The holiday started... as all holidays should... with a trip to a charity shop. This time... its ours! Well, its not mine... but its ours in Bellshill. Hugh, a good mate from the Corps is learning the ropes before moving to Burnbank (Hamilton). I hadn't seen the shop - it was only opened week past on Wednesday - and I have to say... I love it. It is well stocked and has a coordination to the randomness... of you know what I mean?
Bought some tunes for the trip including ::
- The Greatest Hits of Duran Duran - awesome... we've all been singing their hits. Please... please... tell me now!
- Ray of Light by Madonna - one of my fav albums. very spiritual with Craig Armstrong on strings for Frozen
- Wilson Phillips - very American pop from the early 90s. happens to be the first album I ever bought Olly... on tape!
- Disco Classics - another awesome compilation that got the whole family singing. peace and quiet in the Highlands... as if!?!
- Light and Magic by Ladytron - some classic electropop from 2002. Seventeen is a classic track.
- i.com by Miss Kittin - more electropop. Miss Kittin's first album. pretty avant garde in a nice way.
We intentionally took it slow on the way up to Fort William - this was for Pippin's benefit mainly... but we're about the journey and like the trip.
We stopped at Callander for lunch. Its one of our fav places because its not really globalised yet... no chains... just sweet little shops and coffeehouses and bistros. Framed by the Trossachs... its a special place.
The we'ans picked up the Madagascar game for their DS for a fiver in a car boot. This was a result - the girls played this game all week. Second hand rawks!!!
We stopped off at Loch Lubnaig on the way... Again, another fav place with lots of memories for Olly. Truly a beautiful space... although better when quiet.
We stopped again in Ballahulish - a Highland village that suffered from a liberal over use of the plural on a road sign :: shops it said... shop we saw. Walked the dog passed the Shinty pitch - what a game! Its a macho version of hockey... with big, burly chaps firing a cricket ball about like Tiger Woods driving with a wood. Fascinating.
Next stop was the Lodge in Fort William - I have to say the Ben View Lodges lived up to their name as having a fantastic view of Ben Nevis. What an awesome site. Majestic. Powerful.
The Lodge was ideal for what we needed - well maintained with 2 bedrooms... kitchen table... no internet and a small TV. It was a fab base for our adventures.
We went out and got our bearings... the water at the front was magical, although they could do more with the space - wasn't really a promenade if you know what I mean.
The shops weren't really what we expected. Too many Tartan shops for the tourists or goretex shops for the outdoors brigade. No record shops... only one 2nd hand book store and one cool coffeehouse that we only discovered on the Friday (glad too - it had free wi-fi).
The food was kind of disappointing too. Either too expensive and fancy... or not really suitable for the we'ans. The Brewer's Fayre was fab... for once... not too busy. Their haddock was first class.
Afterwards... we headed out and explored the locality of the Lodge. We found a derelict castle on Lochyside which was nice to see. The bridge beside it gave us some fab views.
We were understandably knackered by the end of the day. A fine trip with the promise of good times to come.