OK everyone, B R E A T H E !
Yeah yeah, I’m back, and without an apology for my tardiness in regards to keeping up this bloglet. The truth is I’ve had far more pressing matters to attend to since my last post, namely employment. Busy busy busy.
So, in an attempt to get back on some sort of track, let me redirect your attentions to where we left off in the last episode. Let me see…
Ah yes, we’d just visited York, the jewel of the North. Well, I thought it was pretty good anyway.
Onwards and upwards to Scotland next, we spent the next 2 nights in glorious Edinburgh, checkin’ out the castle and other such things. I really liked the tartan weaving mill, amazing stuff. I think if I wasn’t a teacher the one thing I’d really enjoy doing would be working in the textiles industry. Incredibly, the whole time we were in Scotland we didn’t touch a single drop of whiskey. If only they were famous for distilling Rum, I’d still be there for sure.
Edinburgh Castle from far far away
After our lovely two nights in a cosy B&B in the heart of the city (Dad was rapt after he heard our host say ‘aye’ and ‘wee’ for the first time, hehe) we packed our bags up again and drifted further north in search of Inverness. Along the way we saw some funny things, such as this:
Which kept us laughing all day, and some spectacular patchworky scenery such as this:
and this, which isn’t very patchworky but is very slishy sloshy:
on the way to Balmoral Castle (the Queen’s official residence in Scotland).
After Balmoral we ended up in Inverness, where we started our cruise down the Loch Ness. It was a beautiful sunny day, but there were no suspiciously big fishes swimming around for me to take photos of. There were some big something-elses sticking out elsewhere on the cruise that I couldn’t resist taking photos of…
She stood like that for most of the trip. I had to pretend it was the wind that was making my eyes water. Sheesh.
Here’s my favourite photo of me and Mump, taken on Loch Ness:
This cruise boat was full of surprises…check out what we found screwed to the back of the toilet doors:
I was a bit concerned about having to eat my toilet paper…at first.
Off the boat and back on solid Inverness ground, but not for long! We got out of there as fast as we could, and even that wasn’t quick enough. Inverness is a very industrial town with lots of gloomy places to get lost in. I think we found them all. The best part was the night we got there, and we were looking for our accommodation. We stopped to ask a local if he could help us with directions. His answer was a very curt ‘I recommend the lamb chops.’ Then he hightailed it away from us. Apparently lost tourists are the most dangerous specimens in Inverness.
From Inverness we headed up the eastern coast through Wick, and up to John O’Groats, which is one end of the most extreme points of mainland Britain (the other being Land’s End in Cornwall, but I’ll tell you about that when we come to it).
This is a spectacular storm we drove through on our way from Wick to John O’Groats.
At that moment it was over the water and heading inland.
We had a good nights sleep and a good feed in ol’ Groatsey, but I had the shower from hell. Stupid shower.
This is the furthermost ‘house’ (souvenier shop)in British Mainland.
We could see the Orkney Islands from here.
Next on the map was Dunnet Head, which is the Northern-most tip of mainland Britain. We found it after going up some windy roads and backtracking a few times after deciphering Scottish signs that said something along the lines of ‘this road doesn’t go to Dunnet Head’. I think it said something more like: Thy raed daesne gota Dunnet Haed’ or something. Whatever it said it took us a good 5 minutes to work it out. But I didn’t feel bad; my mate Dave is from Glasgow, and he said when he went touring to the far north of Scotland, he couldn’t even understand what they were saying!
The Beautiful Dunnet Head
Moving right along, I’m going to skip a few bits now because this is going to be way too long. From Dunnet Head we travelled west through Tongue (you heard me), and this is about where we saw some of these lollygegging along the roadside:
They’re Highland Cows, and the only reason they can survive up here is because they face the wind head on.
I think their shaggy dreds help a bit too.
The Scottish call them ‘Wee Hieland Coo’s’, and yeah they spell it like that too. I think they’re awesome.
Here’s the most incredible picture I got in Scotland…Look closely.
See that little white blob in the middle, slightly to the left? I’d magnify it for you and put a circle around it but can’t figure out how to get it into WordPress, but anyway it’s someone’s house.
A house, and two sheds. In the middle of nowhere. The only man-made structures around as far as the eye could see.
Isolation at its best.