Scotland Road Trip 2023 – Part 2

Here is the map of our second week on tour – 850 miles or 1370 km.

As mentioned in the previous post (link here), most of the photos are Klaus’s. Pictures of cakes are of course mine!

Day 7: Lochinver to Gairloch

This morning we had another varied breakfast, but this time a continental breakfast, so no sausage bean and eggs. It wasn’t a bad thing to have a break from them anyway because we were eating rather a lot.

We set off at nine with a few ideas of things we could visit on the way. We had the roof up to start with as the weather looked a little bit changeable and we didn’t want to get the car wet to start with.

The forecast for where we were going was better so we hoped that we would have a bit of sunshine in the afternoon. It was also forecasted to be pretty windy so that should help with the midge situation.

Our route took us past Loch Assynt which was very long and the road was good all the way. We stopped to look at a waterfall and ruined castle at Ardvreck.

Just past here Google had a point of interest which was called “monster haggis sign” and there was a photo, but when we drove past it had been changed back to a rocks falling sign. Rather disappointing! Here is what used to be there:

The road was very good with a reasonable surface most of the time and wide enough to pass camper vans easily.

There seem to be a few more vehicles on the road now, I guessed this was the start of the German summer holidays at least.

We drove on and did a short diversion to Rhue where there is a lighthouse. This was recommended to me by an acquaintance on the cycling forum.

We parked up and walked to the Lighthouse and sat at the beach for a little while.

We then continued on to Ullapool where we decided to have a spot of lunch. We had some soup in a restaurant and then did a little bit of browsing in shops. There were lots of tourist tartan items and various other bits and bobs, but we just looked. At the end we popped into Tesco for some wine gums supplies.

I had been driving up to now, but we switched over at Ullapool, as I thought the A832 road a bit later might be a bit narrower so Klaus’s driving skills were a good plan. It turned out to be a normal road so we had no problems at all, and in fact, it was a very scenic route again.

If you click on the icon in the middle of the photo below you can see a short video – I say “quite windy” at the end!

We had taken a really long route round Loch Broome which opened out to the sea at the end. It was very beautiful.

At one point we were passing an island and I looked it up and saw that it was Gruinard island, which I knew had an interesting history because of the anthrax test there.

I was trying to remember more information about it but we had no phone signal so I couldn’t look anything up and I was trying to tell Klaus what I remembered, but it was very imperfect. It took a while before we had enough signal for me to actually look it up, but I had been correct: the island has been quarantined for absolutely ages because of anthrax tests in the Second World War.

We got to Aultbea and stopped at the Russian arctic convoy exhibition.  This was near Loch Awe, which was where a lot of ships that made the Arctic convoys were prepared. The museum was a real higgledy-piggledy mess of different things, with loads of souvenirs that people who travelled on the Arctic convoys collected. There were various stories from different people’s lives, what the convoys were like and what they did afterwards. There were lots of medals and also samples of uniforms that people wore. There was information about submarines and minelaying and sinkings. There didn’t seem to be an entirely coherent theme and it wasn’t at all linear, it was just loads of different things filling up all the spaces on the walls. There were some really interesting snippets in it, but I was slightly put off by really annoyingly loud woman, who was talking the whole time to the museum worker, and telling him everything she knew, rather than listening to what he might know. And she was very strident. It really wound me up because I wanted a bit of peace to read the museum. It didn’t help that she had a dog that kept barking, and she wouldn’t take him out to let him relax a bit somewhere else.

I think it also feels a bit strange for Klaus sometimes to visit some of these museums in the UK as they do seem exceptionally patriotic in places and there just isn’t this idea of celebrating anything about World War II in Germany because it was so awful.

We carried on to the next large village called Poolewe, which had a café and we decided to stop there. This was a great decision as not only did I have a nice cream tea and Klaus a slice of cake…

but there was also some really interesting decoration with information about ships, including the Titanic in the loo, and a genuine sign from the island of Gruinard that have been framed. The lady there told me the guy who owned it had taken it from the island, and had kept it under his bed for years. He didn’t die of anthrax so decided to wash it lots of times and then give it framed to this place.    

