We arrived at Scotland at last! After a fabulous couple of days at the Yorkshire Dales we continued up north to Scotland. By lunch time we arrived at Stirling, the capital of Scotland in the old days. Today it is better known as the Gateway to the Highlands due to its geographical location between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands.
In typical British weather, it’s bound to rain at some stage, that afternoon was the day. Not wanting to spend a wet afternoon inside a coffee shop with many Saturday shoppers, we decided to drive to Luss which was about an hour’s drive away. Luss is a little village at Loch Lomond and is very popular excursion for cruises that stop at Glasgow. It claims to be Scotland’s loveliest village, however in my opinion I think that’s bit of a cliché, probably used to attract tourists more than anything else.
英國典型的天氣，是經常會下雨，我們到史持靈時正好遇上這樣的天氣。為免與週末的人群躲在咖啡室裡避雨，我們決定開車到距離大約一小時的Luss。 Luss是Loch Lomond一個小村莊，是停留格拉斯哥碼頭的遊輪旅客其中一個熱門旅遊點。它自稱是蘇格蘭最可愛的村莊，但以我個人意見這似乎有點牽強，可能用於吸引遊客的綽頭吧。
The best thing about driving around in Scotland at this time of the year was that there wasn’t much traffic on the small roads, so we took our time given that was what we had plenty of now. We passed by lots of beautiful lochs and couldn’t resist to stop and take photos all the time.
Our lunch destination the next day was at Oban, a little harbour town with a great reputation for seafood. Seafood is one of our favourite food so we actually detoured to Oban for it. I’m glad we did and it was well worth it as the seafood platter we ordered was absolutely scrummy! Somehow, eating seafood outside a shack by the sea using your fingers always seems to taste a lot better than sitting down in a fancy restaurant and being civilised with a knife and fork.
Good morning! This is the view from our Glencoe hotel bedroom the next morning. Not wanting to waste the lovely day, we headed off immediately after breakfast for our first short walk in Scotland. Glencoe Lochan was created by its Canadian owner back in the 19th century for his wife who became homesick when she arrived in Scotland. Although it started off as an artificial landscape, over the years it and nature has blended together to create this tranquil setting. Like a lot of first time tourists I’ve only been to Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, and never to the countryside or mountain areas, so I don’t really know Canada that well. However, this is pretty much my tourist impression of Canada. I wonder if I would feel the same in summer without the snowy top mountains?
The piece de resistance of Glencoe was our drive down Glen Etive in the afternoon. This area was made even more famous by the James Bond blockbuster Skyfall in 2012, and for those who have seen the movie, is the last scene when James Bond stands with M by their car on the side of the road. The drive, also known as the road to nowhere, from the main A82 road through Glen Etive to the head of Loch Etive is around 20km. A few moments after we turned in from the A82 it was like we had entered into another world. We kept on driving along the single track road weaving between the valley, in awe of the scenery we saw at every turn. We passed some wild red deer who totally ignored us, till we eventually arrived to the end, an old disused pier. The entire journey was so surreal and peaceful, and we saw only a few other cars whilst we were there. In the end, we literally had to drag ourselves back to reality otherwise we would have stayed there forever. If anyone plans to visit Scotland in future, I would highly recommend this scenic route but try to avoid the peak season if you can.
Glencoe主打項目是Glen Etive之旅。這裡在2012年鐵金剛007電影Skyfall中讓很多人嘆為觀止。有看過電影的朋友，還記得007跟M在路邊站在汽車旁的那一幕嗎？我們從主要A82公路右轉，經過Glen Etive到Loch Etive盡頭全程約20公里。離開A82後很快我們就像進入了另一個世界。我們繞著山谷之間的小道路駕駛，每轉一個灣的景象都比之前更漂亮。沿路上有些野生紅鹿，牠們完全沒理會有人在身邊過，我們就一直駕駛到盡頭一個舊的棄置碼頭。整段車程像是到了世外桃源，非常寧靜。最後，我們依依不捨地離開那裡，回到現實世界。如果將來各位有計劃自駕遊蘇格蘭，我強烈推薦大家一定要來這條風景優美的路線。如果可以話，盡量避免旺季就更好喔。
To date, the Glen Etive drive is still my favourite part of the entire road trip. It’s a long way from all my homes, and if I ever got to Scotland again, which I’m sure I will, I will definitely go back again.