Sunday 6th September

Well well here we are another month gone. We are still busy with B & B but it is beginning to get a little quieter after this week is over.  Most of the schools are back now and we will have the last flush of business during the October holidays.

We managed one outing this week and although we didn't go very far we did a variety of things.

I have always been interested in model railways as have the boys, in fact I still have one my father gave me as a young child, which was added to over the years. I must dig it out one day and see if it still works. I believe they are all digitally controlled these days and my kit would be obsolete.  Anyway the Inverness Model Railway Club were holding their annual exhibition in Inverness this weekend and had invited other clubs to join them. We nipped into Inverness and spent a couple of happy hours watching these wonderful layouts. Some were absolutely tiny T gauge I think they are called, and some were almost big enough to sit on.  I thought most would be HO/OO gauge but it seemed most were N gauge. Again not an easy subject to photograph as they are constantly moving.

This entry was from the Stirling and Clackmannan model railway club, the gauge is "0" and the exhibit was called Harviestoun. It was designed to give the impression of trains arriving from or travelling to a more distant part of the UK rail network and I can assure you it was very convincing.

This was amazing, it could almost be any station in the highlands, it was so lifelike and in the hills around it were red deer stags fighting, people hill walking and stumps from freshly cut trees. It was the exhibit of the Inverness Model Shop.

This exhibit was done by Perth MRC. IT is a ficticious cathedral city in Bavaria during the 1950's. The attention to detail was fantastic as you will see below.

Even the swans in the pool below the bridge to the traffic on the hill - 

and to the left of all that is the station and cathedral.  Definitely my favourite.

This was an interesting exhibit as you can probably see it is a masterpiece in the making. It is amazing what modern technology allows. Apart from the trains, and you can probably see this is in the swiss vein, the vehicles you see are controlled by electric currents and magnets. When finished these vehicles will move along on their own, the magnets will steer them and timed traffic lights will control. them. I will be back in a couple of years hopefully to see this in action.

On our way home we took a run to the old slip from where the ferry used to cross from Inverness to the Black Isle.  This was before the Kessock Bridge was opened in 1982.  This is a view of the Northern end of the Caledonian Canal. The house you can see is on the banks of the canal and the end of the wall you can see, to the right of the house , is where the canal meets the Beauly Firth.

This is a photo of the Beauly Firth looking west. The white house you can see in the distance, on the left, is the house in the last photo, and the start of the canal.

Again a photo of the Firth, you should be able to see Ben Wyvis in the background but it was a bit cloudy.

Now that I have bored you with another of our family outings I now have to say that I may not have anything for the diary next week.  We have a busy week ahead, more later.

Sunday 20th September

It's about time I updated the diary.  As I mentioned two weeks ago, I did not have time to update the page last week because I was in Somerset attending a weekend of celebrations with all the family. It was my cousin's golden wedding anniversary and as I was a bridesmaid at her wedding I felt it would be nice to be there.

We flew down to Bristol, from Inverness and hired a car. It was a beautiful day and the views from the plane were stunning. We had wonderful weather most of the weekend and in between partying and family obligations we decided to make the most of being tourists as you will see below.

On Friday we visited Cheddar Gorge, it was fantastic but we didn't have our good camera with us so I couldn't take any photos inside the caves.  This is an outcrop of rock known as Lion Rock, I wonder why?

Our daughter joined us on Saturday and we spent the day at Longleat.  I loved this chap and wanted to bring him home but Don reckoned he would be above Easyjet's baggage allowance.

This was the watertrough in the Pigmy Goat enclosure, I was more interested in the fish than the goats.

Madam here could see fresh food across the road but wasn't very sure about crossing in front of the cars.

Now this chap was a bit scary, considering he is a fully grown Rhino and there is nothing between him and the cars. I suppose they are used to the traffic but I certainly would not want to upset him.

Well I did say we were tourists!!!!

While waiting for the cruise on the lake, the path takes you past the Meerkats. This guy was obviously on lookout duty. I am a huge fan of Meerkat Manor that used to be on TV and this made me wonder if it would be back again at some time.

Longleat house is a very imposing building. It is the home of the Marquis of Bath and open to the public.. Unfortunately we ran out of time and could not visit the interior but our tickets are valid until the end of the season and I hope we may be able to return and complete our tour.  I was taken to Longleat when it first opened, at a very young age, there were only lions in the safari park so we spent most of the day in the house. I was too young to appreciate it but I do remember a huge wooden beam that had been attacked by the death watch beetles and I would love to see if it is still there.

On Sunday we dropped our daughter at the airport then we visited Salisbury Plain and of course Stonehenge. Once again I had visited it as a child but it was just as impressive although we couldn't get so close this time.

This is the famous white horse at Westbury or Bratton, depending in which town you live. I believe there is a bit of a dispute over it.  I have always known it as the Westbury version.  The cottage we were staying in had a lovely view of the horse although not as close as this.  It is situated on the edge of Salisbury plain.

All to soon it was time for us to return home and luckily the good weather held for a few days which always makes it a bit easier.

As the season is now drawing to an end I will not have a lot more news or photographs so I will only update once or twice a month, as and when I have something to share. I hope you will continue to look and keep up with any new posting.

See you next time.

Monday 28th September

I did say last week that I would only update the diary when I had something interesting. Don & I went for a jaunt at the weekend. Unfortunately the weather was not great and I didn't have the good camera with me but I did manage to take a couple of photographs to share with you.

This is a photo taken from the top of the hill looking down Glen Docherty towards Kinlochewe. It was a bit misty but you can make out Loch Maree at the bottom.

This photo was taken from the viewpoint on the Applecross Peninsula. The closest piece of land is the island of Rona and far away to the right hand side is the north tip of the Isle of Skye.

This was taken from the village of Applecross where we stopped for lunch. It is a pity it was so misty because the views are stunning and it is a lovely day run from here.

Any Hamish MacBeth fans will recognise this little village of Plockton.  It is famous for the palm trees that grow there although one or two of them appear to be dying.  Apparently they have come to the end of their natural life.

I turned round after taking the last photo and took this one. It really is an idyllic little place.

This is across the bay from Plockton, the large building is Duncraig Castle. At one time it was a college teaching catering and housekeeping etc. Laterly it was converted into a hotel and was featured in a television programme.

We stayed away overnight on the Isle of Skye, in the town of Portree. This was a view from our bedroom window the next morning and as you can see the weather had deteriorated even more.

Skye is approximately a two hour drive from here and is well worth a visit. An early start would allow you to travel to the north of the island where there are dramatic cliffs and wonderful views. Then you could return by the small Kylerhea to Glenelg ferry and over the hill known as the Mam Ratagan Pass to Shiel Bridge.

Well that's all for now.  Hope to see you soon

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