It's goodbye to the Highlands after a refreshing and relaxing 4 days in Arisaig and, while our hiking plans might have gone slightly awry while we've been here, we've had the privilege of staying in the most beautiful house and of witnessing some spectacular sunsets as well as enjoying the most sunshine of our trip. So, overall, it balanced out well in our favour.
Now we have reached the final stages of our trip with no more long stays; in fact just 3 more holiday destinations and a final overnight stay in Glasgow before catching the plane home. Today we head for Glasgow with two nights at the Glasgow Pond Hotel but before that we have the 3 hour drive to get there.
We had an uneventful but slow drive to Glasgow. We stopped in Fort William to visit what seems to be the tourist retail centre in the town; it has all the twee tourist souvenirs as well as Scottish made woollen products, cashmere, foodstuffs and clothing. While we were there two tour buses disgorged their passengers so it was quite busy but it was quite disappointing to find that many of the items were made overseas. The cute baby jumper I was looking at bore the label "Made in Bangladesh" so that went back on the hanger. I did manage to find a nice scarf though, with a Celtic knot design, that was made by a Scottish manufacturer which I finally bought after some deliberation.
It remained overcast for the whole drive through the Great Glen and then into the Trossachs and Loch Lomond, and for a good portion of the way we were stuck behind an "Abnormal Load" which ended up with a huge caravan of vehicles behind it. Fortunately we weren't in a hurry and we were eventually able to pass and carry on our way but it was amazing how many cars took risks in order to get by, most notably a Jaguar driver who obviously thought 12 cylinders was enough to keep him out of trouble.
We arrived at Glasgow Pond Hotel still under overcast skies and settled into our room; small but nice enough. Although we're opposite the lift on the second floor and just above the hotel reception so it is a tad noisy. Hopefully that will settle down later. If not I've always got ear plugs!
In our usual fashion the first thing we did was log on to the internet (the hotel has free wi-fi), and the second thing was to go on an exploratory walk to check out the neighbourhood but ended up doing a 9.21 km circuit that took us through Jordanhill, West Partick and Partick Hill. I've discovered that the area has more hairdressers per square metre than any other place I've ever been and that there's too many people who smoke.
It took us two hours and proved that it would be quite easy to walk into Glasgow by following The Great Western Road; a route that would take us right into the heart of the city and the pedestrian mall. So that's the plan for tomorrow and if we get tired of walking we can always catch a bus or a train back.
We picked up a few things from M & S Food and our impromptu perambulation was over. Back in the room we put on the TV and prepared to spend the evening watch bad television: Emmerdale and Coronation Street for starters and while this may be Alex's cup of tea I really hate soaps!
I miss the highlands already and we only left them this morning. I miss the space and the remoteness; cities just don't do it for me. Still, it's only two nights here so I'm sure I'll survive.