Scotland is not particularly famous for nice weather, and going there in Easter (early April) might not seem like the best idea ever... But the ten days we spent there were great, nevertheless.
- Day 1 - Driving to Scotland
- The fabulous vehicle that became our mobile home for following days...
- It's early April but daffodils bloom everywhere...
- The cathedral spire in Ashbourne - the first town we passed
- Market with lot of good food
- Haw can you resist?
- This hotel is probably slighly out of our budget
- Driving through Peak District
- Peak District really has something to it, it's a land of beautiful green hills
- A village in passing...
- Lambs playing with each other, they are so cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute:-)
- Picturesque village of Ilam, school in Swiss style
- Ilam Hall, formerly some rich guy's manor, now property of National Trust with a hostel in it
- Our chicks;-)
- Still Ilam: The Church of the Holy Cross
- Another nice town on the way - Hartington
- St. Giles Church in Hartington
- Entrance to the church as well as adjoining cemetery - practical
- Switch off the lights when leaving ("Nesviťte pánu Bohu o oken":-)
- Inside of the church
- Hartington cheese with blueberries
- From Peak District we drove till the night all the way to Glasgow and beyond. We slept at a side of a small road in the middle of nowhere.
- Day 2 - Entering Scotland, Glen Douglas and Glen Coe
- In the morning...
- ...we have some amazing views on snow-capped hills
- Jirovec packing the tent
- Almost ready to go
- We're in Scotland, so we need some disguise to merge with the locals:-)
- Heating buns on a crappy stove (from Indonesia:-)
- Ondra eating the crappy spaghetti, while Jirovec is enjoying the delicious peaches
- After breakfast everyone is a bit happier
- Luckily they gave us a car with a big trunk, so we can fit everything
- Passing a loch (=lake) - that feels cool, but later it will be just ordinary:-)
- Driving on the left side of the road is not that hard, actually
- Interestingly, although hills in Scotland are quite low, they somehow look like real mountains:-)
- ... with quite a bit of snow on them
- Loch and mountains in the background - that's Scotland, only one thing is missing...
- Bagpiper! He was standing at a viewpoint and playing for tourists:-)
- It's cold!
- Commando Memorial about 10 miles from Fort Williams and 4 miles from Ben Nevis
- It's a good viewpoint
- Ben Nevis, 1344m, is the highest peak of Scotland. This is not it:-) But it's close. Ben Nevis was in clouds.
- Proof for all Indonesians that Imelda has been there with us:-)
- Another loch and mountain, we're getting used...
- Climbing a nameless hill
- An attempt to climb one of the zillion hills randomly picked by Jirovec
- "Hey, Jirovec, do you really intend to climb all the way up there?" ...
- ... "What do you mean, 'all the way'? Once we get on that ridge, it's not gonna be that much uphill"
- We even had a little bit of sunshine
- (pursuing a deer:) I'll get you in the end!
- OK, I'm not going any further!
- Hang on, we just want to make a picture!
- Looks like 2000 metres higher than it really is.
- While Jirovec is hunting down the deer on the hill, there are dozens grazing in the valley...
- Eilean Donan, toward Isle of Skye
- Eilean Donan Castle. It's just a ruin, nevertheless impressive
- It can even look mystical
- Imelda at the portal
- Sunset views on the way to hostel in Uig on the Isle of Skye
- It's so awfully romantic...
- ...you just can't stop pressing the shutter now, can you:-)
- Day 3 - Isle of Skye
- Next day morning we drove around the island to Kilt Rock Waterfall
- A guy was parked there, painting round rocks that looked like...
- ...cute little houses. We got one:-)
- Sign explaining what you can see from a viewpoint, with some gaelic
- Walk towards Cuilin mountains
- Find ten differences from the previous picture:-)
- It was cold and ugly weather. Yet, Jirovec and Jana were up for something tougher so they hiked up to the Cuilin Horseshoe ridge
- Ondra and Imelda chickened out and drove around the island instead. This is McLeod's Whisky Distillery
- Dunvegan Castle. The fee was to high though, so we didn't go inside...
- ...but there were some very cute Scottish Highland cows nearby
- Don't you think it's time to see a hairdresser?
