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Showing posts from 2017

Gairlochy to Laggan Locks

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Another day, another stage of our Great Glen Way walk. After waking up in our very comfortable B&B we enjoyed once again a delicious scottish breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, overlooking the garden and the not-to-distant highland mountains. I can think of many worse ways of starting a day...



After breakfast we made ourselves on the way back to Gairlochy to tackle the next stage of the Great Glen Way.
During the walk to rejoin the trail we were treated to an amazing view of a band of low lying mist over the canal. Fortunately we had started out early, or we would have missed the mysterious mist, and would have been miffed.



Today's stage definitely had more of a wow factor then yesterday's walk along the towpath. We were treated to fantastic views of Loch Lochy when walking the loch-side path. The only critisism I can think of is that a little more effort in the naming of the Loch wouldn't have been too much to ask for. Calling a loch Lochy seems like a laz…

Fort William to Gairlochy

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Day one of the Great Glen Way. After a hearty Premier Inn breakfast we make ourselves on the Great Glen) way, which conventiently was right behind the hotel's car park. Before we left the hotel ground we caught a glimps of a middle-aged gentleman making off with our suitcases. Excellent! This was the Sherpa Van Man, who would transport our luggage to the next overnight stop.
The first stage of our walk took us out of Fort William, past the old Inverlochie Castle (I mean literally past it, in a sneaky kind of way, so we didn't even catch a glimps of it) and to the start of the Caledonian Canal.
From then onwards the route followed the canal towpath until we arrived at Gairlochy. Along the way we passed the renowned Neptunes Staircase, a series of 8 locks which rather decoratively overcome a hight difference of 20 meter. I would say that aforementioned staircase was the highlight of the first stage, the rest of the walk being a pleasant, but not very spectacular walk along the …

Great Glen Way - Fort William

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Day 0 of our holidays. We spend most of the day in doubt in doubt if we would be able to travel. A fire in a timber yard (it is hard to imagine a better place for a fire...) disrupted trains from Euston Station most of the day. However St Christopher, patron of travellers, had his eye on the ball and made sure the Caledonian Sleeper departed as planned.  And as an added bonus he also helped us secure that last available table in the dining car. Clearly St. Chris was on a roll that day.

We ordered our regular meal for dinner, haggis, tatties and neaps, and as usual the dish was microwaved to perfection. Funny enough I don't mean this ironically. Even though the food in the dining car of the Caledonian Sleeper is prepared in a microwave, the quality and taste are surprisingly good. After dinner, which we washed down with a nice bottle of Argentinian Malbec we were ready to retreat to our cabins and let the gentle rocking of the carriages put us to sleep.


The next morning we woke up …

Bank Holiday Weekend on Jersey - Day 3

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Sunday morning, after a relaxing day and inspiring evening meal yesterday we were ready for a little more action and decided to go for a coastal walk in the north west of Jersey.
According to the Jersey tourist office it was easy to get there and would provide us with beautiful views of the island and its rugged  coastline.
They were definitely right about the transport. One of the nice things about Jersey is that there is a good network of busses which get you cheap and easy to almost any part of the island from St. Helier. Getting back to St. Helier is a bit more of a challenge, because as mentioned earlier, the islanders value their Sunday rest and send the busses back to the garage long before sundown.




Luckily we set off at 10 in the morning, so we had plenty of time to exhaust ourselves before the last bus back.
Along the way we were treated to impressive views of castle ruins, funny place names (is Grosnez French for Big Nose?), secluded beaches, and plenty of wild flowers and h…

Bank Holiday Weekend on Jersey - Day 2

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After a long and well-deserved lie-in we made our way to the breakfast restaurant around 10. The buffet offered the usual elements for a DIY "full english", a small selection of bread, jams and mediocre mini pastries. The eggs however were superb, cooked to order anyway you could possible wish for. During our stay I had the poached and scrambled varieties and a delicious mushroom and cheese omelette.

After breakfast we decided to explore St. Helier and came soon to the conclusion that the town much resembled the breakfast buffet. Unexciting, but with a few gems thrown in to avoid real disappointment.
The highlight of our expedition was a trip by amphibious vehicle to Elisabeth Castle, just off the coast. By low tide it is even possible to walk there!






The first inhabitant of the rocks where now the castle is build was a Belgian hermit in the 6th century, who apparently preferred a rather desolate barren cliff over his homeland, which makes me question his sanity, or the state…

Bank Holiday Weekend on Jersey - Day 1

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Bank holiday weekends always present me with an agonising dilemma. "Should I stay or should I go" is the existential question which raises its ugly head every time.
On the one hand the extended weekend offers an excellent opportunity to go a little further afield without the need to use up precious annual leave, but on the other hand bank holiday road closures and rail diversions make bank holidays an ideal time to spend some quality time between my own four walls.
And then there is Jersey..... The ideal destination for an August Bank Holiday as travel to Jersey could be arranged without rail or road travel. A short flight from London City Airport after work on Friday evening would get me there.
My mind was made up, Jersey it would be this August.

I had never been there, I had heard rumours describing it as a subtropical paradise, covered in lush vegetation and full of photo opportunities for the keen amateur photographer, and fresh seafood to be had on every street corner o…