Monday, August 1st, 2005 - Glasgow

This was a rather busy day. I had a lot I had to do. First thing was to get into Glasgow to pick up my rental car from right near the River Clyde. I grabbed a cab after catching a train into Glasgow Central since I did not want to have to walk half-way across the centre of Glasgow to pick it up.

Once I had the car I pulled over and called VisitScotland to arrange a B & B for my destination for the day: The Isle of Skye. I had tried to do this earlier but I had been told by those I emailed on the island that they were fully booked up since the Highland Games were to be in Skye on Wednesday. I knew that VisitScotland would be able to search for something for me and, sure enough, they came through. They found me a place not in Skye but just on the main coast of Scotland, Plockton.

What is the Isle of Skye? Not been to Scotland then? Well, Skye is a rather beautiful island on the west coast of Scotland. It is accessible by numerous ferries but more commonly by a bridge from the mainland town of Kyle of Lochalsh. Formerly this was a toll bridge but now this is free (hurrah).

After arranging the B & B I quickly left Glasgow on the long journey to the island. It is about 4 hours away with no stopping – However, I stopped a lot to take pictures and just take it easy. I was not in any particular hurry as they were expecting me at the B & B in the early evening. I drove north-west of Glasgow through the Loch Lomand area then past Loch Linnhe and Fort William where I turned directly west to eventually pass some other Lochs before turning on a small road to get to Plockton. Plockton is about 10 miles off the main road along VERY small roads indeed - Single lane with “passing places” that is, bulges in the road that allow you to pull over to let others pass you by. It means you pretty much have to pay attention to what is going on at all times to avoid a…difficult…situation.

Plockton from Above

The Plockton area is very beautiful and my B & B was run by a charming older lady in her house just inside the town beside the train station (at the top of the hill). The house is quite large with a wonderfully maintained garden at the front complete with stone path. The town centre itself is about a 10 minute walk further down the road where I was directed to have dinner at the local pub which offered great sea-food (which this area, being on the ocean, is well known for). I spent a few minutes walking along the harbourfront with a number of other tourists with a few boaters as well since there was also a bit of a boating festival going on at the same time as well. Plockton consists of essentially a single road running down the hill (by the B & B) to the waterfront then along the shore until it eventually dead-ends. There are only a few other small side streets. There are a number of little shops that unfortunately, according to the lady from the B & B, are not owned and operated by local people. I ate at the pub since that was run by locals and had an excellent fish dinner. I also got eaten alive by midges since I chose to eat outside just as the sun was setting and the bugs were biting…

Plockton Harbour

It was a pleasent early evening with no television in my room I was forced (!) into reading myself to sleep.

⇒ Continue to Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 - Plockton