- Then we drove to a very nice town of Portree. It's supposedly famous for seafood and fish, but the restaurants were really expensive:-(
- Curved tree above Portree port - Portree port tree:-)
- And it was time to drive back to Cuilins to rejoin with J+J. It looks like a volcano from the bottom
- ... just a little chillier at the top...
- I want to learn to fly! ...
- ... which might not be that unrealistic in this wind
- Back down in the river's rocky canyon
- Here they are, bit tired from the hike, but happy:-)
- Perhaps we could pick up some Gaelic here...?
- What to make of this sign? "Strome Ferry (No ferry)";-)
- Day 4 - Loch Torridon & Maree Area
- We found a nice spot for camping yesterday, hidden among the trees, so nobody could find it...
- ...ahem, except these...
- Heating crappy canned spaghetti on a crappy stove in a crappy weather is somewhat... well, crappy! But as a quick breakfast it'll do
- Amazing vistas in the Loch Torridon area. It's early spring, so the water is really wild
- Hike in Beinn Eighe
- Lakeside at Beinn Eighe NP, the starting point for our hike up
- At first we are ascending though a forest, hoping to spot some deers
- The hike leads around a waterfall
- Replenishing liquids
- There were some sunny moments. They were short but the more precious to us:-)
- The weather was... well, Scottish. Sun and rain could swap in minutes. This time it created nice rainbow
- Messenger has to deliver the package whatever it takes
- Sorry this one only works in czech: "A vidím že oba soupeře bude težké rozeznat, protože oba mají oranžové kabátce":-))
- I+O making their way up
- Almost there... J+J hiding from wind
- That's quite amazing, 460 metres elevation is basically like nothing, but somehow in Scotland it's enough to make a "mountainy" feeling (plus we started close to zero)
- Sunspot in the valley...
- ... and on the mountain side
- ...Ice on the top, where would you rather be?
- Descent, J+J waiting for I+O
- Stream from still melting snow
- Signposts along the road
- Majestic pine. they used to have lots of those in Scotland, esp. here in the Highlands, but they chopped them all down...
- So now it's called Lone Pine...
- Day 5 - Driving further North
- Packing in the hostel. You may notice Jira's bag is almost as big as himself
- Once upon a time ...
- Stoer Head Lighthouse. Weather turned really bad - good to test our "rainproof" clothes
- Jirovec and Ondra decided to walk about 3 km to the cliff called Old Man of Stoer
- This is the Old Man. Due to the weather we were not willing to go any further...
- Jirovec risking his life to take picture of a cliff while standing on another cliff himself:-)
- And here comes his picture
- This view with the boat was beautiful even in the ugly weather. How stunning it must be in nice weather, then?
- The boat is not shipwrecked:-) It's just parked there...
- Be careful, if you drive too far... Well the sign says it all, doesn't it;-)
- However, they do have post office here. So if you do dump your car in the sea, you can at least mail your insurance company...
- Driving further north, in the middle of nowhere, we were surprised by a sudden traffic jam
- The shepherd told us to drive carefully through the sheep stock, so we did...
- They definitely didn't teach us in driving school what to do in such traffic situation:-)
- Northernmost part of Scotland
- Surreal wide sandy riverbed just before the northern-most point of our trip
- Smoo Cave near Durness.
- Due to too much and too wild water the cave was closed, so we didn't get any deeper
- Gigantic mouth of the cave
- Above the cave a creek suddenly drops right into it
- One of the beaches on the North Coast, must be beautiful in summer
- Will I take a dip, or not?
- Did she spot a rat:-)?
- Telecommunications and postal service are available even at the most unexpected places
- Scenic (almost abandouned) route through Highlands, with zillions of deers
- We thought they'd be shy, but they obviously didn't really care about us
- This guy looks pretty majestic, probably a leader
- Rare and precious sunny moment
- The only building along the way - Dun Dornaigil Broch - hasn't really been taken care of since it was built (2000 years ago)
- It would be good place to camp, if the walls still stood and protected us from wind (which they didn't)
- "Sheep on the road" in German. Apparently they really care about them:-) We didn't see it in Czech, though...
- Day 6 - Travelling back south via a Whisky distillery
- Paved path to the...
- waterfall...? Well, in fact it looks more like a big rapids on Shin River...
