Results tagged “Lakes” from UK and Japan 2010

Today was probably the worst day of the trip so far.  Failure after failure after failure.  Tempered by 3/4 bottle of Australian chardonnay tonight so maybe this won't sound as bad as it would have.

So this morning started off very slowly.  The pace set by the hotel and the timing and delivery of breakfast.  *Heaps* of food which is always dangerous heh.  I'm sooo going to need to go on a diet or something when I get home heh.  Had a chat to the owners as we were checking out about the bombing/crash 22 years ago.  They actually knew people on the street that was hit (I'm sure I read about them in wikipedia last night) - the parents and daughter were killed but the two boys were out of the house and survived.  They were given a heap of compensation money and had different lives because of it.  And they're both dead now.  One of them had a son who is destined to be worth £23 million when he comes of age.  Went for a quick drive around Sherwood Crescent to see where it all happened.  11, 13 and 15 where the plane hit are just a garden now, they didn't rebuild the houses there.  Perhaps because noone was left to rebuild them..

Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie.  A large part of the plane fell here
Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie. A large part of the plane fell here

So then headed south.  The idea being to stop at Gretna to see the first/last house in Scotland and stand on the bridge over the river that forms the border with England and get a photo.  Except the exit we wanted wasn't marked and we missed it.  And it was about eight miles further south to the next exit so I decided it wasn't worth it and missed out altogether.

Fail.

Welcome to England!
Welcome to England!

So continued south.  Bought petrol.  Oh yes, this country doesn't believe in windscreen squidgees at service stations, so you can't actually clean your windows here.

Fail. 

Then headed out into the Lakes District.  The idea being to drive a loop around Keswick to some of the lakes then past Windermere and out.  Well first let me warn you.  If you're just here for a drive around and some photos, forget it.  The only way to get photos is if you're a hiker.  This country doesn't believe in cars.  And certainly not in parking.  And views of lakes from the road?  Forget it.  Pretty much no such thing.  Didn't get a single photo of Buttermere and a very crap one of Windermere simply because a) there's nowhere to stop and b) there are so many trees between the roads and the lakes that you can't even get photos from the car.  It was pretty much epic..

Fail.

Heading for the Lakes District.  On the A66 near Threlkeld
Heading for the Lakes District. On the A66 near Threlkeld

Bassenthwaite Lake
Bassenthwaite Lake

Heading down B5289 towards Crummock Water
Heading down B5289 towards Crummock Water

Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water
Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water

Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water
Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water

Sheep on the road
Sheep on the road

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

South end of Crummock Water
South end of Crummock Water

Buttermere
Buttermere

Heading up Honister Pass
Heading up Honister Pass

Honister Pass
Honister Pass

Honister Pass
Honister Pass

Derwentwater, south of Keswick
Derwentwater, south of Keswick

Thirlmere
Thirlmere

Windermere
Windermere

We were very excited after four and a half hours driving to finally find somewhere with toilets.  Of course it was a pay and display carpark.  So we found someone else's still valid ticket lying on the ground and used that. 

Small win!

Decided to drive on.  Thought we were up for a quick visit to Chester to see the walls and the Roman Amphitheatre.  Even in the pouring rain.  Because it was 3:30pm and we hadn't eaten since breakfast.  So thought we'd go into one of the city parking stations.  Which was gridlock with people trying to get in and out.  We went down one way (after trying to get past someone trying to get out) and found it was actually a dead end.  With nowhere to turn around. 

Epic.  Fricken.  Fail.

So decided "screw you Chester" and got the hell out of there as soon as we could.

Fail.

Part of the wall at Chester
Part of the wall at Chester

So the Welsh border was not far away.  Was watching it coming on the GPS and had the camera ready.  But it was raining so heavily that firstly my camera was focussed on the rain on the windscreen.  And by the time the wipers went, we'd passed the sign.  So missed it.

Fail.

Britannia Bridge near Llanfair
Britannia Bridge near Llanfair

Looking through the rain towards Menai Bridge
Looking through the rain towards Menai Bridge

Island in the water dividing Anglesey from the mainland
Island in the water dividing Anglesey from the mainland

Arrived at the hotel.  Carpark was full.  But someone moved their car so we took their spot.  Checked in ok.  Room is a bit stuffy so we have the window open.  It's raining.  It's actually kinda nice to listen to.

Dinner was in the bistro downstairs.  I just had a starter which was probably a good thing as don't think would have gotten through a main.  There was lots of saladdy stuff, so lots of lovely fibre to counter the meat I've been eating for breakfasts.

8:30pm.  Time to wash hair and go to bed methinks.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow...

Geotagging - Day 22
Geotagging - Day 22


Photos on the Canon: 130
Photos on the Sony: 21
Steps walked: 679 (?)
Pounds Spent: ?
Got up relatively early today.  We had to be out the door by 9am cause that's when our street parking ran out.

Was a pretty *meh* night.  My mattress had big lumps in it from springs poking through, and was lopsided.  This morning I flipped the mattress and told them they might want to replace it.  Also the internet was pretty much dead on our floor, not giving out ip addresses.  We rebooted the router we found in the hallway on the way to breakfast but it didn't help much (at least with the laptop - the phones were ok).

Breakfast was ok, nothing to write home about.  The waitress staff needed to be told to friggen *smile* as they didn't seem that happy to be there.  We actually got a much nicer good morning from one of the cleaning staff.  

So the plan for the day was to head out in about four different directions from Fort William.  We ended up in three.

