2013 Summer (Baltic and Britain – Scotland – July 2 – Day 9)

Our B&B near Ayr was just across the road from the water, and even though the weather had reverted to clouds with rain it was a nice setting. We checked out at 10 am and took the A82 road north and instead of taking the bridge across the inlet we drove the 16 mile scenic route into the Glen Coe Valley.  Sadly, with the gloomy weather the beauty of the area did not show its best side. Further up A82  was the Commando Memorial. In 1940 Prime Minister Winston Churchill devised the formation of an elite force that would be sent on raids along the enemy-held European coast with the intention of disrupting supply lines, convoys, communications, etc.  They were dubbed “Commandos.”  In 1942 the basic training center for the volunteer unit was in the Scottish Highlands.  The memorial is still an active site. The most-photographed castle in Scotland is Eilean Donan, home of the McCrae’s.  The castle sits at the end of a spit of land and is visible from quite a distance as you follow the winding road along the coast. Access to the castle is across a long stone bridge and walkway. Some hungry baby birds were in the rafters of one of the outbuildings.  There was a very nice view of the surrounding coastline from the castle wall.  The McCrae’s have a memorial to clan members who paid the ultimate price for freedom.  At the base of the memorial is a verse from Canadian Medical Corpsman John McCrae’s famous poem “In Flanders Field.”

We left the lovely castle at four o’clock and drove to Portree on the Isle of Skye where we spent the night at the Dalriada Bed and Breakfast.

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