Seasickness on Hurtigruten – The Lowlight
Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have

Seasickness on Hurtigruten – The Lowlight

Gale force winds were blowing all day today meaning that the ship was rocking about a lot leaving many people feeling nauseous - including me.  The on board shop was doing. roaring trade in sea sickness tablets - even the crew were taking them. The decks were closed, which meant you couldn't even get a breath of air.  Everything began to feel very claustrophobic.  Unfortunately, seasickness on Hurtigruten is something you may well have to put up with if the weather is rough - which it often is - so come prepared!

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Day 9 – Vesterålen Hike
Vesteralen Hike

Day 9 – Vesterålen Hike

Vesteralen Hike Yesterday, we made a brief stop at Hammerfest - the Northernmost town in the world.  It is a tiny place, but there is a really interesting Restoration Museum…

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On the Edge of a Forbidden Frontier – Where East meets West
Snowy Kirkenes - you can just make out the MS Nordlys in the dock.

On the Edge of a Forbidden Frontier – Where East meets West

Where East Meets West On the Edge of a Forbidden Frontier Kirkenes - the turning point of the Hurtigruten's voyage - is just a few miles from the Russian border…

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Day 6 – World’s End at the North Cape
Friluftsliv

Day 6 – World’s End at the North Cape

World’s End at the North Cape The ship docked at Honningvãg this morning - the capital of the North Cape.  At 71 degrees north, this is as far north as…

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Winter Nights – Northern Lights
Hurtigruten Cruise Northern Lights

Winter Nights – Northern Lights

What ARE the Northern Lights? The northern lights are a physical phenomenon that occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun hurtle towards the Earth. The light becomes visible when…

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Day 5 – Entering the High North (Tromsø)
Tromsø by night - breathtakingly beautiful .

Day 5 – Entering the High North (Tromsø)

Entering the High North - Tromsø The sunrise was beautiful this morning - a gentle pink light hung over the coastline for quite some time. A beautiful Norwegian sunrise Mount…

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Day 4 – Crossing the Arctic Circle
Bodø

Day 4 – Crossing the Arctic Circle

Crossing the Arctic Circle We are crossing the Arctic Circle at 7.30 this morning.  You could have bought a postcard with a special stamp and posted it from here all…

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Day 3 – It’s time for the Snowshoes!
It's time for the Snowshoes!

Day 3 – It’s time for the Snowshoes!

It’s time for the Snowshoes! The Nordlys docked at Trondheim this morning allowing us time to lace ourselves into our snowshoes (snøskoene) for a hike through the deep snow covered…

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Day 2 – Friluftsliv
Art Nouveau Ålesund

Day 2 – Friluftsliv

Day 2 - Friluftsliv Bergen We left Bergen at around 10 last night and headed for the pretty Art Nouveau port of Ålesund.  If you wanted time to visit Bergen…

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The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage – Hurtigruten Norway itinerary
The World's Most Beautiful Voyage - Norway Hurtigruten Itinerary

The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage – Hurtigruten Norway itinerary

Tomorrow, we embark on "the world's most beautiful voyage" on the Hurtigruten line, departing from Bergen and travelling over 2,500 nautical miles to the Top of the World at the North Cape.  We hope to see the Northern Lights (there is a guarantee of a free cruise of you don't) en route and then retrace our steps slowly back South down the coast to Bergen.   The voyage will last a total of 12 days, crosses the Arctic Circle twice and visits 34 Nordic ports along the way.

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Scotland North Coast 500 – Final Reflections – Just Be
North Coast 500

Scotland North Coast 500 – Final Reflections – Just Be

Our trip ends today with aa 5 hour drive south from Dunblane home..  It has been an interesting trip to this remote,  far flung land where there is a marvellous amount of nothing to do.  If you are looking for solitude, room to wander and reflect and allow yourself to " just be", then you will find plenty of it in the Scottish Highlands.

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A smooth finish – via The Kelpies
The Kelpies

A smooth finish – via The Kelpies

It took us the best part of 6 hours to drive from Shieldag to Dunblane where we decided to break the long return journey home with an overnight stay.  En route, we made a small detour to visit the Kelpies at Falkirk.

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Chasing Rainbows …
Chasing Rainbows on the North Coast 500

Chasing Rainbows …

The sunshine and rain showers meant that we were chasing many beautiful rainbows all along the remainder of the North Coast 500 road from Shieldaig through Applecross/Lochcarron.  At one point, we drove right underneath one!

