Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Scotland - Far North Highlands - Gills Bay to Ullapool

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The ferry ride was pleasant and smooth and we landed just after noon.  From there it was an absolutely beautiful drive across the northern highlands skirting the north atlantic coastline the entire way.



 We reached our halfway point at Tongue, a sweet village set at the back of a long inlet.  Our accommodation was a grand 1800s farmhouse with modern updates and we were very comfortable.  Our hostess was a charming as ever and we really enjoyed our stay.



 We departed early for the next 130 miles stretchy over single track roads and lots of small villages.





 The mountains were grand and we could not have asked for a prettier day.



 We stopped at a picnic spot along the coast before continuing one.

 These deer were enjoying the shade next to someone's home.
 We reached Ulapool and found our B&B for the night.  It was early and our host suggested we visit the nearby gorge.  It ended up being the actual rift between the north Atlantic plate and the English plate, the place where Scotland joined England a few billion years ago.  The trail down to the falls was great.

 The suspension bridge over the gorge was fun and we were offered a stunning view of the falls and the gorge some 300 feet below.








We settled in for the night and enjoyed a dinner of leftovers followed by some local TV.

Scotland - Orkney Islands

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Our drive north to Gills Bay was pleasant as we skirted the southeast coastline of the Upper Highlands.  We reached the ferry terminal in time for our 12:00 ferry to the islands.  1 1/2 hours later we were in St. Margaret's Hope and heading north to Kirkwall and our home for the next four days.

We lucked out and landed a FIVE STAR Airbnb...a full private home, immaculately clean and beautifully appointed.  Our host was a bit overwhelming...charming in every way...but just a bit of a control freak.  It took him over an hour to "show" us around...smile.







We planned three full days on the island and the first was exciting as we visited several archeological sites.































The second day we coverd the other half of the upper island and even more sites.









































For our third day we spent it in Kirkwall visiting the cathedral, museum and bishop's palace.
















We treated Nettie to a local lunch before heading out to the airport to say goodbye.  She was only with us for 10 days...to short a time...and we missed her the minute we drove off.

From the airport we drove out to the tomb we had booked tours for a day earlier.  It was similar to the ones we had visited in Ireland except that it had some pretty awesome Viking rhums...writing.







We had another great night at our home before departing mid-morning for our return by ferry to the mainland.