Long Weekend in Scotland - June 2002
Thanks to Jason Mathewson being the highly organised person that he is, a long weekend in June found five of us (Jason, Renata, Ed, Fiona and yours truly of course) flying to Scotland for a quick getaway. The only fixed agenda iterms as such were to start in Glasgow and finish in Edinburgh. A visit to St Andrews and a whiskey distillery were high on the priority list...
A quick apology for the generally crap quality of the photos on this page - I had some film that was kicking around in the cupboard that
I wondered if it was still useable - the answer is most definitely not since everything has a blue tinge to it! The photo on the right came from my camera somehow being in multiple exposure mode - quite a freaky result!
We flew into Glasgow and picked up the hire car on the Saturday, and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening cruising around the city. Glasgow is
a real mix of architecture - from the very old to some bizarre modern curiosities as it tries to improve it's image for business growth. A big student
population and wonderful wide streets with a great atmosphere (I guess a long weekend helps!) made it a great place to wander around...
On the Sunday we began the first leg of many many hours in the car touring around the country - respect to Jason for doing all the driving,
and for putting up with our incessant requests for more sweet and food stops... I cringe just thinking about the amount of crap we consumed
on that trip!
Our first leg from Glasgow was via Loch Lomond and Glencoe to Fort William. The original plan had been to make this a day round trip to get stay in
Edinburgh the next few nights as a base, however we decided to flag that and instead find a B&B in the Loch Lochy area to stay in to give
us more time in that area - a smart move in hindsight given the amount of driving time we did even doing that!
On the way we went through the 'Scottish Highlands', proving very popular with all the tourists for walking and photographs as you would expect - so we
felt obliged to do the same of course. Eventually after many more hours driving we found a great place to stay right on Loch Lochy, complete with restaurant, bar and pool table etc.
To finish the day off we then did a return trip up to Loch Ness (had to be done of course). On the way we stopped off to see one of many available old castles - although having been through one you can understand how people get the ABC (Another Bloody Castle) syndrome. The weather was particularly unpleasant by this stage (so more time was spent dawdling in the Loch Ness souvenier shops than out near the Loch itself spotting Nessie...
The next day we headed via another circular route to Edinburgh, via Kingussie (where Fiona grew up many years ago) and St Andrews. The first
photo stop for the day however was at the estate where they shoot the TV program 'Monarch of the Glen'. The magnificent estate house is only visible
briefly from the road on the other side of the loch (with nowhere to park so unfortunately no photo!), however the cute gatehouse to the estate
is on the main road. According to the website you can stay on the estate (not at the main house) or even in this gatehouse...
Next stop after Kingussie was the Dalwhinney whiskey distillery complete with compulsory tour and tastings - supposedly good stuff it
you actually like whiskey I guess, wasted on me I'm afraid!
||St Andrews Old Course and Township
The highlight of the day was however (for me anyways) arriving at the home of golf, St Andrews. There were several things that surprised me - not
the least of which is the magnificent wide long beach that exists right next to the course! It is also amazing that you can literally walk on the Old Course
(a small road goes across the 1st/18th fairways) and it would be a very popular British Open venue to watch given how close you are to the holes.
|St Andrews Old Course - 1st, 18th back to clubhouse, hotel
||St Andrews Old Course - View from the 18th down the beach
||St Andrews Old Course - 18th green and clubhouse
Not being with golfers on this trip I had to contain myself a bit, but we watched a few people playing the course - a decent crowd sits behind the
18th green (and the infamous Valley of Sin) and applauding players as they complete their round (no tournament on, just lucky mortals who got
to play the course!)
|St Andrews Old Course - Putting out
||St Andrews Old Course -
Done for the day
Next stop on the tour - Edinburgh...