It has been about three months since we got back from our big adventure, and while I am still not yet caught up with the blogs, I was getting itchy feet again and we needed some time away. Our wedding anniversary was the perfect excuse, and while we are still on a post travel budget we had the amazing good fortune of having an Aunt and Uncle with a cottage on the banks of Loch Tay which they were kind enough to let us stay in for a few days.
I have to say the cottage itself was fantastic and suited us right down to the ground, although there was space for way more than just the two of us, it sleeps six comfortably and more if you want to use the fold out sofa beds. Having stayed in hostels for the six months we were away this felt like the lap of luxury. I rather stupidly forgot to take a photo of the outside, but there is one on both their trip adviser page and on the booking page.
We stayed in the snug room downstairs which was very cosy, we also made use of the lovely large kitchen and adjoining bright and spacious sitting room, both of which share the same wood burning stove, which was lovely to curl up next to in the evenings.
It really was a wonderful place to stay, however we didn’t spend a lot of time indoors during the day. On our anniversary we woke to this most beautiful view from the bedroom window (if you live in Scotland you will appreciate the rarity of the weather we had) and after a bit of a lazy breakfast set off outdoors.
We went down to explore the loch front and take a few photos before heading out on the loch in a Canadian canoe kept in the shed at the cottage.
We hadn’t thought to bring the gopro so I am afraid there is no photos from when we were out on the water, but our luck with the weather continued, the water was incredibly flat with the wind only beginning to pick up on our return. We paddled ourselves to the other side of the loch and then followed the bank north a bit, where a family of ducks found us and chased us down, or rather we stopped to wait for them. After discovering we had no food to give them the ducks lost interest and swam off. We then paddled back across to the side we started on and made our way back to the cottage shoreline.
I really enjoy canoeing and kayaking and wish we lived somewhere that it was a bit more accessible. Anyway after carrying the canoe back up the shore we had a bit of lunch before heading out on a walk. We decided to just go on a walk along the road next to the loch, we also figured that the sun should be starting to set on our way home so we should get some nice shots.
It was such a lovely walk, and I can’t stress enough again how lucky we were with the weather, it was a little cold but it is incredibly unusual to get such cloudless skies at this time of year in Scotland, especially if you consider that we were only just getting over the aftermath of “the beast from the east”. It was unfortunately a fairly fast road and while we were safe some evidence at about our turning point to head home shows it isn’t always the case.
It is pretty unusual to find bones like that on the side of the road in Scotland, I had only seen things like that in places like Mongolia before. I am guessing it used to be a dear, but I am not sure. Anyway, the views on the way home were also stunning with the light beginning to show the colours preceding sunset, but I think we missed the sunset itself getting ourselves ready for dinner.
We had a lovely anniversary dinner at the Kenmore hotel, although not quite with the views from the glass dining room we had hoped for as it was dark by then.
We also stopped by the bar on the way out to take a photo of a poem that had been written directly onto the chimney breast by Rabbie Burns, the famous Scottish poet. He is so revered in Scotland we have a night in honor of him every year usually celebrated with haggis and poetry.
The next day my husband decided he wanted to find a crag that he could come back to rock climb in the summer, so we set off to Aberfeldy and the nearby village of Weem. We parked in the church car park and followed the path into the woods which would take us up to the crag.
It was a fairly short walk, but when my husband’s book began to describe a rough path to the side… well it was definitely rough to non existent. After a good while scrabbling over rocks, slipping on wet leaves and grabbing onto trees we reached the crag.
My husband went off figuring out which bolts were for which route and if they were safe enough and I sat, enjoying the peace and quiet as well as the again unexpected sun.
Then we had the fun job of scrambling back down again, but we made it back to the path. We decided to finish the short loop, before heading back. I had wanted to do the Birks of Aberfeldy walk, but I wanted to be able to dedicate a whole day to that and we had a late start that morning.
On our way back through Aberfeldy I did stop to take a photo of this rather pretty bridge and a war memorial nearby.
We also stopped at an interesting looking archway in Kenmore which we had seen the night before and the Kenmore end of Loch Tay.
When we got back to the cottage we decided to take advantage of the fire circle set out on the beach which had been lovingly stacked with wood for our arrival and have a bonfire. It was still a bit of time until sunset but we decided it would be good to have the fire already roaring before it got too cold. I left most of the bonfire setting to my husband as he can get annoyed if anyone interferes with that duty.
He did a good job too because it wasn’t long before the fire was roaring. We sat and watched the sun set while we had some stovies cooking in the cottage.
I am not sure I have ever felt quite so peaceful as I did in front of that fire listening to the loch lapping at the shore with the stars clear overhead.