July 26, 2011

Yesterday was a real mixed bag. . . .mostly cool stuff.

It was a travel day.  road trip through the heart of the highlands. We left Inverary on the West Coast, and by the end of the day we were in Inverness, the capital city of the East Coast Highlands. About 200 miles driving and some astounding scenery.

-Kilchurn Castle (a ruin) the original seat of power for Clan Campbell built in the 1740’s. A postcard like setting on Loch Awe with a truly territorial view, meaning they owned everything that was in view.
-The Highlands “proper”. This is the region in the geographic center of Scotland and it is higher than the Southern portion. One drives up what feels like a miniaturized Cascade mountain pass, but without many evergreen trees. On “top” is a vast plateau; bog as far as the eye can see, and further North and East one can see the peaks that define the highest points in the UK. I REALLY wanted to be hiking this route.
-A brief rest stop and short walk out into the hills where we sat beside a babbling burn and gazed  at the green shawl pulled taught around the old mountain’s shoulders.
-The village of Glencoe: gateway to the Eastern highlands, picture perfect, site of the infamous massacre of 1692 (the Campbells playing a not so shining role in that story)
-Loch Ness. Reminds me of Lake Chelan, plopped in the setting of Baker Lake (hopefully that makes sense to someone back in Washington . . . If not: “it was purty.”) No immediate monster sightings, but we are hopeful that Nessy may appear in the River Ness which is only b
Blocks from our place.
-Our place. An here is where the bag gets mixed. It’s more like a nice hostel than a B&B. Teeny rooms, thin walls, toilets don’t quite flush, showers not quite big enough to raise your arms in, water smells just a bit of solvent, wireless Internet doesn’t quite work, bedsheets, not quite clean. After our stay in Inverness, there was a pretty high bar to clear, so I think we were all a little disappointed, and a little road weary.
-This combination can often lead to a Hazen Family Death Spiral of angst and co-dependence. These are normally avoided by somebody leaving for work or school, or other event that does not involve another Hazen. Not possible right now, so with two weeks to go, we will be learning new methodologies.
-Chicken Vindaloo in a proper Indian restaurant. Ate too much Naan.
-All the girls chose to sleep a little extra long this morning rather than navigate what they deemed to be the Dodgey-looking breakfast set-up at the Inn. They sent me in to recon the situation. It was good.

Sitting in hotel Lobby with reliable web access, getting ready to storm another castle today . . . One real, one interior.

4 thoughts on “July 26, 2011

  1. That’s a whole lot of togetherness. Sounds like you’re all navigating it well. I dare say you will miss each other when you all go back to your own responsibilities after you’re back. Just so you know, I went to a high school called Glencoe. It was named after the Scottish settlers that founded the town. So….that’s where my loyalties lie. Of course, we were the Glencoe Crimson Tide, which really doesn’t connect at all. But there is my connection to you travelling Hazens.

  2. I love the breakfast recon! So funny. Prayers for you all, too. I have no idea what it’d be like to travel with my children as near adults/adults but in thinking about it I realize you are one brave, brave family! =)

    1. Thanks for following along with us, Jules. Missing you. Give your man a big hug for me . . . In a manly way if you can. 🙂

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