- Unfortunately we haven't spotted any salmons:-(
- Easter eggs sold in the Visitor's Centre
- At the whisky distillery, behind teh girls there are hundreds of barrels with matureing whisky;-)
- Wanna buy some?
- Day 7 - Amazing Cairngorms. I+O on half day hike...
- With majestic trees and mountains, Cirngorms is a really nice area
- Twisted trees, as if in pain
- I+O following the trail that J+J walked yesterday
- Frog eggs were abundant everywhere we looked
- For a while sun went out
- I wonder, did J+J take bath here yesterday? Probably not, it was almost night and cold...
- "According to this map we are standing right on that hill over there:-)"
- This kind of forest is called Caledonian forest - the original forest that once covered whole Scotland. Today only 1% remains;-((
- Creek with pure water
- Trees at the beach of a lake
- A bird, sorry I wasn't particularly good at zoology...
- Meanwhile J+J on their dwo day strenuous hike through Cairngorms
- Looking back towards the Fords of Avon
- Way too much snow in some places
- Up towards the pass that will take us to Glen Derry ...
- ... which is still quite a long way
- Time to drain the soaked socks
- I+O going to Stirling Castle
- Meanwhile in a restaurant in the valley I+O are enjoying life in a slightly different way;-)
- Approaching Stirling Castle, once the capital of Scotland
- Well it looks pretty well fortified...
- Inside the castle
- The interior of the castle was not so impressive. Instead of giving us background info they asked our opinion..?
- Medieval costumes
- Wooden clown
- But the exterior is really great. The views from Stirling fortifications are just magnificent
- The tower in the background is William Wallace's Memorial
- Memorial of William Wallace - the Scottish hero fighting against English opression (you know him from Brave Heart by Mel Gibson)
- Sitting on the castle wall - Don't fall down, OK?
- This here is safer...
- King's Knot octagonal mound. I guess they put flowers there in later spring...?
- Castle garden, tree casting a long shadow
- Roof decoration
- This is actually a tombstone on a nearby cemetery
- Downtown Stirling
- Wow! Pivo! They have Pilsner here, too bad we don't drink beer;-)
- Day 8 - I+O in Edinburgh, J+J still hiking in Cairngorms
- Camping on some sheep pasture between Stirling and Edinburgh - let's get out early
- Doubledeckers in Edinburgh
- Scott Monument at Princes Street gardens
- What the heck...? Masaryk in Edinburgh? (no, it's another guy in front of Edinburgh castle)
- In the Daffodils 1
- In the Daffodils 2
- Oper-air theatre performance: Jesus' story. Here they're taking him to the tomb
- Followers pray at the cross
- Royal Mile is up there just behind these houses
- Pier near Forth bridge
- Crossing Forth Bridge - going to pick up J+J from their trek
- Meanwhile, back in the Cairngorms, J+J at a slightly smaller one: Memorial Bridge
- Crossing Forth Bridge again on the way back to Edinburgh, after succesfully meeting up
- Day 9 Edinburgh (all)
- Staircase at our hostel
- Curved street (so beautiful that we parked the car there)
- View from Royal Mile downtown (literally)
- Tourist Tartan manufacture. Each clan had their own pattern
- You can take picture with "authentic" William Wallace;-)
- Two great intellectuals: one bronze, one still alive
- At the end of Royal Mile (other than the one at the castle) the city suddenly end and this wilderness starts: Salisbury Crags in Holyrood park
- Holyrood Park is a miniature of everything Scotland has to offer: lochs, glens, cliffs, etc... And it's right in the middle of the city - quite extraordinary. Too bad we already travelled through Scotland before we came here;-))
- Palace of Holyroodhouse from outside
- Unique streetlamps
- Nelson's Monument. They have one in London at Trafalgar Square, so let's have one too;-)
- This is what we looked like after the "All you can eat" lunch (in fact a curved mirror near the castle earlier the day)
- Kids playing games in the park - it's Easter Sunday
- Looking for Easter eggs
- Face painting
- Bagpipes band
- Edinburgh Castle majestically overseeing the city
- Football team.
- But they actually played footbal on pogo sticks!!!
- One more view uphill
- Cathedral near the hostel where our car was parked... Time to go back...
- Concluding photo of the whole team: J + J + I + O
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