Sunday, September 11, 2016

Scotland Day 1 (Stirling to Fort William)

Hello, everyone.

This last week has been an amazing adventure. After a year of planning, last Sunday we set off on a week-long driving tour of the Scottish highlands.  Our itinerary included stops in Stirling, Skye, Inverness, Pitlochry, and Edinburgh. Special thanks to Absolute Escapes for their help in arranging our general itinerary, guest houses and car rental.  With the information Absolute Escapes provided, and endless hours searching on the internet, I developed a long list of places to visit along our route.

Please join me all this week as I share our detailed itinerary and my favorite memories of the trip through photographs.  (All of the photographs from our first day of our trip can be found here.)

Our trip began with a red-eye flight from New York City to Edinburgh and our first adventure was getting behind the wheel on the right side of the car.  Overall, driving didn't bother me. I did not, however, enjoy being a passenger.  The roads are much, much narrower than in the States and we were always uncomfortably close to the curb. (More on that below).

Our first stop was the Kelpies, an impressive equine statue next to the Forth and  Clyde Canal in Falkirk.

Next, we drove on to Stirling. Before visiting the castle, we made a detour down A811 to Leckie, which is where my mother-in-law's family originated.

Then on to Stirling Castle, home of Scottish royalty  (and some cute Scottish highland cattle) and an important military base during the wars for independence.

We made a quick stop for lunch at Birds and the Bees, where Glenn was able to satisfy his craving for fish and chips and I had a lovely steak pie.  Then we were back on the road, heading through Glencoe to Fort William and our first guest house - the Buccleuch Guest House.

Of course, no trip goes exactly as planned.  I was looking forward to making a stop in Glencoe for a walk to enjoy the scenery.  Unfortunately, the narrow roads and sharp curbs got the better of us, and we ended up with an unplanned stop to change the tire. Fortunately, our rental had a donut, and Glenn knew what he was about.

All's well that ends well. We contacted our rental company (Sixt) as soon as we got to our guest house and they found someone to come out on a Sunday night to change the tire. Great service from Sixt and our hosts at the Buccleuch Guest House.

While the tire was getting sorted out, we walked into town and had an amazing dinner at Spice Tandoori. We had Indian several times on our trip and it was always excellent.

Wow, that was a lot for one day And Kudos to Glenn for braving the roads and getting us to where we needed to be!

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