From this café it was just 20 minutes to our bed and breakfast in Gairloch.

We had a bedroom which also had a conservatory room attached with views over to the Isle of Skye. The host made us a pot of tea, and also gave us some small slices of cake as we settled in, watching all the birds on his birdfeeder.

We had a really long chat with him about our route, about the Munro Mountains and many other things. He was a really interesting chap who had lived in Inverness his whole life, but retired up here to run a B&B with his wife and enjoy the different life.

Breakfast menu for the next day – plenty of choice!

We also had a little gift of home-made shortbread and Scottish Tablet, which is a bit like a harder fudge.

We had booked a meal at a campsite pub and so walked the 3 km there along the road which was very quiet. I was a bit stuffed when it was time for the meal, so Klaus and I just shared a starter, but the main course was enormous again. I finished it off with ice cream. Klaus had a Talisker ten-year whiskey after trying his first Irn-Bru.

We walked back via the beach, which was beautiful, with the backdrop of the mountains around us. The sun was shining and it was warm and windy so there were no real insects to spoil our evening. We were having such a lovely time on this holiday and feeling really relaxed. We were also walking about 10 km a day, which was good, but eating three times as much as we really needed to!

Day 8: Gairloch to Balmacara

After a good nights sleep we sat down to a fantastic breakfast prepared by our hosts at the B&B. I had some wonderful porridge, followed by a Scottish cooked breakfast, and Klaus ate a continental breakfast. We watched the birds on the birdfeeder whilst we were having our food.

The route today was about 120 km, but this involved a detour from the official North Coast 500 route as that went over a rather narrow pass, the Applecross pass. I had been advised by some cycling friends that I might find this pass too scary and that there was a perfectly decent alternative route which I chose for our routing which bypassed the Applecross Pass. I felt a bit bad that Klaus would miss out on the fun of the drive, so in the end we worked out that perhaps I could wait at a café and he could do the interesting bit of the pass on his own – it would be about 45 minutes in total.

Anyway, we set off, knowing that today was the last day that we followed the NC 500 route as we were almost finished. The the route tomorrow to Fort William would be of our own devising.

There wasn’t actually that much to see as a sightseeing item on the way, which was just as well as it was pretty rainy and grey for most of the day. I drove the first section and this turned out to have quite a lot of single track road as well, but this was much better than some of the other single track as it was pretty easy to see what was going on, and if there was anything coming.

We drove around Loch Maree and then to Torridon and Shieldaig. At this point, we deviated from the official route which took the coastal route to Applecross and then the route back over the pass. We took a nice wiggly road down to Kishorn where we found a café that was closed until midday (it was 11:15), but the lady there said I could sit there with a cup of tea.

So Klaus left me there and headed off for his journey over the Applecross pass and back again, although the weather wasn’t great and it was raining with a low cloud, so he didn’t benefit from the super views that are normally available. I drank my tea and chilled out. I listened to the conversation of the people in the café and they were talking about the mega midge problems they had had in the last few days so once again we have been really lucky.

Klaus came back surprisingly quickly. He’d enjoyed the drive, but thought it was much less scary than some of the other stuff we’ve done, particularly in the Alps last year. I had been very scared for those journeys too so that didn’t mean I would have enjoyed Applecross! He hadn’t been able to see too much because of the cloud in the rain, but it was still fun to drive the Z3 on this terrain.

We now drove to Lochcarron and then carried along the road to the turn off to Strathcarron where we started going round the other side of the loch. There was quite a lot of singletrack here as we climbed around some hills on the coast, eventually arriving at Auchtertyre where we made a slight detour to go and look at Dorney Castle which had been in the film Highlander. As it was still raining we decided to stop first of all for tea and cake in the hope that the weather would improve before we went to visit the castle. The tea and cake place turned out to be more of a takeaway, so we just stood at some benches around the windows, looking out onto the rain and ate our goodies.

