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Glen Etive and going up the Nevis mountain range


Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 22 June 2009

Monday 22 June, Glen Etive and going up the Nevis mountain range

Glencoe GlencoeWhen we wake up the clouds hang low over the hills and mountains and it is cold and humid. But in the car it is warm so we first go for a ride. From Glencoe there is a nice narrow road through a lonely area that takes us to the A82. Not many people come here but in 2003 3 different movie sets were built for Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban, on Google maps you can still see the place of Hagrid's hut. After that everything has then neatly been broken down and tidied so there are no reamins of all this activity.
Glencoe Glen EtiveThe ruggedness and vastness of the Scottish landscape lends itself perfectly for film recordings (and also commercial shoots) that it is not surprising that many more films were recorded here, such as Braveheart and Rob Roy. But now we are going a bit further south, to Glen Etive.
Glen Etive Glen EtiveTwice we have attempted to drive through this valley (a dead-end single-lane road from the north) but in 2006 the road was closed by a serious accident and in 2007 a running competition was held. This time the weather is not as good as then but we can drive to the end of the road. The road meanders along the Etive River where we occasionally see kayakers trying to control the wild water.
Chicken in Glen Etive Deer in Glen EtiveFilm scenes have also been recorded here, for Braveheart and Skyfall (James Bond). For a dead end road there is still quite a bit of traffic and we often have to stop at passing places.
It is a shame that it is so foggy, with a shining sun it would be probably even more beautiful here. We come across a few small villages and lonely cottages and the obvious fauna such as chickens at a farm and whole herds of deer in the grasslands along the road.
Mist in Glen Etive Mist in Glen EtiveThe clouds are descending even lower and the landscape gets an almost mythical appearance in which everything can happen. No wonder that so many mysterious stories from the past go around and every area has a wealth of folkore stories.
Climbing a hunters bridge, Glen Etive Climbing a hunters bridge, Glen EtiveHalfway the valley we get out of the car and walk to the river. We have to climb a hunter's staircase to the other side of the fence that is mainly meant to keep the sheep inside the valley because deer will just jump over it. It takes Elisabeth a little more effort and I can not resist taking a few pictures. We walk to the river which is narrow and wild at this spot and therefore also so popular with kayakers.
Kayaking in the Etive river Etive riverWith several rapids (class 4) and waterfalls, the Etive River is one of the most popular kayak routes in the country. It looks challenging and fun to do, although we also see someone going down in the water. But we are just not sporty enough for that. But we finally drove the 18 kilometer long road through the valley and I can again mark a road on my map.
Nice houses in Ft. WilliamThrough Fort William, where we have something to eat and drink, we drive through the higher parts of the town and then Ft. William turns out to be a lot bigger than just the center that lies along Loch Linnhe. It is the largest city of the Highlands after Inverness with about 10,000 inhabitants and a nice starting point to all kinds of tourist attractions in the neighbourhood. That is why we always encounter so many Dutch people here, we think.
Mountain gondola to Aonach Mor Mountain gondola to Aonach MorThe Ben Nevis is with 1,345 meters the highest mountain in Great Britain and therefore also in Scotland. But we go to the Ben Nevis Mountain Range where a cable car brings us the Aonach Mor, the 7th highest mountain. The gondola takes us up to 650 meters altitude and normally takes 12 to 15 minutes. Much to Elisabeth's fear this time it takes a little longer because suddenly all movement stops and we hang for minutes in the gondola. They are probably busy filling up a booth with supplies and so for the restaurent, I say to her, and that turns out to be the case we hear afterwards. But it didn't reassure Elisabeth.
On top of Aonach Mor Walking down from Aonach Mor From here you can make various walks from simple and not too long hikes to heavy day trips. But now it is cold and foggy and we lin\mit ourselves to a short and simple walk with a coffee break afterwards and then walk down quietly. It is further than we thought because it takes us more than half an hour to get down. Downstairs it is a lot warmer even though it is already late in the afternoon.
After getting some groceries in Fort William we drive back to Glencoe where we still can sit outside for a while before it gets too cold again.

 


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