Sunday, June 11, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #19 - To the Isle of Skye

A travel day.
The first stop was the Glencoe Visitor Centre. The valley is the essence of the wild, powerful and stark beauty of the Scottish Highlands. I got a little frustrated. I would have liked to have done a hike in the area, but couldn't get the group moving in any direction.

The second stop was the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre. I was more impressed with this stop than I expected. The visitor centre explains the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There are two landmarks: a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie raising the standard, and; a railroad viaduct made famous by the Hogwarts Express.

We hiked up to the viaduct and watched the 1:20 pm Jacobite Steam Train go across. Afterwards, we had sandwiches at the cafe.

The third stop was the Prince's Cairn. Perched above bonnie Loch nan Uamh, this cairn memorializes the spot from where Prince Charlie sailed for France after his failed upraising.

We continued on to Mallaig. Tom had made a reservation for the 5 pm ferry. In a stroke of luck, we were able to us our ticket to get on as a standby on the 3:45 pm ferry.

From the ferry terminal in Armadale, it was about a 20 minute drive to the hotel. We are staying two nights at the Duisdale Hotel. This turned out to be a larger hotel than I expected. There was a little bit of a kerfuffle checking in with a number of people showing up at the same time that we did. Although the bed is a little small, the room is very nice with a great view of the water.

The four of us finished the night with dinner in the dining room at the hotel. Sharon had Watermelon starter [Compressed Watermelon, Charred Cucumber, Feta, Radish, Garden Leaves], while I had a Crab starter [Local Crab Tortellini, Shellfish Bisque, Kale, Parmesan]. For mains, Tom, Sharon and I all had Beef [Sirloin of Scottish Beef, Mushroom Pure, Dauphinoise, Wild Mushroom, Charred Shallot]. Sharon and I added Garden Vegetables. Tom added Tenderstem Broccoli and Almonds. I had a Chocolate dessert [70% Dark Chocolate Tart, Crème Fraîche Sorbet], while Tom and Sharon split a Raspberry desset [Scottish Raspberry Soufflé, White Chocolate Aero, Balsamic Sorbet].

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