We woke up this morning to yet another misty morning, got ready, ate another delicious breakfast - this time I had the porridge (oatmeal) but with a side of black pudding. We were packed, checked out & on the road by 9:45, back on the scenic road to Glencoe to see the visitors centre.
Now, my memory is pretty darn good, but Glencoe is making me question myself! With the Lost Valley path yesterday not matching my memory I was already wondering, but today, I swear they have changed where the visitors centre is! I distinctly remember the view from our campsite, and have photos on my website to prove it. I also distinctly remember the path to Signal Rock starting on the ground of the visitors centre. Well, now, it's a much larger building with multiple car parks, and the building is standing on where our campsite was back in 1997! Heh! I wanted to investigate the current campsites, but they were past the caravan park, which wouldn't let us in without paying. When we did get to the Signal Rock trailhead, which the visitors centre described as a mile down the road, I swear that is where the old centre was. We could see a building through the trees, which is now the Clachaig Inn, and I don't remember any lodging on the glen floor except the campground before. My guess is that they decided to improve the visitors centre by building on the campsite, then turned the old centre into the Clachaig Inn. When I get home, I might investigate by Googling & see what I can find about Glencoe development since 1997, since I am curious...
At any rate, at least the Signal Rock walk which was advertised as "short and easy" also what I'd been telling Ben all along, was actually true - finally! ;) We got up there on a well-signed & maintained trail, except for a very recent tree falling directly across the path, took some photos, and back on the road out of Glencoe by 11:30am, with plenty of time to get all the way to Uldale for dinner at the Snooty Fox. We drove south along Loch Lomond, stopping for more photos, even though the day remained consistently overcast throughout the rest of Scotland.
The highlight of my day was stopping at an overlook just outside the Welcome to the Highlands sign with horribly kitchy souvenirs being sold out of caravans, but there was a piper in full Highland dress, allowing photos and playing requests! We had just gotten back into the car when I saw him, but I reparked & dragged Ben over to wait patiently for my turn. I went up & asked if he would play a song for me, with Ben ready with the videocamera, so he plopped a hat on me standing at his side & played me "The Jolly Beggar Man" while I grinned from ear to ear the whole time! He was very nice & chatty, asking where I was from, telling me about his 2002 trip to the States and how he loved America. Then I wanted a still photo too, so he put his arm around me, saying how beautiful I was, would I like to stay & marry him, then as Ben took photos with both cameras, apologizing, the piper said "Take as many as ye like! I'm quite comfortable here! She's quite cuddly this one!" haha... :)
Britta with the friendly piper
Back on the road...I drove all the way from Glencoe to Glasgow, but while sitting in city centre traffic my phone rang saying "private call." I answered and a woman asked if this was the owner of britta.com. I said yes, then she said she had just purchased an e-book which had my Halloween recipes and photos in it, but she suspected they did not have my permission so she wanted to ask me directly. She had found my contact info off whois internet registry. I told her I had definitely not given any permission to anyone to publish my content, but could she please email me all the details, since at the moment I was driving through Glasgow Scotland on vacation, unable to write anything down. :) She apologized for bothering me on my vacation saying she only called first since this might be urgent but that she would email me everything, and I said no problem. In all of that I never got her name, and of course the Snooty Fox does not have phones in the rooms, so still no internet until London. Boy that had me steamed for the rest of the drive through Glasgow! :(
The drive south through the Scottish Borders was uneventful after a quick sandwich & potty stop just outside Glasgow on the M74. We finally saw the Welcome to England sign fly past us (Ben was driving!) around 4:30pm, then out into the middle of nowhere on B roads and "unassigned" roads (meaning even smaller roads unworthy of a B designation!) to arrive at the Snooty Fox Country Inn in Uldale around 5ish. This is a VERY cute pub & restaurant with very cute rooms above. Unfortunately Ben thinks he might be getting a cold, so after another good meal, this time each of us with a half-pint of Uld Ale, the local brew, since there was still only Strongbow for cider, we went up to our room at 9:30pm, but I can hear the pub crowd downstairs still going strong at 11:30pm! Too bad Ben doesn't feel better, and since I'd already taken my shower, I didn't feel like putting myself back together to go downstairs. I'm afraid since tomorrow is Sunday we'll miss the pub fun, but hopefully we'll get plenty of going out in London this week anyway.
Tomorrow we'll be doing a driving tour of the Lake District, trying to cram as much as we can see in the one day we have here, then it's off Monday morning to London...Until next time!