Wednesday 13 September 2006

Scotland 2006 - Day 6 - A drive

For our last day, we decided to take a long drive towards Mallaig (The Road to the Isles to see a variety of sights.

We stopped first in Glenfinnan, where the Jacobian revolution began. It is also home to the famous viaducts that were used for the Hogwart's Express in the Harry Potter movies. Next time I think it would be worth taking the steam train as a day trip, though from what I hear it books up quite far in advance.

Along the way, we found a neat little hydro-electric power station near the town of Morar. Stephen nabbed the camera and he and Gib went exploring.Cherrie and I enjoyed watching their excitement.

From there it was only a short drive to the Silver Sands beach, which is one of Scotland's most beautiful beaches. A lovely, lovely area, and very clean. Probably one of the cleanest beaches I've ever been to actually.

From Silver Sands, we decided to take (what we thought would be) a small detour to take in Castle Tioram. It turned out to be something of an adventure as Gib braved even more one lane roads circling Loch Moidart. We finally got there and it turned out to be worth the hunt. The ruins of what was once a very impressive and imposing structure lie just off the shore, at high tide connected to the main land by a very thin strip of land indeed. The guidebook made references to it as the Mont Saint Michel of Britain. It was torched in 1715 during the Jacobite revolution in order to avoid it falling into the hands of a rival clan that supported the English throne against the claims of Bonny Prince Charlie.

Unfortunately, this is one of the few castles not owned either by Historic Scotland nor by the local council, but rather by a private individual. Due to a dispute, the rennovation of the property hasn't been able to take place, so you can't actually go in it (which is a real shame).

From the castle we drove towards the town of Strontian, where the element Stontium was discovered. We had intended to take a hike from the village to the mines (now abandoned), we arrived too late to make the full 6 hour round trip journey before dark. So we had a lovely snack in the local cafe before heading back through some beautiful lochs back to Fort William for our last night in Scotland.

Needless to say it was a very full trip, and we are very grateful to both Gib and Cherie for the car and for doing the driving. Because of them we got out to places that we wouldn't have been able to by public transport. That and they are wonderful company.

Another adventure under our belt and yet another resolution, that someday we must go back.