Tag Archives: liburan ke scotland

Eilean Donan Castle

Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Third day into our road trip of Scotland, we left Fort William as early as 8:00 a.m. for Glenfinnan. A 17 mile drive and a ½ hour later, we reached Glenfinnan Monument parking lot. It was drizzling lightly and we were able to park close-by to the visitor’s center. The parking fee is £2.

Glenfinnan

First itinerary for the day, Glenfinnan Viewpoint. A visitor’s centre is close by to the parking lot.

We are here to climb up the Glenfinnan Viewpoint which is just towards the back of the visitor’s centre. A 5-10 minutes walk up the gradual gravel footpath will take you to the viewpoint. From here you have a stunning scenery of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Glenfinnan Monument as well as Loch Shiel.

Glenfinnan

Way up to the viewpoint is clearly signposted. Although walking boots is recommended, it’s probably not required during dry condition.

Glenfinnan

Towards the back of the visitor’s centre, you’ll find the footpath up to the viewpoint through this woods.

Glenfinnan

The vegetation changes half way up. The gravel footpath is gradual.

Once up at Glenfinnan Viewpoint, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking 360° view of the surrounding. You’ll get a fantastic view of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct with it’s 21 arches. It spans 1,000 feet in length and is 100 feet above ground. From the viewpoint, it looks like it was built straight but in actuality it’s curved, almost semi-circle to align it’s tracks with the contour of the hills. The viaduct has become well-known through its appearances in various Harry Potter films.

The filming of ‘Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secret’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ took place in this area. The famous scenic railway with it’s Jacobite steam train runs to and from Fort William and Mallaig in the summer months. If you are lucky, you will be able to see the same train from the movies passing by. Be caution, up on the viewpoint there are midges that bites, even on your face.

Glenfinnan

The magnificent view towards the Glenfinnan Viaduct aka Harry Potter’s Bridge.

Turn yourself around and you’ll have the views towards the monument and Loch Shiel. The monument is situated at the head of Loch Shiel, an inland freshwater loch which stretches south for 17½ miles. The monument was erected, in 1815, in tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

Glenfinnan Monument

Up at the viewpoint, towards your back you’ll get a view of Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument.

Glenfinnan Monument

You cross the road in-front of the visitor’s centre to get to the monument.

Glenfinnan Monument

The visitor’s centre seen  from the monument. The Glenfinnan Viewpoint is only half way up the hill about where the pointed roof is. The parking lot is to the left.

Glenfinnan Monument

The Glenfinnan Monument.

Glenfinnan Monument

View of Loch Shiel behind the monument.

Glenfinnan Monument

House by the shore of Loch Shiel.

From Glenfinnan we backtracked to Fort William to check-out off Premier Inn. Continuing our drive, we will end the day at Portree, Isle of Skye. This will be a journey of more than 100 miles and would take almost 3 hours. Despite the early drizzle, the weather has turn out to been more brighter than the day before, however still cloudy in some areas. The drive to Isle of Skye is more stunning as you drive up the mountain and being able to see whats below compared to the drive on the previous day, that was mostly on flat plane.

Sheep grazing on the grassland off A82 about 6 miles after Fort William.

From the location of the grazing flock of sheep, you would need to drive towards the town of Spean Bridge. To head towards Isle of Skye, continue left to stay on A82 just after the bridge crossing River Spean. Soon you’ll be driving uphill and be rewarded with a beautiful views of the area below.

Spean Bridge

Looking downwards towards Spean Bridge and the mountain in the background.

A little further up, is the Commando Memorial just by the roadside to your left. If you miss this memorial, you’ve taken the wrong turn into Spean Bridge town. This area is dedicated to the fallen Commandos who gave their lives to the service of their country during the 1939-1945 war.

Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge

Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge.

Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge

Massive traffic build-up at the junction turning into Commando Memorial as police facilitated the journey of several wide load containers.

A further 7 miles from Commando Memorial on the A82, there is a large lay-by that ‘s difficult to miss. Here you’ll get a fantastic view of Loch Lochy.

Drive for about 14 miles from Loch Lochy and do make a point to stop at Glen Garry Viewpoint to see views of Loch Garry. At about ½ distance before Glen Garry Viewpoint, you’ll reach a ‘T’ junction at Invergarry. Turn left into A87 after crossing the bridge over River Garry. On reaching Glen Garry Viewpoint, If you hear sounds of bagpipe, chances there will be a lone bagpiper performing and he’ll be glad to take photos with you. Naturally, to show our support, we bought CDs he sells. It’s easy to miss this spot as it’s a little elevated from the road and hidden by overgrown bushes. When you search for this location in Google, type exactly this : Glen Garry Viewpoint

Glengarry

View of Loch Garry from Glen Garry Viewpoint off A87. You are no longer on A82.

Glengarry

A lone bagpiper earning a living at the Glen Garry Viewpoint.

A couple of miles from Glen Garry Viewpoint, we came across this charming view overlooking Loch Garry. The wooden fence (with a gate) leads to what seems to be a private land.

Picturesque view a little further ahead.

Same spot as above but looking uphill.

