Whisky, deer and heather.

After much deliberating and cogitating, I  finally plucked up the courage a few weeks ago to book a much-needed holiday with  a friend.

Last years plans fell through for me to spend a week in the spring up in Scotland, and I wondered if I was ever going to find the courage to book up and try to go again. At certain points over the last few years I felt such great determination that I wanted to go back and  see the beautiful fair isles again, but always, something prevented me.  I have so many fond memories of Scotland, although it has to be getting on for over a decade since my last visit there, but I did go there several times throughout the 80’s and 90’s, my last visit being Ullapool in August 2000, that being my last holiday until I went to Devon last August.

And so, with this now booked up and various arrangements made I will be packing my suitcase in a few weeks time and making the trip to up to Northern Scotland, Pitlochry to be precise.

Of course this won’t just be a simple holiday, because with all the breathtaking views and scenery and wildlife that this wonderful part of the country has to offer it means I am looking forward to a bit of photography, well actually that’s not totally true, I really mean a LOT of photography!

My first visit to Scotland was back in the early 1980’s to the lovely town of Fort William, in Gaelic this apparently means An Gearasdan, ”The Garrison” The town is set along the banks of Loch Linnhe.  After Inverness it is the second largest town in the highlands of Scotland.

My first real taste of Scotland was over the border in to Gretna Green, and then travelling the roads along Glen Coe. I can still recall how taken back I was  with such awe and sadness at the sight of these beautiful sweeping mountains and glens, and story of the history of Glen Coe and the  massacre that took place there on 13th Feb  1692.

However one funny little incident that has always stood out in the back of mind, on my first ever visit to Scotland,was my incorrect pronunciation of the hotel I was staying at in Fort William, The Highland Hotel, (it is actually an old castle) which is perched on the top of Fort William looking down towards the town and Loch Linnhe. On the opposite of the Loch  a little further up the most incredible view of Ben Nevis.When in the town the second day of my stay  I went into a newsagent and an elderly gentleman behind the counter got chatting to me and then came out and asked me if I was from abroad. I said no I was not from abroad, but had come up from Birmingham, England…..in which he duly said in a deep thick scottish accent ”aye, that’s abroad then”.  He then asked ” and where are you young lassy staying at whilst yar visiting hear?” In which I duly replied ”The Highland Hotel” (and of course pronounced Highland as is the spelling)  for the week” And to which his reply was ”naya lass it’s the Healands Hotel not the Highlands”  I got an utter look of total distaste because I couldn’t  pronounce the hotels name correctly. May be that was down to the fact that I had not got a scottish accent and didn’t speak their foreign language!!

From that very first visit I fell in love with Scotland, and for a number of years made numerous visits to several different parts of this beautiful and historic country. I have been to and stayed in Pitlochry before, and my memory of that visit was seeing the Salmon ladder, and watching the Salmon jumping up out of the water…….a truly remarkable sight. I have to say though that the one view I enjoy more than any other part of Scotland, or any where else for that matter, has to be Queens View overlooking Loch Tummel. It truly is an amazing and majestic sight, and needs to be seen to be really appreciated, I would so love to get a chance to see it again on this coming visit.

Anyway, with all this in mind I am now looking forward to a week away with my very dear friend CJ. To visit some wonderful places and see some delightful views, and breathe the fresh air, as well as hopefully enjoy a wee dram or two of some fine Malt Whisky, and the chance I hope to see  and photograph some highland beasties and deer.

In the meantime I wish you all  Slainte mhath!

Many thanks for stopping by.

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