Klaus had his first pastry of the tour

and I had a dark chocolate and malt whisky caramel pie (home-made caramel with Talisker single malt).

I actually had several whisky-flavoured things in the time I was in Scotland so you can’t say I hadn’t been partaking of Scottish culture.

When we had finished our drinks the rain eased off enough that we could see this pretty castle from the car park of the café, so we didn’t bother driving further, just took a couple of moody photographs.

We were too early to check into our B&B so decided to head onto the Isle of Skye to have a look around. Klaus’s friend Thorsten had suggested we should visit a distillery so now seemed the time. Rather than heading to the Talisker distillery (a very long way, and it would be closed by the time we arrived) we went to the Torabhaig distillery on Skye, and had a little look around – just the Gift Shop, we had missed the last of the tours.

The whole place was built in 2017, so the whiskies are still quite young, and it was fascinating to see how much work has been put in and how much money has to be tied up until the whisky is old enough to actually sell at 10 years or so.

From the distillery we had a view across from the Isle of Skye to the mainland.

We saw our first deer of this holiday, unfortunately a dead one beside the road.

We then drove back onto the mainland over the very impressive Skye bridge and stopped off at a co-op in Kyle of Lochalsh to buy some food for the evening and some breakfast for the next day. The place we were staying that night did not have breakfast included in the room rate so we thought we could buy ourselves something for breakfast, at which point having a lighter evening meal seem like a good plan too.

So we explored the co-op and bought soup and salad with yoghurt for dessert, as well as some bread for the next morning’s toast with eggs that were supplied by the B&B. 

Our accommodation was actually a tiny house, a little caravan which is really efficiently designed with bed and mini kitchen and bathroom and also a seating area and a fold up table.

It was very cosy and the view out of the window was trees and hills and clouds, although the weather was improving. There were also some impressively fine fly screens on the windows – against the dreaded midges.

We were able to eat our evening meal outside without being attacked by the midges, but as the evening drew on we started to see a few so went in. It was, we think, at this point that Klaus got the first of his two midge bites of the holiday.

Day 9: Balmacara to Fort William

The next morning we had scrambled egg on toast which I cooked. We had to eat inside the tiny house as there were midges outside. It was raining on and off in the morning and that carried on for the rest of the day.

We set off around 10 in the morning, heading towards Fort William. Our route took us past Dorney Castle and this time the weather was better so we stopped for photos.

We were on a decent a road with some really good views – but with the changeable weather the views were really variable: the scenery looked different every ten minutes. Lots of the mountains had cloud on them, but we also had some really lovely views in bright sunshine. 

At one point, a police car was coming the other way with his lights on, and he stopped to talk to the car in front of us, and then to us. He told us that there was a wide load coming so we had to squeeze to the side of the road. And then he said “by the way, I like your car!“ I replied “So do we!”

We went past several lochs and eventually stopped for a piece of cake and a cup of tea at Spean Bridge.

The cake look like a Victoria sandwich cake, but had a different name, and the lady told me it had oats in it. It tasted really good anyway.

We had passed a memorial to commandos as we were driving to the café so decided to go back there and take a look as it was also a viewpoint. We had a view over the hills theoretically to Ben Nevis but unfortunately it was shrouded in cloud. It was also mega windy up at this viewpoint.

I drove the final section to Fort William, and we went first of all to Neptune’s Staircase, which is a series of eight locks on the Caledonian Canal – another impressive bit of engineering by Thomas Telford.

There were quite a few sailing boats in the lock going up so we watch that, in alternating showers and sunshine. We walked to the bottom of the lock staircase but it was difficult to get good photos.

From here we filled up the car with the cheapest petrol we had seen so far and then went to our hotel in Fort William.