Yet a little further up, we came across these ‘Stone Balancing’ overlooking Loch Loyne. What a superb view.

Four miles ahead from the ‘Stone Balancing’ you’ll reach yet another ‘T’ junction. Turn left to continue on A87 toward Isle of Skye. Along the way, there are more beautiful scenery for you to soak in or photograph.

About 10 minutes drive from the last ‘T’ junction, you’ll reach this spot. About a mile before Cluanie Inn.

Mountain range in-front of Cluanie Inn.

From Cluanie Inn, it will be a 18½ mile, 30 minutes drive to Eilean Donan castle. This charming castle is just besides the A87. Ample free parking is available and do expect lots of visitors as it is a favorite tourist attraction. Castle admission is £7.50. Spend some time taking in the views and visit the visitor’s centre. Free toilet facilities are available whether in the centre or outside.

Eilean Donan Castle

The charming Eilean Donan Castle viewed from the parking lot.

Eilean Donan Castle

Front view (or is it the back) of the castle.

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan visitor’s centre.

Eilean Donan Castle

As it says.

Another 9 miles or ¼ hour of driving, you’ll reach the Skye Bridge that will take you across to Isle of Skye. Before crossing the bridge, why not go up Plock Viewpoint to see the bridge from the mainland side. Plock Viewpoint is not marked on Google map although you can view it in street view. Search for Heathmount Pl, the end of that road that will lead you there.

Plock Viewpoint

At Plock Viewpoint, you get a hill view of the Syke Bridge from the mainland.

Skye Bridge

The Skye Bridge from Plock viewpoint. It is actually two bridges, which uses the island of Eilean Bàn as a stepping stone towards Isle of Skye.

Reaching Skye Bridge is ¾ of our drive to Isle of Skye and officially put us off the highlands grid. We will be putting up for 2 nights in a B&B at Portree before heading back to Edinburhg. The next posting will fully be on Isle of Skye.

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Glen Etive

Glen Etive, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

September 2017

From the junction leading into Black Rock Cottage, the turn-off to our next destination Glen Etive, is just 1.6 miles ahead. When you’re driving north on the A82, the distraction of the beautiful mountain scenery is so breathtaking that it’s easy to miss the next junction. It is marked by just a small signboard but you’ll have no problem finding it on Google map. This will be one of the most scenic detours in the North West Highlands and well worth the drive. The scenery is simply superb and as soon as the A82 is out of sight, a sense of calm sets in.

Glen Etive

Google street view of the small signboard alerting you of the junction off A82 ahead. It’s about a 2 minutes drive from the junction into Black Rock Cottage/Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Glen Etive is a narrow valley in the Highlands of Scotland. A single track road leads from highway A82 down south to Glen Etive. This road also also known as the ‘road to nowhere’. It meanders for about 14 miles to a dead end at Loch Etive. There are numerous passing places where you can stop to take photos to record your memory. For most of the drive, the road is often close to river Etive that forms numerous pools and picturesque waterfalls as it courses down to the Loch and eventually towards the sea.

Glencoe, Scotland

Forget about what seems to be a long drive back to the entrance later. A non stop drive to the end of the road at Loch Etive is about 30 minutes. The road, for most of it’s length is generally in good condition.

Allow yourself plenty of time as you slow drive along the valley to absorb the superb scenery along the way. There’s absolutely stunning landscape throughout. This is our first experience where on both sides, we were flanked by huge majestic mountains that seems to squeeze you. Literally, you’ll be driving in a narrow strip of valley. If you are a James Bond fan, try to recreate a scene from the film “Skyfall” shot within the vicinity.

Glen Etive

A scene from ‘Skyfall’.

Glen Etive, Scotland

River Etive at the foot of the mountain.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Although the riverbed looks mucky, the water is crystal clear.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Waterfall from up the mountains joining river Etive.

Glen Etive, Scotland

One of the many small pools along the river.

Glen Etive, Scotland

A bridge crosses the river leading to a private property.

Glen Etive, Scotland

River Etive getting a little broader and deeper cutting through boulders.

Glen Etive, Scotland

River Etive flowing towards the Loch.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Opposite side of the river is another mountain range. You drive in a sort of narrow strip of valley between the two mountains.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Single track road all the way in from the A82 highway. Plenty of passing places to allow overtaking or on-coming vehicle to pass or to take photographs.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Horses on private property.

Glen Etive, Scotland

A short stop to soak in the views and to run away from the strong chilly winds.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Meeting of a stream with river Etive.

Glen Etive, Scotland

During melting of the snow, this stream would probably turn into a river.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Converging of streams now becomes river Etive flowing towards Loch Etive.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Majestic view of the mountains.

On your way back along the same road, soak in all of the amazing scenery completely from a different perspective. You will return from Glen Etive back to the A82 highway with a heavy heart and a sense of regret. Back to the busy world on A82, you feel being robbed of something so serene and tranquil.

