw this would fail. I got a good deal on one of those new, fancy hybrid cars filled with hi-tech technology, so advanced that it didn't work, and they couldn't fix it. So they gave me another one, but it ended up not working either. Three stressful hours later, I got a car that finally worked. I went for my friends, and we were sorted. Good times, here we come!

I drove on some b-roads to enjoy the scenery and avoid traffic. It was pleasant, and soon we got to Loch Morlich, where we had a room for tonight. After checking in, we left for dinner at the east lakefront, which offered a pretty view of the setting sun.

It was an unusually warm day, so we could not resist trying the water after the picnic.

Oh, it was much warmer than the loch I went in a few weeks ago. Enjoying the weather, we walked through a forest nearby, beautifully lit by the evening sun.

Once back at the hostel, we jumped back into the car and drove up the Cairngorms ski resort to watch the sunset.

It was colourful, the company was good.. Oh, happiness.

When we returned, the sunlight was all gone, but we opted to take another walk to the loch.

We sat down and quietly listened to the waves while observing the mountains' dark silhouettes. On the other side of the loch, some people made bonfires, and now and then, there was a glimpse of some torch up in the hills. One could only guess all the stories those lights represented...

Relax at best.

The following morning we had breakfast and left. Not that there wouldn't be anything to do around, but we still had a few places waiting for us further west.


Before getting there, we stopped by Carrbridge, drove by Inverness (I missed one turn, which resulted in a nice tour of Inverness' downtown), and soon we approached the edge of the famous loch. Again, we took a small hike on the shore.

..And the surrounding forests..

Another Scottish place where I was a bit jealous of anybody with a bike.

And continued further, where is Foyers waterfall.

It's one of the most touristy-oriented features in Scotland I saw; thankfully, it wasn't overcrowded. We walked towards a local settlement, and the landscape around was like a set from a botanical garden.

This bit here reminded me of the hills in Arkansas.

Continuing on the Old Military Road, it was scenic and nice to drive.

Suidhe pass.

We followed the road down to Fort Augustus, where we saw staircase locks on the Caledonian canal and kept south to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

There we caught rain, and it was my first encounter with midges. Oh, it had to come one day.. Anyway, again, nothing to spoil the overall positive feeling when the landscapes around look like this

How can someone not fall in love with this, that is a puzzle to me..

After this, we went to see the Old Inverlochy Castle in Fort William. I impressed myself when I nailed the navigation without a map on the first go.

It quit raining, and inside of the ruin was a seagull couple with tiny offsprings. The day was slowly reaching its final stage, and we proceeded down south, where's yet another of the impressive Scottish castles: the Stalker.

This was the last point of interest I prepared, so the plan was to head back home. But then we drove past an exciting bridge in Oban. Having an appreciation for engineering structures like this, we stopped to have a closer look.

Finally, the road took us through the Lomond/Trossachs national park, and it was one heck of fun driving to finish the day.

It was one car, two days, four friends, over 400 miles of driving, and countless smiles.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like my previous articles about Scotland, such as:

a trip to Cairngorms

"Cairngorms:"My first journey to the loch Morlich.

"Western Slopes:" A great hike near Glenfinnan

Alternatively, browse my blog archives for more topics and categories. Thanks for reading!

Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Stories


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