This was the Garrison Hotel which is the old Garrison and our rooms were cells. We were in cell 12. 

As you can see, there wasn’t much room. We had an en-suite loo and the shower was across the hallway (private for our room).

We walked along the High Street which is pedestrianised and seemed to suffer the same problems as other towns in the UK with lots of boarded up shops. However, there were also lots of whisky shops and general gift shops so we nosed around in there. Klaus managed to find himself a good pair of trousers as well because the ones he had been wearing on this holiday were basically too big – he chucked them in a bin in Fort William. He also bought a new fleece. We also updated the wine gum stores.

Klaus had a bit of a rest and I went out for another walk to get my steps target for the day. I walked up the hill behind the hotel which gave me views down onto the loch.

Fort William isn’t designed very well with a busy main road right on the waters edge so it’s not very scenic. However, as soon as you start walking up the hills you get some stunning views.

I visited a cemetery which had a lofty view over the loch.

I walked back via the centre and there were signs to a pedestrian underpass but it was quite tricky to find and I ended up walking across a busy car park for a supermarket – not a very pedestrian-friendly area. But at least the Main Street in Fort William was pedestrianised.

I also saw this interesting advertising board for the hire bike scheme.

What was interesting? Well, the name at the bottom (“Bewegen”) and the slogan “Move with Bewegen”. In German “Bewegen” means movement, but I don’t imagine many people know that in the UK. So it seemed a bit odd to have it on an advertising hoarding. I suppose it’s the brand name, but I thought that was Hibike!

We ate our evening meal in an Indian restaurant just across from the hotel and it was good value. We enjoyed a sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and the waiter suggested one would be enough for the two of us, and he was right. Klaus sampled the local whisky, called Ben Nevis, and found it very good indeed – it’s probably in his top three now (the other two are Highland Park and Balbair).

Day 10 Fort William to Oban

Today was the long-planned day to visit the Isle of Mull and the bench there in memory of my father.

When we originally booked our Scotland trip for two years ago (which ended up being cancelled due to Covid), we had booked accommodation at the hotel at Glenforsa where the bench is. However, when it came to rebook for this year, they no longer had any availability on the date we would be passing through. Instead we arranged to stay in Oban, which is a ferry ride from Mull.

In fact, this whole day would involve three ferries: the Corran Ferry, Lochaline to Fishnish and Craignure to Oban.

About two months before the holiday we got information that the ferry for the first crossing, the Corran ferry, had broken down and was out of service for quite awhile. This meant an increase on the journey of 40 miles or 60 km, a lot of which was on single track road. Not a great prospect, but fortunately they got a replacement vessel in place at the beginning of June. This was a smaller vessel, so we were warned there could be queues if it was busy.

Because I didn’t really know our exact timing, or whether we would even manage the Mull expedition if the ferries were out, I hadn’t booked the other two ferries.

I had downloaded the app from the company that runs the ferries, Calmac, and it showed occasional service disruptions, but generally it looked as though the ferries were running that morning.

We woke up after a not brilliant night in the cells. As we had no breakfast in the room rate and breakfast would’ve been £15 we decided we would head off without eating anything and eat our brunch on Mull.

As I didn’t know what the phone signal would be like when underway I thought it would be a good idea to buy the two ferry tickets on and off Mull before we left the Garrison. It looked as though the Corran ferry was running properly (and you couldn’t pre-book tickets for that) so I just needed the two Mull ferry tickets.

I had a go at the CalMac app on my phone but couldn’t get anywhere with booking tickets for the ferry onto Mull, from Lochaline to Fishnish. It said that all sailings were fully booked, which I thought a bit unlikely. In the end, I decided to phone a human operator to discuss this and got through fairly quickly. The chap said that you can’t book a crossing because it’s just one where you turn up and go, but you should be able to pre-book the ticket on the app as an open ticket, but I wasn’t able to find that at all on the App. He said I would be able to buy it from the staff on the boat so no problem.

