Travelogues: SunToucher >> Summer vacation 2007: Scotland

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River Gairn
River Gairn (52)
Trip Information
Trip Date:2007-07-03 - 2007-07-22
# Photos:32 [View]
Countries visited:United Kingdom
Viewed: 5752
by Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 3033 N: 237] (11162)
Officially we were planned to travel by ferry to Newcastle on 01-06-07 but an hour before we were planning to depart from our house we received the news that the ferry could not depart due to a technical malfunction. We were rescheduled for departure on 03-06-07, but with some uncertainty.

Fortunately the ferry did depart from IJmuiden and the next morning we sailed into the river Tyne. When we docked, we were asked to return to our cars and be ready to exit. We were standing in the front of the queue on the ramp. At first the gate was opened and the ramp lowered. But at a certain point the ramp got out of line and went back up angled. When almost back in the top position we could hear some crushing noises which we thought had to do with the ramp scraping along a steal beam. Soon after we were asked to leave our cars so that the crew could manually reposition the ramp. About 15 minutes they announced that we had to leave the car deck and return to one of the restaurants. There I heard that on a deck above us two cars were crushed by the ramp.

After a cup of coffee and about half an hour of waiting time the people that were on the same deck as we were allowed to return to our car. Soon after we were able to exit the ferry, we started our journey to Scotland.

Later that afternoon we arrived on our campsite near New Berwick. The campsite looked out over the Firth of Forth with on our right site Bass Rock and on our left the town of New Berwick with the 184m high mountain, New Berwick Law. That evening we took a nice walk along the coast to witness a wonderful sunset.

The next day we set off early or a day trip to, by train, Edinburgh. There we visited the Royal Mile and Rose Street. We did some shopping and enjoyed the architecture. No we did not visit the castle. Back at the campsite we decided to stay for one more day so that I could explore New Berwick Law or the coastline toward Bass Rock. Unfortunately the weather changed and it started to rain. It still rained the next morning and it seemed that I positioned my tent in a bit of a low point. I was actually standing in a pool of water of more than 3 cm deep. We packed up our stuff and decided to leave for Aberlour.

The first full day in Aberlour we toured the area and visited Dufftown, Keith and the town of Aberlour. In the afternoon we visited the Forres Highland games. Where we witnessed some traditional dances, bagpipe music and off course some traditional and non-traditional games.

On the 8th of July we made a day trip to Cairngorms Mountains. First we stopped at the Packhorse Bridge in the Glenlivet Estate. After a small detour in Toumintool we took a wonderful road through the mountains. We stopped several times to enjoy the views and take photos of the area. The road ended at Balmoral castle. There we visited the castle shortly and went on to our final destination Breamer. Where I wanted to visit Linn of Dee, a wonderful little gorge with a beautiful waterfall and great vegetation.

The next day was supposed to be a day of at the campsite. Just relaxing in the morning and visiting a local distillery in the afternoon. Until we heard a lot of noise from the sheep nearby. It seems that they were taken from their pasture to their stable. We followed the sheep. Upon arrival at the farm we were told that the sheep would be clipped that afternoon. That changed out schedule immediately, because we really wanted to witness this and capture it on camera. It started a few hours later then planned, but the spectacle was great. After a half an hour we had enough of filming and photographing and asked if we could help. We given the task to lead the sheep up the ramp to the clippers. A heavy job but really enjoyable. That day I grabbed a lot of sheep under their tail.

On the 10th of that month, we went on a trip to the coast, to visit the small fishing villages of Gardenstown, Crovie and the more famous town called Pennan. The last in known from the movie ‘Local Hero’ where the local Inn and the phone booth are the best-known sights. The beach shots are actually taken on the west coast of Scotland. The weather that day was perfect for photographing these small fishing villages, it was rainy, there was a fair amount of wind and the sky was completely grey.

The next day, we stayed at the campsite at Aberlour. I went on a several hour hike to explore the area. I followed a wonderful stream through a wooded valley ending up at Linn Falls. Many photos were taken in this valley, because there was so much beauty to see. Actually the footpath ended at Aberlour Distillery, but I skipped it for another day.

On the 12th we did visit Abelour Distillery and had a nice tour through their facility ending with a whisky tasting. In the afternoon we visited the Speyside Cooperage. Which didn’t have a great tour, but we managed get some more photos and video when we drove around to the back of the cooperage.

The next day we visited another distillery, named Strathisla. The tour started with a glass of Chivas Regal. The tour was great, with some good in-depth information about the process of making whisky. The tour ended with single malt. In the afternoon, my dad and I revisited the river Lour for some video and some additional photos.

On the 14th, we travelled to Glencoe.

On the 15th, I met up with Emma (Aramok) and later in the afternoon she showed me the beauty of Rannoch moor and the Glen Etive area. We managed to get some wonderful reflection photos. That evening, the weather changed. At night it kept on raining and the wind picked up a lot.

The next day the weather was still the same. I did meet up with Emma and her husband again that morning for a wonderful, but very wet hike. At the end of the hike, Emma and I did manage to get a few dry and moody shots. We then all travelled to Avimore for next days planned activity.

The activity of this day is a nature and wildlife safari. Even tough the day started of with heavy fog, it did eventually gave us a sunny day. In between the fog and the clear sky we were treated with some very spectacular lighting situations. The patches of the sun that were able to pierce through the fog, created some wonderful moody sceneries. We didn’t get too see that many wild animals, but eventually did see red grouse, partridge and Osprey. It was a wonderful and exhausting day.

On the 18th we said goodbye to Emma and Stuart, and both went different directions. They went up north, while we went down south to the Trossachs Forrest.

A few days of rain and a day of relaxing left me with enough time to visit Glasgow and a bit of exploring the area. On the 22nd, I left for home arriving late in the evening.