Thursday, 15 June 1978
Cloudy but fine
Farewelled the Batto’s and Parko’s – they have 10 days before they leave England for Singapore.
High climb overlooking Loch Loyne. Interesting drive through Cluanie past a couple of reservoirs (low in water) between very high mountain peaks shrouded in the gloomy mist. The Five Sisters [of Kintail] were magnificent in their grandeur. To Kyle of Lochalsh where we took the ferry to the Isle of Skye (£1.34 each eay). Drove to Breakish and Broadford – small – a couple of shops. Fish and chips in car.
Back same road to Loch Ness. Very low on petrol. Quite picturesque. Took a road to by-pass Inverness and lifted quickly up to poor tableland. Tea at Beauly and drove to Dingwall. I started to look for B&B. Took road over very extensive mountains all covered with heather (not out until Aug-Sep). Found B&B 1/2 mile off road near Tain. £3.50 – Louise and Tom McGregor. Very comfortable. Special supper (pikelets and selection of cakes).
Wednesday, 14 June 1978
Out to Spean Bridge to the Woollen Mills. Very large stock looks like a place catering for bus stops and tourists. Rather expensive. Back to town to fit Doreen. Bought a packed lunch – rolls, meat and fruit.
Twisty road to Mallaig (the road to the Isles) narrow with passing places. Mallaig a picturesque fishing port. Alongside lake and sea. Rhododendrons growing wild in large patches. Back through Acharacle and Strontian on a very restricted road with narrow passing places and as a result could not see much of the view. Road very slow. Ferry crossing at Corran – 9 cars loaded on to a turntable on a large barge arrangement. The turntable is swivelled around by hand so that the cars can drive off.
Climbed Monument to Clansmen who followed Prince Charles – Glenfinnan.
View from the top of the Glenfinnan Monument
Looking down from the monument
The Glenfinnan Monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie
Back just before 6 o’clock to have the “poached” salmon (an 8lb divided by 12 plus the family) – a small portion each.
In Bill’s bedroom – much talking with Doreen taking the lead position.
Tuesday, 13 June 1978
Ayr – round and round. Irvine, Paisley. Alongside Loch Lomond – very calm with high mountains in the background. Picturesque drive alongside the lake to Tarbet and wrong road turn took us to Crianlarich where we had lunch at the rooms in the railway station.
Through bare hills and some pine trees to Glencoe – scene of massacre of the McDonalds by the Campbells.
A lone piper in the hills
Over new concrete bridge at Ballachulish to Fort William. Hill view $3.75 + £2.50 for dinner. Rooms with H & cold.
Monday, 12 June 1978
Stop at Gretna Green. Photo with Scotchman. Bought jumper for £5.50.
Gretna Green and the village blacksmith
Dumfries [and] New [sic] Galloway through Glentrool Forest Park. Lots of pine trees. Newton Stewart for a dine – late lunch. Quite cheap and tasty – salad, rolls. Glenluce, Ballantrae, Girvan to Ayr.
Stopped at Bogen Farm – up high on hill top. Near airport, very clean milking sheds. Supper cheese biscuits, small cakes and fruit slice. Very comfortable room £3.50 each.
Our farmhouse near Ayr
Sunday, 11 June 1978
Seas eased towards morning but still big seas running. Breakfast in cafeteria. Cheap – bacon and egg 3.50NK.
Reached North Shields, Newcastle at 1.00 pm. Very fast taxi ride into Newcastle. Driver had some difficulty in finding Hire Car Place. They were expecting us and we had the car by 2.10. Letters from Jack, Norma, Nat Trust had been forwarded to us by Jeff.
Headed for Carlisle. Houses very clean and orderly, countryside green. Carlisle 4.00pm. Some difficulty in finding station and then driving to it. Parked the car and walked. Drove around. Back at 5.15 and waited. 5.30 the crew arrived. Keith pretended to walk past me on the railway station.
Molly, Doreen and Keith – all from Oatley
Had tea in a restaurant nearby. Much talking over the meal. Out to Castle Carrock (9 miles), [accommodation] farm house, very old rooms. Landlady rather sharp. £3.50 each.
Saturday, 10 June 1978
Wit has wrapped feet in plastic bags to keep dry as she only has sandals. Walked some shops – prices dear. Market area below on quayside. Fish, fruit vegetables, flowers, very colourful but spoilt by very heavy drizzle. Lunch in a store cafeteria overlooking the bay.
Enquired at hotel about boat arrival. Walked around to the wharf and spoke to a young Norwegian lad waiting to meet a boat. Very cold and windy.
Boat was late did not arrive until 4.25. Taxi to boat MS Venus. Very modern. Arranged for cabin (2 x £18). Sailed at 6pm. Had light snack.
Became very rough as we entered the open sea about 7.15. This unsettled Wit who just made it back to the cabin. Large seas but although the boat listed slightly there was very little roll and a slightly lifting motion with the pitch. The stabilizers must hold it steady. Wrote 6 cards to the kids.
Friday, 9 June 1978
2 ferries to Vangsnes up Vik-Voss Road. Usual zig-zag descent to Voss. Large town. Stopped at Skjervet Waterfall where you could walk under the fall. Narrow road along the shores of Hardanger Fjord. Across the Kvamskugen Forest Plateau.
Lots of little cottages along Ser Fjord to Bergen. Surrounded by hills. heavy rain – wet feet.
Met Jean and Joan and had lunch at Railway Cafeteria. Went up Funicular railway. Beautiful view of Bergen and the fjords but very cold up top.
Thursday, 8 June 1978
Breakfast 8.30 – Depart hotel at 10.00.
Along the shores of Lake Jølster through Viks Valley. Above timberline in Gaular Mountains. Steep descent – along shores of Sogne Fjord – longest and deepest in Norway.
Balestrand hotel (all facilities). lavish smorgasbord. Very big selection of soup, fish, cold meats, salads, hot dishes, sweets – Kvikne’s Hotel.
Group drink together.
The hotel at Geiranger
Wednesday, 7 June 1978
Later breakfast this morning, leaving at 10.30. Bus to lake, boat for 20 mins. Blue water reflections in lake, bus, 15 minutes to foot of Briksdal glacier. Take gig and horse for 20 minutes up steep path past waterfall and zig path to top. 15 min walk to edge of glaciers. Deep blues in the ice as it melts into the large pool. Very steep section of glacier comes down the mountainside between the valley. Looks like frothy shaving cream coming down. Lunch at the Briksdal Restaurant (35 kr). Had a sleep in the afternoon. Big variety again in the tea selection.
On the boat – glacier in distance
Briksdal Glacier ready to go up
Harnessing up to return to bus
Tuesday, 6 June 1978
Climbed up from Geiranger and then climbed a very narrow hairpin road, with sheer drop and views to the top of Mt Dalsnibba where we had a view of the fjord from 4500 feet. Very cloudy so photos won’t come out so well.
A snow cutting
On the top 1500m
The group – it was cold
To the other side was a very large ice-covered lake – deep lake – with the ice just starting to melt.
Deep lake just starting to melt
Australia in Norway
Waterfall on Videseter Mountain pass
Descended the Vidiseter Mountain Pass – some people skiing on the slopes. Spectacular views and turns as the road zig zagged down the mountain side. New tarred road. Stopped at bridge and dropped a rock 300 ft into the water below. Along the side of lake Stryn to Olden. Hotel on the Nord Fjord (walk to shower and toilet).
Walked about 1 mile into the village – few shops and stores.
Smorgasbord tea. Very good (Electronic p/accordionist and drummer).