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Accommodation Review – Shieldaig Lodge, Gairloch
Shieldaig Lodge Gairloch

Accommodation Review – Shieldaig Lodge, Gairloch

Shieldaig Lodge is a Victorian hunting lodge set in a 26,000 acre estate next to Loch Gairloch. It has lovely waterside views from the lounge and dining room and a massive selection of whisky and gin in the bar.

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Aultbea to Shieldaig – Inverewe Gardens Poolewe
Inverewe Gardens Poolewe

Aultbea to Shieldaig – Inverewe Gardens Poolewe

Inverewe Gardens at Poolewe - just down the road from Aultbea - provided a great place to spend half a day.  There are 54 acres of gardens to explore with interesting plants from all around the world including Japan and Africa.

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Kylesku to Aultbea
Kirkaig Falls

Kylesku to Aultbea

The journey from Kylesku to Altbea wasn't too long today, so we were able to stop at Invercircaig and walk to the Kirkaig Falls on the way.  

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Accommodation Review – Kylesku Hotel – Kylesku
Kylesku Hotel

Accommodation Review – Kylesku Hotel – Kylesku

The Kylesku Hotel is a small hotel sympathetically decorated in modern style with soft natural tones and tweed headboards.  They keep a cosy fire burning throughout the day - nice when the weather is wet.  The hotel is perfectly located on the edge of the loch with good walks all around.

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Durness to Kylesku
Kylesku

Durness to Kylesku

The drive from Durness to Kylesku only takes about an hour and a quarter, so we took a short detour.at Scourie and almost got blown into the sea the wind was so strong.

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Accommodation Review – Mackay’s Rooms Durness
Mackay's Rooms Durness Bedroom

Accommodation Review – Mackay’s Rooms Durness

Mackay's Rooms Durness is a B&B, not a hotel, so if you want an evening meal, you need to walk down the road to the Sango Sands Oasis pub or further to the Smoo Cave Hotel.  Alternatively, there is a café called the Whale Tail at Balnakeil Craft Village which offers a reasonable fish/seafood menu, but they only accept cash and close at 8pm.  There is a cashpoint at the Spa in Durness village if you need it.

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Life on the Edge – Faraid Head
Faraid Head

Life on the Edge – Faraid Head

Faraid Head - Almost like taking a walk in the sea itself! From the village in Durness, you can walk out along the edge of the cliffs at the edge…

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Life is Good on Sandwood Bay
Life is good on Sandwood Bay

Life is Good on Sandwood Bay

Sandwood Bay - One of Scotland's Most Beautiful Hidden Beaches About 20 miles from Durness, via Kinlochbervie, the road turns off to the right towards Oldshoremore and leads to a car park…

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BettyHill to Durness
Rainbow

BettyHill to Durness

En route from Bettyhill to Durness, we stopped at the Strathnaver Museum in Bettyhill (opens at 10). The museum gives excellent coverage of the Highland Clearances.

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Accommodation Review – Bettyhill Hotel
Bettyhill Hotel - Stunning view from our bedroom

Accommodation Review – Bettyhill Hotel

Bettyhill Hotel Accommodation Review A fabulous location with stunning views of the beach from the dining room and the bedroom. The restaurant has a good choice of bar type food…

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Wick to Bettyhill
Forsinard Flows

Wick to Bettyhill

Dunnet Head on the route from Wick to Bettyhill is actually the most northerly point of mainland Britain.  On a clear day, you can see the whole North Coast from Cape Wrath to Dunscansby Head.

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Accommodation Review – Mackay’s Hotel Wick
Mackay's Hotel Wick

Accommodation Review – Mackay’s Hotel Wick

The hotel was a little tired around the edges with a rickety lift, but what it lacked in swanky decor was more than made up for with the warmth and friendliness of the welcome.

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Today’s Rain is Tomorrow’s Old Pulteney …
John O'Groat's Fingerpost

Today’s Rain is Tomorrow’s Old Pulteney …

We had 2 nights in Wick, which allowed us time to tick the box of visiting John O'Groats.  We saw a family waiting to welcome back their Dad & his friend Phil - End to Enders - it is 874 miles to Land's End from here.   If you headed straight down, it is 12,875 long miles to New Zealand ...

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Durness to Wick
Rainbow over Wick Harbour

Durness to Wick

We chased rainbows all the way along the A9 from Durness to Wick and found a stunningly beautiful one in the busy little harbour in Wick when we arrived.  

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