So, we had a week of a walking tour (with a bus driver), then a coupe of days in Edinburgh with walking and a driver (Vince Booker, an ex-police officer) who showed us lots of in-town and out-of-town sights.
But, today is my debut as the chauffeur. Nice car, right. But, Nancy is in charge of saying, “Please, drive on the left” at every turn, light, roundabout and especially after we stop anywhere. She did great, but we had to come to some understanding about “decibels” as we got through the first 20 miles or so. Her new voice is just perfect…less “emergency”; more like “concern”. I need the help.
Vince, our driver, has crossed off several suggestions about “interesting stops” along the way from Edinburgh on the east coast to Oban on the west coast. (It was drizzling this morning for the first time in a week, but the sun came out as we got to the Oban area. Our weather has been spectacular.) He added one at Lochawe – a little church called “St. Conan’s Kirk. A gem of a place. The dream of one man in the early 1900’s. On a bluff, overlooking the Loch, it is unusual as an architectural combination, but a triumph of design elements.
Here are a couple of shots. The other wonder is that the guy was able to find some body parts of “Robert, the Bruce” – a major figure from the 600’s and entomb him here. That’s a major coup for this region.
Here’s the Bruce grave thing….a marvel.
Then, we drove some more to our hotel for the night…the Isle of Eriska Hotel. Pam Long, our careful travel expert (Sky’s Mom, too) was skeptical of this choice. It was a funny entry through some weird places and one lane roads with “pull-offs” for passing and across a rusty, very loud, small bridge. But, when we got to our room – the mansion’s original billiard parlor, two stories with a skylight – we were thrilled to be here. On the island is a golf course, tennis court, exercise room, gourmet restaurant and the finest personal service we have experienced in a long time. We sat next to a woman at dinner who has been here every year since it opened in 1974 and the GM, who welcomed and toured us said the average stay is 4 to 7 days and 75% of guests are repeat clients.
Here’s how it looks from the outside and the inside of our room. The room (called Skye) must be 25×20 feet and 20 feet high.
We are off early to the Ferry for Mull and then the island of Iona, where we’ll spend tomorrow and part of the next day. Then, we are coming back to Eriska for more pampering, maybe two holes of golf and then, on, the next day to the Isle of Skye…north of here in the Highlands.
“Stay left”…I’ll dream about that to make sure it happens every mile tomorrow. Sweet dreams to you.