Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Scotland: Fort William

On the road towards Fort William was a sign 'Victoria Falls', so out of curiosity Wolfi wanted to see is it anything compared to THE Victoria Falls... Not even close, but anyway we were in a need of a break and some lunch...

It's really amazing how much this sort of scenery we've seen already... :(
Victoria Falls in Scotland.
We didn't take the free creams!!!
Delicious and healthy lunch! Scottish strawberries are almost comparable to Finnish ones. Strawberries grown below those latitudes are just horrible! Most likely because of too short days. Btw. what is this need to pack everything heavily in plastic?! Sadly it's extremely difficult to find any loose fruits or veggies here! Just hurts my heart :( When ever there is loose veggies etc. we definitely enjoy them and shock the cashiers with our eco-friendly washable bags :D Oh, and some days ago one cashier even asked us, that wouldn't we rather have the cheaper normal sweet peppers than the organic ones we had chosen!!! OMG!!!

Our original plan after Isle of Skye was to go to the Glen Nevis camping place for few days and take it easy... but it was raining (again!) basically the whole day, especially heavily when we arrived to Fort William and I was also in rather big pains (the Alien, as I call it), so we decided to see if we find something bit nicer... and this time it didn't even take that long! After just few knockings on the doors and some convincing talk Wolfi found us this almost luxurious house to stay and have a 'vacation'!

Ben Nevis in the background in the clouds.

So now we are right at the foots of Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis is right opposite the street, where I can enjoy my daily skinny dips :) We have proper bedroom, kitchen, guest room and a rather big living room and from every window beautiful forest/mountain views! Couldn't be much more luxurious! I can also enjoy some proper cooking for a change and experiment new recipes, which have been in my head for a way too long already. Some delicious food ideas coming in the next blog entries...

The backyard.
Almost like back home :)
Proper kitchen and washing machine: great luxury after B&B's and camping places!
Our upstairs neighbors :)

We came here last Thursday and will be staying until this week Saturday. Plan is to take it easy and recharge our batteries, but also finally enjoy some nice hiking in the mountains! Thursday went with settling in and making huge amount of laundry, but Friday we finally had the very first totally dry day here in Scotland (after 13 days of more or less constant rain!) and instantly we had to enjoy it! So we did a 5.6km walk which gave us small preview of the footpath to the top of Ben Nevis. We had a big plan to climb up there on this trip, but now after few days of watching how the girls are doing on these hills we're not too sure anymore. Hertta is very old and gets tired easily, Ulpu has bad knee problem (born with it) and Lyra has her own (mental)problems... So 16km/8h -trip would be most likely way too much for them and it's also not nice to leave them inside for that time if we'd do it alone. We'll rather do easier walks in the forest and by the river :)

Short Saturday walk by the river and it's about to rain soon!
It took me a moment to really understand this 'display', just sounds so funny :) Again, what about all the plastics trash found around this sign...?

Saturday was again raining. What a surprise! We had a good excuse to just lazy around and enjoy good food. I did gluten free chocolate cake (version of this recipe) and excellent pineapple upside down pancakes inspired by my favourite chocolate covered girl: Katie! :D In the evening we watched Braveheart for inspiration and anyway it was about time that Wolfi saw it! Luckily our extremely nice host had the DVD and was kind enough to borrow it. Actually we asked for Highlander, but he couldn't find it so he brought Braveheart... well done, obviously he understood the point, both shot in these same surroundings! :D

Yummy pineapple upside down pancakes!
Local beers we've enjoyed, all quite ok.

Sunday was our wedding anniversary and lucky us, the summer came! Finally! We walked a nice, but rather exhausting 7km/3h Cow Hill circuit. In the evening we had an interesting movie experience in a truck! I saw advertisement of this already in Ullapool and wanted definitely to experience it at least once. It was all well worth it, very good sound and picture quality, and once the movie started you didn't realize at all that you were in a truck! I really loved the experience and got plenty of great ideas for future... (if we settle down one day and I have to start to think about work... ;))

Happy hikers at the top of the Cow Hill. Ben Nevis at the background and UFO (again!) above it :D
This is close to our house, unfortunately didn't find Mel Gibsons footprints...

The movie truck and a parking place right on the door steps :)
Place for 80 customers, with surprisingly good sound and picture and comfortable chairs!

Yesterday the summer got even better! About +22C and whole day sunshine. After some huge grocery shopping we enjoyed delicious strawberries and cherries in the sun and tried not to look suspicious behind our huge umbrella... Well girl got to have her lineless tanning somehow ;) In the evening we had again lovely walk by the riverside and found a peaceful spot to rest and have a swim. I love swimming, I mean I REALLY LOVE IT! Especially the natural way... so of course I had to have a skinny dip...  couple of times... and will most likely have every single evening here! :) The water is amazingly warm even though it comes straight from the mountains and so clear and peaceful, really pleasant! Girls also had plenty of fun there and as usual we had to tease them a bit by throwing their sticks into the water...

Today we had visitors from Shanghai! Wolfis friend from Germany and his Chinese wife, who also happen to have a small tour now in Scotland. Luckily they found some time for us from their busy schedule and came for a cuppa and a chat :)

Wolle, Nicole, Wolfi and me ...and Lyra wanting to play with the stick :)

Tonight we had some more swimming (of course!) with wet T-shirt photoshoot... have to have some fun occasionally ;) and even Wolfi finally got rid of his 'winter fur'! Wolfi has also been busy fixing my bike and he'll tell more about it later....


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