So the first stop was Loch Ness.  Which turned out to be an epic waste of time.  There's a small visitors centre at Fort Augustus (complete with pay and display car park).  Skipped that cause there was no Nessie.  Then drove and drove along the northwest side of the lake looking for one of the Nessies my parents found, or at the very least a parking area with a decent view of the lake.  No such luck.  The was absolutely nothing.  And it was a pretty boring loch anyway.  And you couldn't even see it for the entire drive because it was all behind trees.  We went way past our turnoff trying to find a Nessie but never found one.  We stopped to take a photo at Urqhart Castle (a ruin, but they still wanted £7 entry).  And continued to the visitors centre.  But still no Nessie.  Have no idea where the parents found all the Nessies they did.  So declared that mission a failure and headed back.

Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge
Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge

Loch Lochy
Loch Lochy

Hills next to Loch Lochy
Hills next to Loch Lochy

Loch Lochy
Loch Lochy

Loch Ness
Loch Ness

Loch Ness
Loch Ness

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

This photo taken at Drumnadrochit is the furthest north I've been on the planet
This photo taken at Drumnadrochit is the furthest north I've been on the planet

Next headed out west to Eilean Donan Castle.  The drive between Loch Cluanie and Loch Duich was really pretty, but of course it rained for most of it, so little documentation.  Didn't go into Eilean Donan either, but I mainly wanted to see the exterior, which was used in Highlander and The World is Not Enough.  So that was pretty cool.

Dam creating Loch Cluanie
Dam creating Loch Cluanie

Hills around Loch Cluanie
Hills around Loch Cluanie

Hills on the A87
Hills on the A87

Hills on the A87
Hills on the A87

Loch Duich near Invershiel
Loch Duich near Invershiel

Loch Duich near Invershiel
Loch Duich near Invershiel

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

The MacLeod clan went to battle across this bridge
The MacLeod clan went to battle across this bridge

Came back via Fort William and then west out to Glen Finnan.  Found the viaduct (was a bit bummed that you can't drive up the road that goes underneath it, so had to walk).  Found some people that said there was a train coming at 3pm (it was 2:40), so we walked up to the far side of the viaduct for some crappy back-lit photos then came back to wait.  In the meantime it went from sunny to rainy to rainbows to sunny again.  The train came along (twenty minutes late) and it was very squee, but the loco was going backwards ;)  Then went back to the visitors centre to have some lunch.  I climbed the little hill behind the visitors centre to see where they filmed a cut scene from Chamber of Secrets and also get a better view of the viaduct and the loch.  Was pretty cool.

Loch Garry
Loch Garry

Coal
Coal

Coal was a pretty depressing little town
Coal was a pretty depressing little town

Fort William from Caol
Fort William from Caol

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

The Hogwarts Express?  Not quite!
The Hogwarts Express? Not quite!

Train going over the Glenfinnan viaduct
Train going over the Glenfinnan viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

Loch Shiel from the lookout
Loch Shiel from the lookout

Glenfinnan Monument to the Jacobites
Glenfinnan Monument to the Jacobites

Kept heading west to find Loch Eilt.  A little island of trees there was used in Prisoner of Azkaban.  Found a little path of sorts next a pullout, so it's obvious other Potterphiles have been there before.  Got my photos, and even some of a train going by right next to the loch.

Island in Loch Eilt featured in Prisoner of Azkaban
Island in Loch Eilt featured in Prisoner of Azkaban

Loch Eilt
Loch Eilt

Harry and Lupin came down here and talked
Harry and Lupin came down here and talked

Train near Loch Eilt
Train near Loch Eilt

We thought we might just head back to the hotel at that point, but Ben Nevis was all shiny in the setting sun, so we headed up the Glen Nevis road.  Was a cool little road full of bumps and bends.  And a nice view of the mountains too.  Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, at 1344m.  Of course, the base is at sea level, so the whole thing just goes straight up in front of you - very cool!

Hills near Loch Linnhe
Hills near Loch Linnhe

Street in Fort William
Street in Fort William

Hills in Glen Nevis
Hills in Glen Nevis

Hills in Glen Nevis
Hills in Glen Nevis

Hills in Glen Nevis, featured as backdrops for Quidditch in Philosopher's Stone
Hills in Glen Nevis, featured as backdrops for Quidditch in Philosopher's Stone

Got back to the hotel then headed out for dinner.  Decided to eat at the "Grog and Gruel" for some very nice beer, an Angus burger for me and curly fries.  The angus burger was a little odd - just meat and cheese on a fairly doughy bun.  Added the supplied relish and a bit of the salad and it was a bit better.

Street in Fort William
Street in Fort William

Then hotel and crashing time :)

addition:
Heading north east first up, as we were driving by Loch Lochy, this jet flew down the valley at low altitude making a lot of noise.  I actually had the camera out so got a couple of pictures of it.  As we came back along the same loch, another jet flew by in the opposite direction.  Unfortunately too many trees obscured it.  Just now (9:42 pm) I heard another one fly by Fort William!  I'd read in one of the Highlander film location pages (a jet does a flyby at the end of that movie) that there's an airbase or something near here, will have to try and figure out where it is.

Military jet flying over Loch Lochy
Military jet flying over Loch Lochy

Geotagging - Day 20
Geotagging - Day 20


Photos on the Canon: 378
Photos on the Sony: 25
Photos on the iPhone: 3
Photos on the Blackberry: 2
Photos on the Video: 16
Videos on the Video: 14
Steps walked: 8575
Pounds Spent: ?