Tag Archives: Reindeer

Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and Speyside Steam Train

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

We had three full days before leaving our accommodation on Loch Ness this morning and making our way here to Edinburgh.

Driving down along the Loch Ness South Trail

Driving down along the Loch Ness South Trail

After our huge day out of Inverness on Thursday,(we didn’t get home until 9 pm) we had a relaxing morning, lunch at home, then drove around what they call the Loch Ness South trail. It has a stunning viewpoint about half was down the loch over another couple of other lochs and along the Great Glen. It’s a narrow little road, but with not much traffic on it, it was fine. We also took a detour of that road and visited the Falls of Foyer. It looked like it’d be a good walk to the bottom but we quit at the first lookout when it started rain.

Falls of Foyer  were much taller than they look

Falls of Foyer were much taller than they look

Saturday we set the alarm and got away pretty early (for us) to the Isle of Skye. It was only 57 miles from our accommodation on Loch Ness to the Bridge of Skye, then we did about 120 miles on the island and finally the 57 home.

Skye Bridge

Skye Bridge

It’s a really ruggedly beautiful place and it was hard not to stop every hundred metres for another photo. You get great views of the Hebrides, picture perfect villages with tiny whitewashed cottages, tall mountains covered in mist, waterfalls and of course the occasional castle ruin. We lunched at Columba 1400 in Staffin-it’s run to benefit kids in trouble and Russ’s burger and my pannini and soup were excellent .

Speyside steam railway for lunch

Speyside steam railway for lunch

Sunday we had booked ourselves lunch on a steam train that operates on a 10 mile stretch of track out of Aviemore (75 miles from Loch Ness). I wasn’t really holding great hope for the meal but was honestly surprised at the quality of food we got. Russ had Pate, roast beef and apple pie, I had lentil soup, poached salmon and apple pie. We got a side of veg with our mains and coffee and home made fudge to finish. It was lovely to have an Aussie couple beside us-two federal police from Canberra on holidays in Scotland and Ireland for 7 weeks.

Speyside steam railway for lunch

Speyside steam railway for lunch

After lunch, we drove out to a reindeer farm. In 1952 a Laplander came to the area on his honeymoon, discovered the local reindeer had been hunted to extinction so he and his wife and 8 reindeer moved to Aviemore. The herd is able to roam free in the alpine national park for a lot of the year but they are pretty well domesticated and easy to get up close to. It was a bit overpriced and quite a hike up to the holding yards, but I’m so pleased we did it.

Reindeers

Reindeers

Today we drove to Edinburgh where we’ll spend the next 4 nights. It was a nightmare finding our apartment and another nightmare finding our parking place when we’d unloaded our gear. The car is in a parking building about a mile from here! We had problems connecting to the internet and using the TV but it’s all sorted now and we’re relaxing with a bottle of bubbles before we have Chinese for dinner.

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