We got back on the A87 after our view of the Cuillin at Sligachan (see previous posting) and in a few minutes we were across the Skye Bridge and back on the mainland heading for Glasgow. But the route we took on Friday was very different than the one we took on Wednesday getting to Skye. The route back to Glasgow was longer, quicker (less traffic) and less scenic than the Wednesday trip through Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Ratagan Pass.
The castle of Eilean Donan is just a few minutes away from the Skye Bridge. I posted my first article on our Scotland trip several weeks ago. It was called “The Most Beautiful Castle in Scotland” and you can find it here. Some of the gorse around Eilean Donan made it to my article entitled “What is pretty and yellow and found all over Scotland?” You can find that article here. And here are some more photos of Eilean Donan:
Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.
We then drove to Fort Augustus on the southern tip of Loch Ness where we stopped for an hour and had lunch. We were on our own and my wife and I chose a rather large (but crowded) restaurant called The Bothy which was a mistake. We had to wait 15 minutes for the waitress to take our order and then another half hour until our meal was served. We then had to ask for our lunch to be wrapped and we had to rush through the rain drops back to our bus.
We didn’t see much of Fort Augustus or Loch Ness and no one spotted Nessie and we soon found ourselves heading eastward along Loch Laggan on A86 — Monarch of the Glen country — and we had a photo stop at Laggan Dam.
Scotland has two national parks. We drove through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs on our trip to Skye on Wednesday. Our route back on Friday straddled the other park, Cairngorms, as we made our way to Dalwhinnie Distillery where we were offered a cup of hot chocolate before imbibing a dram of whisky. Both were delicious! It rained the entire time we were there, though, and I didn’t take any pictures.
After Dalwhinnie we continued on the A9 until we got to the town of Pitlochry where we were allowed to stretch our legs a bit. So we walked around the main part of town for a couple of blocks and stopped at a corner store for an ice cream treat and then piled back on the bus.
We continued on the A9 past Perth and Stirling where we found the M9, the M80 and eventually the M8 that took us back to Glasgow. It was a long stretch and John kept us busy by playing movie tunes and having us guess the titles of the films. It was guys against girls and the guys got walloped. Some of the women on the bus were able to catch the tune after only a note or two. Most of the songs were rather recent and we didn’t recognize half of them. In fact the only answer I got correctly was from a movie that was 50 years old and no one else had ever heard of it!
It was close to 7 pm when John drove up to the bus stop on George Square — twelve hours after our breakfast at our B & B in Portree — and we were tired but awful glad we made the trip. We went on two more Rabbie’s bus tours — Stirling Castle / Loch Lomond and Culzean Castle / Rabbie Burns birthplace — and the three trips combined were the highlight of our two-week stay in Glasgow.