702 Miles later

I sat with five others in the staff orientation room at the Radisson SAS hotel this morning. A Dutchman, an Irish Woman, A Spaniard, an Australian and a Pole. If it were walking into a bar it would have made the perfect joke! We weren’t there for laughs though. We were getting introduced into the wonderful world of Hotels work.
I sat there in wonderment. Here I was getting briefed on a new full-time job. 24 hours prior I was sipping Whisky at Scotlands smallest distillery Edradour, 48 hours ago I was warming up after swimming at the foot of a mountain waterfall, and 72 hours ago I was enjoying the glorious glow of the sun atop the “Pap of Glencoe”. Travel time is always such a strange thing. Every moment seems to hang in the air like so many gossamer threads in a spiders web, but the days flash by faster than a lightning strike!
The weekend was awesome! You can read Michaela’s (in my links) account if you really need a blow for blow of the big stuff that we did & I will just let you know about a couple of little things. As we drove up to Glen Coe we stopped at a lovely anonymous loch to take a couple of pictures. The still glass-like water was pretty enough, but combined with the cool air & the lazy sun, it was a moment you just want to be able to carry with you whenever you are feeling drained or a little too busy. There was a father there with his two kids, about 3 & 1. He was patiently showing them how to skip stones & they were equally patiently showing him how to splash around & fall over. I don’t know if it makes me long to see my Nieces & Nephews, or have my own kids more. Just beautiful. (An awesome moment, just before we left was the two twin-rotor Army choppers, practicing low-level flying, that powered by us, shattering the peace, but creating a cool memory)
Glen Brittle was a very different kind of beauty. Truly in the middle of nowhere, we had to drive for 25 minutes down a one lane road which was actually used for two way traffic. The Glen was nestled behind a barren and mist covered mountain. The hostel was an oasis of warmth and light in the cool martian territory around it. The rooms comfortable, a creek meandered by not 5 meters from the hostel, coming from a waterfall that was only another 30 meters up the hill. The feeling of isolation (geographically) and family (friendly staff & hikers) was an intoxicating mix & I started dreaming of a Christmas up there. I went to sleep that night dreaming of swimming under the waterfall & then hiking up the mountain that was its source.
The next morning it was raining & the lovely little waterfall was now a pounding torrent & the stoney crags of the mountain were now covered in cloud. I had to abandon my climbing plans (much to Michaela’s happiness) but in near-freezing temperatures, I still managed to brave the base of the waterfall. It was officially the first time that I swam in water which really did force the air out of my lungs upon contact with it. Good times!
Finally, our drive back to Edinburgh looked like it was going to be a frustrating one. It was pretty enough, as most of Scotland is, but Distillery after Distillery was closed (being a Sunday). We were at our wits end & decided to stop by the little town of Pitlochry for lunch before heading on. As it turns out, Pitlochry is a pretty busy tourist town, which means lots of open stuff. It did mean that the “Bell’s” Whisky tour was open, which was good news, but that tour of a major distiller was cast aside like so much rubbish when we found out about Edradour “Scotlands smallest distillery!”. Not only was it a quaint little place which boasts to make the country’s last totally handmade whisky, but it also spent most of the last two centuries under the ownership of Clan Campbell, my forefathers on my mothers side.
One awesome tour, two bottles of liqour (one of whisky & one whisky cream) and three small conversations later, we were back on the road, feeling like we had found the perfect conclusion to an awesome weekend.
As usual, the camera came with me. I will probably post a lot of the pictures over the following months, but here are just a couple of the ones that I really like.

A wee little kiddie enjoying a lovely Loch.

A Bridge over a waterfall, then to the mountains beyond!

Tim looking tough. I shouldn’t though. I was only 2/3 of the way up!

The raging waters of the Glen Brittle waterfall with the hostel in the background.

The raging waters of the Glen Brittle waterfall with the frozen but contented Tim in the foreground.

9 thoughts on “702 Miles later

  1. Oh, and let the record show that first picture of the little boy is possibly one of my favorite photos Tim has ever taken. (And I like a lot of them.)

  2. I was thinking the same thing Michaela – that’s a very short haircut you’ve given yourself!
    Sounds like an awesome weekend. I love that you are both even able to turn the little frustrating things around to sound adventurous!

  3. Mistaken posting of picture. Sorry Mic. I’ve amended it now.
    AY, Don’t go counting chickens now. After all, Mic does look quite manly!
    Tricia, the US has so much more, you just have to travel to it! Anyway, I will give you Disney stuff any day of the week if it means I can have “Islands of Adventure” instead!

  4. I can’t help but think I know you (or used to)…
    Did you ever give a girl in Aust. a copy of Wuthering Heights for her birthday?

  5. Hey Tim,
    Reminds me so much of my trips through England and Scotland. I’m sorry we didn’t have the time you have to stop and smell the… heather or whatever!
    We had a Renault Megan in Europe.. we did over 5,000k’s and were very sorry to say aurevoir.
    Hope the jobs going Ok and not too much.
    Love Roger

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