He then asked if we were returning that day from Mull, and I said yes, from Craignure to Oban. He said that we might have a problem then as all the afternoon ferries were booked. The last available crossing before a long break was at 13:30, the next one would’ve been at 19:30 in the evening. That would be way too late for us! So we decided we would book the 13:30 crossing, but this would mean we had very little time on Mull.

Time was now of the essence so we got ready really quickly and set off to try and maximise the time window on Mull.  The road from Fort William was fine, and we were first in the queue for the Corran ferry.

We could see it just the other side of the water and it crosses every five minutes.

We drove on, paid our £10 and were soon as the other side.

Here we are looking a bit windswept.

We then set off to drive across the Ardnamurchan peninsula to Lochaline. This started off as a good fast road but then became yet another single track road with passing places.

As usual there were plenty of passing places, but it still involved a lot more concentration to drive it, especially if you couldn’t always see that far ahead. Klaus and I wondered if the roads statistics in Scotland for accidents are actually better than in England because the overall speeds are lower because of all the singletrack roads.

I much preferred being behind another car on these roads so that someone else was having to be super-vigilant but unfortunately the locals all drove so fast I couldn’t keep up with them and they would eventually get so far away I had to take each corner carefully, so was even slower.

We got to Lochaline and there were two cars queueing before us, but no sign of the ferry. I realised I didn’t know how regularly this ferry crossed, but I thought it was about once every half hour. We were in luck as it arrived 10 minutes later. That crossing was £13.30 and took about 15 minutes. They had a loo on the ferry, which was useful!

So we arrived on Mull and Klaus took over the driving. We had less than two hours in total before we needed to be in the queue for the return ferry.

Google Maps had told me it would be 45 minutes from Tobermory back to Craignure from where the ferry to Oban would leave. We thought about driving up to Tobermory, which would be about 25 minutes from Fishnish. The alternative was to stop at a place called Salen where I had found a decent looking café.

First of all we went to Glenforsa to visit the bench. It was pouring with rain, so we weren’t there for that long, just enough time to see this bench that was paid for by collections from many of my father’s flying friends.

(BRUCE is the name of some kind of air traffic beacon or something similar…)

My Dad was also given several bottles of very decent whisky by these friends whilst still alive – and a long time ago Klaus visited my Dad in England and tried some:

We then got back into the car and carried on towards Salen, but as we got there really quickly we decided we might as well carry on to Tobermory as it was only another 25 minutes. The road had been a good quality road so we thought it would be an easy drive, but very soon we are back to single track which obviously makes the journey a bit more variable.

The decision to go to Tobermory was probably a mistake as when we got there it was pouring with rain, there were people everywhere and we were just a bit too early to get lunch anywhere as it was 11:45 and everywhere opened at 12:00. Last check-in for the ferry was 13:10, so we didn’t have that much time, so ended up buying some filled baguettes, sausage rolls and a pastry each at a bakery. There was nowhere to sit down because everything was full so we walked back in the pouring rain and ate these goodies in the car, dropping flaky pastry crumbs everywhere of course.

Naturally, eating sandwiches in the car is faster than in a café where you can sit down and sip tea, so we were ready to leave Tobermory, soaking wet, at about 12:15. And now when we looked on Google it said the journey time to Craignure was only 20 minutes, rather than the 45 minutes it had previously offered. So off we went, and indeed arrived there very early; but we didn’t have to wait too long as 20 minutes later they had started checking us in.

This was a very large ferry and I thought very decent, the tickets were £22 for two people plus car, but it was a journey of almost an hour. We sat in the lounge area and drank tea and coffee.

My tea decided to attack Klaus and spill itself on his new trousers. The cup of tea was on the table next to Klaus and decided to jump out and attack him, just from the vibration of the boat as we were leaving the harbour – I was away from the action at the time!

It was still pretty rainy so we didn’t get a mega view from the boat but did see several interesting castles and other buildings and lighthouses. This would be a wonderful journey in the sunshine.

