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weekenders

september 8, 2017

i’m a person who will always be in love with weekends and especially saturdays – maybe because i was born on a saturday? we had reached the weekend on our hebridean trip and also unavoidably soon the end of it. 

we could only get one overnight stay at the laxdale camping site, so we parked the motorhome in stornoway and started the saturday by walking up to lews castle.
this victorian era castle was built in the mid 1800s and financed by opium trade money – the owner being (also the previous owner of isle of lewis) james matheson who earned his money as a tradesman in asia. the castle is now owned by the local council and offers free entrance to the public. a grand place, it would be ideal for a wedding or any big celebration in the beautiful high-ceiled, bright and airy rooms and halls with a nice view over to the harbor, and it does offer venue hire and accommodation.  news castle also hosted a decent museum with an overview of how it would’ve been to live in the outer hebrides through the ages. replicas of the famous lewis chessmen were also on display. a very fascinating story – the 14 carved chessmen made out of walrus ivory and whales teeth were found along with 78 chess pieces and one belt buckle in the bay of uig on lewis. it is believed that the pieces were made in trondheim in the 12th century, but were only discovered in 1831 by malcolm macleod in a box on a beach in western lewis. 67 of the chessmen can now be viewed in london at the british museum, while the 11 remaining is located at the national museum in edinburgh. this has caused a dispute among some people in the hebrides who would like to see their men come home. maybe we norwegians should throw in a bid on them as well?

we thought it was a bit of a shame that the coffee shop in there happened to be starbucks though. it would probably be heaps of good independent local cafés that would serve up as good coffee and treats as this capital machinery does. so we took our lunch break somewhere else. more specifically at the royal hotel in cromwell street, who served very decent fish burgers amongst other good looking things on the menu. there’s not always a lot of options when it comes to non-meat burgers on the menu here in scotland (or anywhere else for that matter), so i was pleased to see this saturday’s treat coming up! we hadn’t done much strolling on this trip and almost no shopping at all, just the occasional grocery ones, although we were actually very good stocked up in our tiny motor home kitchen. but in stornoway they had – not the biggest, but a decent selection of shops to browse. we first had a stop at «the good food boutique», were we could’ve bought a lot more than we did, but we walked out of there with some good cheese, spread, good bread and a bottle of wine which made us ready for some extra «hygge» for the evening. we also had to pay a visit to the vintage shop «lewis revival», where they had a lot of treats for an oldie-lover like me. no treasures were accompanying me home though i was drooling over some royal souvenir booklets. the harbor looked busy for a saturday as we were walking through.  at a harbor pub we discovered a rather marvelous story on a plaque. it was here in the pub of the crown inn that the 14 year old prince charles had demanded a glass of cherry brandy on a school trip causing some commotions. after meeting and greeting a full bag pipe band  a coffee and cake at an lanntair, and some more grocery shopping we headed back to our car and also back to were we came from – one of the magnificent beaches we’d passed on our way through harris and lewis. horgabost camping must be one of the most beautiful scenic places to camp in the world. and so it made good sense to stop and enjoy the view of the sunset which there aren’t enough superlatives in the world left to describe, on a calm lovely saturday to remember. one of those moments you’ll wrap up and keep in your heart forever. 

and so was our trip the next day: a wrap. our hebridean adventure in a motorhome had come to an end. we drove back to stornoway and from there took the ferry to ullapool (that’s a place we’ll revisit!).  the sunday»roast» we ate at the aulguish inn, an excellent restaurant located in the middle of nowhere on the road from ullapool to inverness, but with a lovely couple running it offering great food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

and then there were none. none but memories of an amazing trip. amongst all the things we saw were the landscape throughout the islands the most remarkable on this journey. and a road trip in a motorhome – well let’s just say this one will definitely not be the last!

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