About 4½ miles from exiting the junction heading toward the town of Glencoe is ‘The Meeting of the Three Waters’ waterfall just besides the A82. It’s not signposted and located after a series of bends after a bridge. Parking spot is available before the bridge and a keen eye will ensure you’ll not miss this spot. You can type in ‘Glencoe Waterfall’ into Google map to find it. The waterfall isn’t one that is spectacular falling off a high cliff but alas, it’s still beautiful to admire and photograph.

Glencoe, Scotland

The crystal clear waters of ‘The Meeting of the Three Waters’ or also called as ‘Glencoe Waterfall’  just off the A82.

Glencoe, Scotland

Love locks at the bottom railing. The top of the waterfall is a little higher than the A82.

Continuing our drive north, you’ll find the ‘Three Sisters’ mountain range. The ‘Three Sisters’ is in the Scottish Highlands residing off A82 about a mile from the ‘The Meeting of the Three Waters’ waterfall heading towards the town of Glencoe. This part of Scotland is filled with rolling hills and waterfalls as we have just seen earlier. You can pull your car over into one of the two parking areas and enjoy a few minutes of serenity before proceeding with your drive.

Glencoe, Scotland

‘Three Sisters’ Mountain range.

Glencoe, Scotland

Reading up a bit on the ‘Three Sisters’. Haah … that guy in blue T is already in kilts !

Glencoe, Scotland

Getting a closer view of one of the ‘Three Sisters’ from the car park.

Glencoe, Scotland

Ample and convenient parking along the A82.

We reached Fort William by mid afternoon and checked into Premier Inn. This is the first time we will be staying at Premier Inn which in our opinion is comparable to Travelodge. The deciding factor in choosing Premier Inn is it offers free parking. Check-in was super fast, room was spacious and best of all, is the free, fast & stable wi-fi. It’s located within a short walking distance to Morrisons, a hyper market and Fort William train station where you can board the Jacobite steam train. Will definitely recommend and stay again at Premier Inn.

Premier Inn, Fort William

Premier Inn, Fort William.

Premier Inn, Fort William

Spacious room. Notice the sort of extra bed at the corner.

Premier Inn, Fort William

Modern bathroom.

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Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

September 2017

Our next destination after Luss, is ‘Black Rock Cottage’. It’s located off the A82 and is a popular photo spot. It will be just over an hour’s drive, and along the way we were rewarded with beautiful scenery of the mountains. This is the start of the Scottish Highlands.

Glencoe, Scotland

A railway bridge just after Inveruglas Visitor Centre along A82.

Glencoe, Scotland

Quite difficult to photograph this bridge as it’s located besides a sharp bend, there is no parking area. We got lucky as the container vehicle in-front was terribly slow.

Below are beautiful mountain scenery along the route of our drive. No captions to the pictures as we stopped by the roadside and snapped away. There were no landmark either to pinpoint where we were except it’s along A82. As I’m using a compact camera, it does not record the location.

Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland
Black Rock Cottage is located off the A82. Coincidentally, Glencoe Mountain Resort is located at the end of this slip road. Heading towards Fort William, look out for the blue Gelncoe Mountain Resort signboard to your left to turn in. Black Rock Cottage with Buchaille Etive Mor in the background, is photo worthy although it’s in the middle of no-where. It will turn out picturesque when photographed.

How to get to Black Rock Cottage/Glencoe Mountain Resort :
You can get both locations on Google map. The image below extracted from Google street view is about what you’ll see when you drive along the A82. Both locations are visible from the highway. There will be a signboard to ‘Glencoe Chairlift & Ski Centre’ and about 1 mile ahead, the blue ‘Glencoe Mountain Resort’ signboard (see below).

Black Rock Cottage

Look out for the brown tourist signboard to ‘Glencoe Chairlift & Ski Centre’ & the blue ‘Glencoe Mountain Resort’ signboard ahead. Credit: Google.

Glencoe, Scotland

The signboard you’ll see along A82 at the junction turning into Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Glencoe, Scotland

Half way towards Glencoe Mountain Resort, you’ll pass by this ‘Black Rock Cottage’. A favorite photo shot for photographers.

Glencoe, Scotland

The picturesque setting of the ‘Black Rock Cottage’. Not sure whether it’s a private dwelling, B&B or what not.

At the end of this slip road passing Black Rock Cottage, you’ll arrive at Glencoe Mountain Resort. What the resort offers during autumn are hiking trails up in the mountains. In winter, naturally you’ll be able to ski and sledge around. Chair lift is available to get you up the mountains. A transfer to 2 more lifts, gets you to the peak of the mountain at more than 1,100 metres. A quick stop for a look-see & the use of free toilet facility would suffice during non-winter months.

Glencoe, Scotland

At the end of the slip road, you’ll reach Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Glencoe, Scotland

Large parking lot means large crowds during the winter season.

Glencoe, Scotland

The ticket office and the ‘limited-offering’ restaurant.

Glencoe, Scotland

Something to plan your activity here.

Glencoe, Scotland

The chair lift up to the mountains.

Glencoe, Scotland

Entrance to the chair lift.

Glencoe, Scotland

Visitors are scarce during autumn. Those who come, goes up to hike the mountains.

Glencoe, Scotland

Dry ski slope for practice.

Glencoe, Scotland

The dry slope.

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