We arrived in Oban and made our way to a public car park as we knew the Guest House didn’t have any parking. The car park was just around the corner and cost £3.50 for the rest of the day. We would have to buy another ticket if we were there after 09:00 the next morning, which was very unlikely.

The guesthouse host was a really friendly chap who had previously visited Mönchengladbach a lot as his brother was in the forces at Rheindahlen. He and I had a good chat, but his extremely broad Scottish accent meant that Klaus only understood about 30% of the conversation.

After a cup of tea, we went out to explore Oban in the rain.

After 300 m we stopped for a cake and tea at a little tea room just before it was closing.

We then carried on, walking past the Oban Distillery (I bought Klaus a bottle of their whisky before our planned Scotland visit in 2020 but it’s not one of his favourites)

and walked around the harbour.

We looked back and saw a high amphitheatre-like building, looking down over the town, so decided to walk up to that.  It was called McCaigs Tower and dated from 1897. There was a flight of stairs part of the way to it.

We had a great view down over the harbour but it was still raining a bit so we couldn’t see Mull.

We walked down the hill again and happened upon The Whisky Vault, a pub, so Klaus decided this was his chance to try the Tobermory whisky. He also enjoyed this whisky very much.

I then bought some Tobermory whisky-flavoured fudge for my work colleagues (you have to bring something edible to work for your birthday) and we walked around a bit more before returning to our room to chill out for a bit before dinner.

We headed for the Italian restaurant Piazza on the harbour front for our evening meal, which was fine. It was still raining off and on so we didn’t walk around too much afterwards.

Day 11: Oban to Keswick

Today was our last day in Scotland.

The room that we stayed in was the cheapest of the whole holiday, but didn’t include breakfast. We had seen a place where we could get a breakfast but decided in the end to get on the road and eat something a bit later.

We set off on a route that would take us around Glasgow. It started off in the traditional scenery with lochs and fells, and then we found ourselves getting close to the end of Loch Lomond, where it was time for some food (and to listen to Runrig).

I had found a well-reviewed café near Dumbarton and so a few kilometres before we reached it I switched the phone that Klaus was using as a satnav for mine, which was heading towards this café. Unfortunately, when we got there it was the wrong address; I had chosen the café with Google Maps, but programmed Apple maps for Klaus to follow and they had this café about a mile away from its real location where there was actually nothing to see. Once we got there, we realise what happened and turned round and followed Google Maps to the real café, which was a classic greasy spoon but really good value for money. I had my last Scottish breakfast of this holiday.

I took over the driving and we soon found ourselves going around Glasgow on the motorway. It was raining a lot of the time but the car does well on the motorway in the rain and it was quite relaxing driving.

I realised at one point it would be good to get some fuel, so we stopped at Moffat to top up, once again with about 9 litres per hundred kilometres fuel usage. This is fine for this car with the big engine.

We swapped drivers again, so Klaus did the section after Moffat to Lockerbie, and then to Gretna where we stopped for a nice piece of cake.

It was raining as we came out of the café, so I took a quick photo of the signpost that was near to the border between, Scotland and England, but then had to rush back to the car to stop getting rained on too much.

I took over the last section of driving and chose a route that wasn’t the M6 down to Penrith, instead going round Carlisle and driving towards Workington before turning off to Keswick. This was theoretically a more scenic route, but it was raining and with really low clouds, we couldn’t really see anything.

We arrived at our guest house, which seemed very nice, and we had a very large room. We ate the free biscuits, drank some tea and watched the clouds start lifting over the mountain Skiddaw behind us – I had climbed this mountain several times in my youth.

We went out for a walk, which involved browsing in a few of the shops in Keswick

and then walking down to Derwent water, where we walked along the side of the lake for a little while.

The water level was clearly much lower than normal, presumably because of the four weeks sunshine they had just before our visit.

