Showing posts from May, 2013

Day 6 - the walk video

Here's a short video showing some of the remote land we hiked through as part of our "more active" tour.

Day 6 - blazing the trail

Julia: We had an amazing hike today with truly beautiful scenery. We walked through glens, fields of heather, even a forest. Parts of the trail were flat while other sections had us climbing. Most of the time, the weather was great, overcast so it wasn't too hot - towards the end we had some rain, but nothing that slowed us down! My husband clocked us at about 28 minutes a mile and our total was 6.1 miles. We got some great pictures!

Beth: I've lost track of the days and the rest of the world doesn't exist. A traveler can't help but be immersed in the land, the amazing views, the swiftly changing weather, the history everywhere, and especially the wonderful people. On our hike today I know the wee woodland inhabitants were with us today. Toni: Pictures can not come close to describing the beauty of the land we just walked through...We all tried. Those who come to this country and don't go for a walk like this or drive through the backroads away from the to…

Day 5

Last night some of us again went to Hoots for the music.  Herein lies a story.  Julia is a girl of girlie tastes and has been looking for her favourite drink ( a Lemon Drop) since she got here.  In the Highlands?  Aye?

Here's what happened when she asked for it in Hoots, a REALLY Highland bar with trad music, a sawdust on the floor type of place.

Moving on, quickly.
Beth:  Off we go today to visit the next castle.  In the city it's a bit crowded, but the back roads are so wonderfully scenic, they are not to be missed.  May is wonderful, the Gorse is in bloom, the heather will be soon, and the brand new 'baa-baas' with their little tails a-wagging are everywhere. another lovely weather day for us.  We are so blessed!

Toni:  Well, haven't been on in a while but we have done SO MUCH.  Castles, Pony Rides, fantastic walks to let your imagination wander and wonder is this where that could have happened or this...My favorite has been the walking and looking and laughing with…

DAY 3 - trail blazers

Excitements of the day:  We met the Chief of Clan MacKenzie; we rode ponies along Loch Ness.
The video shows just a little of our time taking tea at castle "Leoch" with chief of the MacKenzies. 

And we have a tour name! Trail Blazers.  The name trail blazers comes from this tour being earlier in the year than any previous; that we are going to new places; that we shall boldly go where no outlandish spirit.. (oops, wrong genre).
Back to 18th century reality.  The trail blazers are doing a few firsts:  day one was a little known standing stone alignment we've never gone to before, high in the wilderness, fabulous.  And today a first for Lord & Lady Cromarty, aka John and Eve at castle Leod and the J & C tour - this is the first such visit to have tea with them in the castle, in the 18th century drawing room, surrounded by wonderful wood panelling and portaits of John's forebears looking imperiously down upon him, wondering whether he will keep the famil…


Arghh! No time to write...!
(Later) What can we say of today?  Some of our guests had their first Gàidhlig lessons with Scot (see vid).  Very passable.  We'll get to ordering a pint in G. tomorrow.

We got married, then had lunch in the castle; there was a blustery visit to the shores of Loch Ness followed by an investigation of the water, courtesy of a boat skipper.  Our guests really enjoyed that as our skippers really know the loch's history, geology and so on so can explain the amazingness of this body of water.  Toni learned that if you emptied the loch, you could put the entire human population into the space three times over.

We spilt up for dinner tonight, but the "gurrls" invaded Scot's dinner with Julia and Ray and took him away for more ale.  That's his version anyway.  The music was good at Hoots (see vid).  

Perhaps we'll find time for the guests to write to you in their own words.  Perhaps not, for "we come to a castle".

May tour 2013 - day 1


And they're off!
We have an intrepid group of seven on this May's tour. I'll let them speak: 

Toni: Wow...I keep trying to imagine what it would have been like if I had gone through the rocks and experienced what Claire experienced. She didn't have shoes or pants like I was wearing today...And the confidence she had with dealing with the men she came across...I imagine the time she spent nursing probably helped there. The land is so vast and bare and lonely...It takes days to travel the distance they did. Melinda: What a great way to start a vacation! Hiking up a hill, in the middle of farmland, on a beautiful day! Doesn't get much better than that!!! 

Don---Much more than expected, then again not sure what I expected. Sightseeing, hiking and camaraderie with the group on day one was a great success and sets the standard for the rest of the week, confident expectations will be met as Scot and Sam are great.

Wendy -- great day, lots of sunshine, hills and …
What's this, people?

Any Guesses? . . Spoiler . . Spoiler . . Answer below . . Answer below .
Every home should have one.  It's a staircase.

And it leads to this. Got one? Want one? A genuine 17th Century bed. 

Why the photos?  We took them when on a recce to this castle because we're staying in it next month.  I thought to share the love of beautiful places with you a little.

Look again at the photo of the staircase.  Apart from it being spiral, I'll give some silly prize to anyone who can tell me what's unusual about it.