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The journey to Beauly via Loch Lagan

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 04 May 2005

Wednesday 04 May, the journey to Beauly via Loch Lagan

It is still early when we leave Groningen to drive to Schiphol near Amsterdam. The wheater has been very nice, the last few days, but it is getting colder again. When we arrive it starts to rain a little bit. But we are inside Schiphol here, where it is warm and dry and we put our wet jackets in the travel bags.
Schiphol airportWe have followed the weather in Scotland for a few weeks and it has been cold for the time of year. The weather forecasts also say it will be 11 to 13 degrees the coming week. Well, not much colder than it will be in Holland, but almost the same temperatures we had when visiting Scotland in March and April the last years. But it is not the weather that we go for.
After a short flight we see just a few clouds over Scotland, so we know we can expect some sunshine. Well, we should know by now how variable the weather is in Scotland. Eeven when it rains for some time, the sun can get through the clouds at any moment.
After passing the unexpectedly severe check at the custums, we get a surprise: somebody asks me (Elisabeth just missing it since she is visiting the toilet) if we have a website about Scotland, since he recognises us from the photographs! We could have expected it to happen some time, but this is the first time we are recognised.
Our rental carAt 2 o'clock we leave in our rental car, the nice black one, and soon we see the first mountains when we pass Perth. As so many other times we see a nicelooking village from the highway and since we are early, we decide to have a closer look.
It is the village Birnam, near Dunkeld and known from Shakespeare's MacBeth.
The Tap Inn, Birnam BirnamMacBeth will never be defeated until the woods of Birnam come to Dunsinane Hill, one of the apparitions of the witches warns MacBeth. As shocked as MacBeth must have been when he really saw the woods of Birnam coming towards him (men who used the branches of the trees as camouflage to get nearby), that is how surprised we are when we get out of the car: it is not only sunny wheater, but also very warm, or at least warm enough to sit outside in the sun to have a break at the Tap Inn. It is 18 degrees Celsius and we feel like we have come home.
BirnamBirnam is a typically Scottish village, with many old houses with small turrets and many curves, made of all kinds of colourful stones. It has something cosy, and also something old, one can still feel the history of the place being present. But the village isn't very old, it only started to flourish when a railway station was build here.
Birnam BirnamIt is not a big town and we walk through it within half an hour, but it is worth a visit, as so many other places in Scotland. It feels a bit like walking through the past, and one can understand the nostalgia that quite a few Scotsmen also have.
Scenery in the HighlandsSince we have plenty of time, we leave the A9 to Inverness, the shortest and easiest way, but drive along Loch Laggan towards Fort William, and then on the A82 to the north. That way we also pass the gate lodge of Ardverikie Castle again, where we have stayed a few days a couple of years ago. But this time no photo, we have made enough allready of it. We follow the twisting roads which are getting narrower all the time and we enjoy the nature around us and the unexpected nice weather.
In the HighlandsAt Drumnadrochit, along Loch Ness, we turn left and take the steep road that leads directly to Beauly, through an inhospitable area with very nice views. We have probably said it thousand times before, but we are totally in love with Scotland!
Our rental carAround 7 we arrive at Beauly where we are enthousiastically are welcomed by our friends Iain and Cathy of the Caledonian Hotel. Well, Iain arrives a bit later, he has been fishing and we can see on his face he hasn't been very successful. In the pub we meet more people who we have seen regularly in the last few years. We stay in the same room as the last 5 years, our second home, so to say. After a short rest we get a good meal and we stay up late, talking and enjoying our company.


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