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From Groningen to Beauly

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 07 & 08 September 2018

Friday 07 September, from Groningen to Beauly

Friday, September 7, we set out on time to catch the ferry at Dunkirk at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and we are well on time. For us this is still the cheapest way to travel to Scotland with the disadvantage that we make the most kilometers, about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) from Groningen to Beauly where we will meet with friends. But every disadvantage has its advantage and mine is that I love driving a car, especially in the United Kingdom where you have to drive on the left which feels more natural to me.
We have time for a chat with the British customs officer at Dunkirk and ask him if he will be here or on English spoil next year after the Brexit. He really has no idea, nobody really knows anything, he tells us. In any case, he will not lose his job, probably there will even be more work for customs.
On the way we booked a Travelodge, a pleasant hotel chain with spacious and clean rooms that are usually not too expensive (cheaper during the weekend than during the week).

Saturday 08 September 2018, to Beauly in the highlands

North Tyne river in Chollerford North Tyne river in ChollerfordOn the 2nd day we take smaller roads to the north when we are past Newcastle and at Chollerford we take a break and walk through the village to stretch our legs. We knew that Hadrian's wall would be somewhere nearby, but only afterwards we find out that we have completely missed the Roman fort and a piece of wall. That will be something for our wish list.
Both the Roman emperor Hadrian and his successor Antony had a wall built on the northern border of their empire. The one from Antonius is about 100 miles more to the north.
Just before the Scottish border we come across a very nice road with blind summits and hidden dips, or very steep hills where you only can see at the top how the road continues and then dives into the depth again. Very nice to ride mainly because I already see on the navigation that the road goes very straight so I can make a lot of speed which gives you a roller coaster feeling when you go down. Why did not we take a picture, then I could find out where it was exactly. The B6342 maybe? I do not know anymore. It is at least kilometers long.
We enter Scotland View over the BordersAnd then we quickly approach the Scottish border that is clearly indicated. Scotland is an autonomous country within the United Kingdom and they like to show that.
In the parking lot are mostly Germans and Dutch cars, countries where Scotland is very popular. Especially Germans like to drive the motorbike through the country.
The Borders The BordersWe only have to be in Beauly at the end of the afternoon and with the plasticized map of Scotland at hand I look for roads that we have never driven before. In 2002 I realized that I wanted to drive all the roads on the map (from a Dutch mapmaper, scale, 1: 300,000). A big project that Elisabeth is not always happy with, but which also shows us the chance to see very nice things such as nice houses, hidden castles and beautiful nature on places where you normally wouldn't come as a tourist. We now drive through the Borders, the southern province on the east that many tourists skip but which is a beautiful, largely deserted area with gently rolling mountains and hills and occasionally a charming town.
At 6 o'clock we arrive in Beauly where we are warmly welcomed by Iain and Cathy, retired friends who have stayed in their old hotel and now offer shelter to friends. Also our English friend Rachel with her husband is there and soon we are exchanging all the news of the past year and a half that we have not seen each other. And we get gifts because it is Elisabeth's birthday and also the first day of her retirement, a year later than she had hoped. Now I remain alone as the young kid...


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