On the way back we stopped in a pub for an evening meal and Klaus had a gin (no longer in Scotland so no whisky required). We then walked back to the lake as the light was better and the clouds had lifted a little more so we had some great views.

When we got back to our guest house, we noticed they had the DVD of the film Highlander, so we decided to watch that as it was filmed in Scotland and we had visited Dorney Castle which was in the film. It hasn’t stood the test of time so well, but the views of Scotland were nice!

Day 12: Keswick to Witnesham

After our breakfast we got our luggage ready and then paid and set off before nine. Today we had a 300 mile/500 km journey which would take at least 5 1/2 hours.

At the breakfast table we each had a little parcel of cake in waxed paper to take with us, home-made moist cake that was very nice. We also had a proper cooked breakfast.

Some other guests came in after we have been there a few minutes, and they had two dogs with them, which laid on the floor and we had to step over them regularly. It was a labradoodle (a small one) and a lurcher. They were very nice dogs.

However once we arrived at the car we realised we would need a detour to a car wash as there was bird poop all over the boot and the roof of the Z3. What was interesting was there was none on the bonnet so it seems there is a particular route for the birds that encompassed the back half of the car.

The first petrol station we reached had a jet wash, but it was out of order so we carried on and when we got to Penrith at the edge of the Lake District. There was a petrol station with a functional jet wash. Everything was washed off and the car was clean again fairly soon afterwards.

I drove the first two hours or so, and then we swapped over at a service station. We had thought to stop there, but it was a fairly small service station without much in the way of food and no decent looking loos. We decided to carry on as I found a farm shop and café just off the A1 a bit further south.

We went to that farm shop and it was very nice, seemed actually quite like a lot of German Bauerncafes. We had a slice of cake each and a drink to keep us going. Klaus continued the driving as we headed south, eventually joining the A14 towards Ipswich.

We arrived at my mum‘s at four in the afternoon, feeling less tired than I thought we would after such a long time in the Z3. When we first used to go on journeys in it I found more than one hour too uncomfortable, but it seems that having my special memory foam seat cover has helped a lot, plus we have got more used to it after almost 3000 km over the last two weeks.

Mum did two loads of washing for us and we hung them out, Klaus and I went for a walk to get my daily steps goal of 8000, and then we popped out to the supermarket in Ipswich to get ourselves an evening meal which was a ready-made pizza each.

What was really nice was being in a bed with duvets each. In Germany, you each have a separate duvet, but in England, this is not common and Klaus and I have to fight over who gets custody of the duvet. Fortunately Mum also has the two duvet option so it was the first night where we didn’t fight over our coverings.

The next day Klaus and I visited Woodbridge for lunch and an ice cream and a general walk around. We spent the afternoon relaxing.

The following day my sister, niece and her husband came to visit for lunch and we had a good meal in the Railway Inn, where Mum and I always go on our last day (usually for the evening meal). Anna my sister had an event to go to in the evening so she came for lunch. We enjoyed catching up, chatting, talking to Daisy the tortoise and relaxing.

Klaus and I headed off to Harwich for our ferry that evening. It was Nessie’s last view of her home shores as we queued up to get on the ferry…

We arrived the next morning in Hoek van Holland, back to normal life again.

Our two weeks away in Scotland and England was really good though. We were so lucky with the weather, with the midge situation and with the accommodation (I had done a lot of preparation!) Zuzanna worked flawlessly, and was a really good car to have for those roads. A bit more boot space wouldn’t have been a bad idea but we managed with what we had. This was not a cheap holiday as accommodation and food are much more expensive in the UK than in Germany, but it was definitely worth it!

Klaus says (and I agree), this is not the last time we are visiting Scotland. We particularly liked Edinburgh, Inverness, Wick and Oban, but also a lot of the quiet places we stayed. Everyone was very friendly, tea and coffee were always available, and we have thousands of memories of the beautiful scenery. Just a few have been captured here in this blog.

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