Western Scotland struck us as wild and primitive. You could tell you were in a different country by the signs in both English and Gaelic. We never could pronounce the Gaelic names without help. There is even a Gaelic TV channel. We survived the cooler weather without having to purchase any wool and the rain was mostly mist.
Our first stop was in Oben on the coast. We gobbled fresh scallops on the dock, watching the ferries come and go. Our hotel, Ardanaiseig, on Loch Awe, was isolated and the exterior reminded us of a haunted house. It had beautiful rooms and landscaping.
We rode the cable car up the Nevis Range with the mountain bikers, next to Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Great Britain. Nearby, we climbed through rocky Nevis Gorge to Steall Falls. The Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe was the perfect place for hungry hikers to fill up on steak and ale pie.
The Isle of Skye was even more dramatic. A fellow traveler called the land “savage”. We drove up the Trotternish Peninsula where the high hills drop suddenly into the sea and the landmarks have interesting names - the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and the Quirang.
We also visited Neist Point lighthouse, the westernmost part of the Island. It rained and was foggy all the way there but the sun came out as we parked. The rain resumed about an hour later as we hiked back to the car.
Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland, and is still the home of the MacLeods whose motto is “Hold Fast”.
We stayed at Kinloch Lodge which has a restaurant with a well-deserved Michelin star.
Driving toward Edinburgh the landscape changed to rolling hills and cultivated fields - a lot like the Cotswolds. We loved the city: Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, the National Museum of Sotland, and Grassmarket. We missed the Tattoo by a week and so will have to return again to experience it and so many other sites that we didn’t have time for.
This has been one of our most memorable trips. The temple opens again on Tuesday.