Friday, July 24, 2020

A Wee Day Oot

Scotland has allowed travel, but the questions of toilets and getting a cup of coffee remained unanswered. So we set off to investigate,  on a Tuesday. Kids off school both north and south of the border, many families still scared to fly, huge issues over quarantines on return,  what would the bonnie banks and braes  look like?

Well it rained, but you could have guessed that.

All campsites were full, nothing available on the internet. Most were closed to tents but motorhomes and caravans with their own facilities were allowed.

Those that allowed tents and had their shower blocks open were doing a good job of three in at a time, sanitizers, masks. 
Campers were left to police themselves and they seemed happy to follow the rules.

These guys had no idea about social distancing, or maybe no ideer. 

Scotland, high summer. The castle was closed as, although it is a ruin, there are bits inside that are less than two metres apart. We met the Clerk Of Works, he also looks after Iona and commented that the grass there was now over two feet high, something that has probably never happened in 500 years.

Between ewe and me, the tourist sites were empty, we wandered around here on our own. The roads were quiet.... the every layby was stowed, every carpark over flowing.... they were all somewhere else obviously.

This is the usual fayre in our favourite cafe at the loch side.

Three boxes of books had gone astray during lockdown. After three months they appeared so I thought I'd do a few pics for social media about where they have been in the interim!
Here's the reprint of the second book doing some sightseeing.

We stumbled on this beautiful church at Glen Orchy, it as a square bell tower and a circular 'other bit'.

The whole village where we'd normally eat ( see pic above).
So we drove on.

We were interested in what the Real Food Cafe would do.  Right on the junction for Glasgow to the south, the Great Glen north and east, the islands north and west. If these guys can't survive post lockdown restrictions, nobody can.
Indoor seating was closed.
toilets open!

outdoor seating was wiped down ever five minutes. Umbrellas  were encouraged.

The car park became an extended eating area.
A waiter came out with a menu.
He also took a name and mobile for track and trace.

In the car park was a sink,  a sanitizer,  and, as the sign says, 'smiling eyes' 

Food was delivered straight to the outdoor seating, the car, the motorhome or to where ever the diner happened to be sheltering. 

We had vegan haggis in peppercorn sauce, chips and great coffee.

Mathilda was helping with those little crispy chips left over at the end.

The big hotel was closed and empty.

It was spooky quiet.

There are beautiful grounds around this lily pond, all overgrown.

The great glen was misted as usual.

The traffic was being held at certain points, for no reason that we could see, maybe just to keep it to single file round the bad bends where tourists are often taking their lives in their hands by running across the road.
The laybys were so full,  there were kids and dogs bouncing out of cars and into the passing traffic.

It was an interesting day, so I had a wee treat on my return.



  1. I've always been impressed at how well you treat yourself.

    1. Stan, as long as there's chips I am happy! I am a cheap date...

  2. I have to say, Caro, that at a few points this surpasses even Jeff. He'll be proud of you. The rest of us...

    1. That is a compliment indeed, I do try to rise to his heights of "the pun", or indeed, strive to sink to his depths!

  3. Barbara and I soooo miss Scotland. Not just because of its beauty and people, but because we feel at home there. Perhaps its the HEINZ for the chips, but I think its more likely our sharing a common bond of language as demonstrated by the unsheepish use of ideer in proper context by ewe. Hi to Alan, xx to you both. Stay safe.

    1. Jeff, you know you will always be welcome in the "land of the celt and ranger, nasty wee beasties and tall dark strangers".

  4. Oh, deer, glad ewe had a good time on your "vacation day." Must have been fun to actually travel. I just stay home, I say sheepishly, as I'm baad (bad) at planning safe ventures out into the woolrd. (world)

    Love the photos, including of Matilda eying potential snacks.

  5. Kathy, I think you are a good contender for the 'punniest' commentator! And yes, it was good to be out on open road, I am blessed to live in a very small country.

  6. Well, I have some tough competitors on this comments thread.

    Love your photos. I wish I was in the Scottish countryside, highlands, Hebrides, on the Firth of Forth, etc.