I hope you don’t get sick of hearing about our Scotland trip, but I wanted to tell you about a little adventure we had one day. (If you’re in a hurry, you’ll want to skip this post!) I’ll try to get back to the occasional normal post after this, although there’s precious little excitement happening around here.
We spent our first week in Scotland at Isabelle‘s exploring the beautiful area around Edinburgh. There were castles, abbeys, churches, golf courses, and scenic little villages. After that first week, we decided to go and spend a few days in the Highlands. We stayed in a little hotel in Dornie, just within view of the beautiful Eilean Donan castle.
The first night in our hotel, we met a fun group — a camera club of 10 people from Darbyshire in England who were in the Highlands for a week to take pictures. On the second night, we compared notes from our first day’s activities, and they said they’d been on a long drive to have lunch in a potting shed. “You must go — it’s a real experience and it’s something you’ll talk about for a long, long time!” they said. When my plan for the next morning sort of fell through, we set off with these instructions that I barely remembered — “Turn right at Shielbridge, go over the mountain and just drive until the road ends.” So we drove. Over the mountain. On skinny little one lane roads. Absolutely fantastic, unbelievable scenery. And lots and lots of sheepies.
Did you see the sheepies in that picture? Well, after driving for what seemed like a very long time, we thought we might have missed a turn somewhere, so we asked a young woman on the side of the road if she’d ever heard of the place that serves lunch in a potting shed.
Hmmm. She thought for a minute. “Yes. I think if you go back up the road to the second house by the candle place, that’s where they serve lunch in a potting shed.”
We went back up the road and turned into the drive of a very pretty Scottish manor house. Hmmm. There was a shed. And what looked like a small parking area. But no signs. So, I walked up to the house, and into a very cluttered vestibule to ring the front door bell. A big pair of waders that had just been stepped out of stood in front of the door and there were two, wet, friendly dogs there to keep me company. After a few minutes a …. ok, ManoftheHouse, you must cover your eyes now. Ok? So, a ….. HOT, mid-50ish gentleman with an even HOTTER Scottish accent answered the door. (Think Sean Connery with hair.) Flibbertygibbet‘s “breath in, breath out” advice was ringing in my ears. Lost or not, this camera club adventure was really working out for me so far!
Ahem. I asked Mr. HOT Scotsman if he served lunch in his potting shed. (Stop laughing, I really did!) He sort of laughed and I explained the whole thing to him. He thought awhile and said I must mean “Sheena’s Tea Hut, but that’s about 20 miles from here.” Then he came out to the car and showed us on the map where we needed to go. And if there’s one thing we learned in the Highlands it’s this: 20 miles isn’t really 20 miles. It’s WAY longer. Maps, while an accurate picture of where you need to go, are in no way accurate about how long it will take you to get there. But what the heck, we had all afternoon so we thanked Mr. HOT Scotsman and continued on our way, chuckling at the fact that his neighbor thinks he serves lunch in his potting shed. (He’s probably serving something in his potting shed, but I don’t think it’s lunch, if you’ll forgive me for saying so.)
Anyway, we followed the map, and sure enough, we eventually came to the end of the road.
And the beautiful little village of Corran. We crossed the footbridge over this beautiful little river (as instructed by Mr. HOT Scotsman.)
And on the other side of the bridge, lookie what we found!
A Buck! At this point TheManoftheHouse is freaking me out by telling me if this guy decides to charge us, we’ll be in big trouble. So we sort of freeze, except that I’m wildly snapping pictures. We have to get around him, so we start inching forward. And that big rack decides to walk up and sniff us!
I’m having a fit — although calmly snapping pictures. TheManoftheHouse manages to get past him so I just sort of stood still and he walked past me. You would have thought he was a skunk or something. Anyway, we went to the end of the path, turned left and there before us was Sheena’s Tea Hut at long last.
It looks just like a potting shed! There was a group of 5 people crowded into the little shed and we stepped inside. One of them was having chicken noodle soup and it was drizzly and cold, so I told Sheena we’d like some soup too. She was all out because “I had a big group of 10 people in here yesterday and they cleaned me out!” So, we had a scone and probably the worst hot chocolate I’ve ever had but the atmosphere was wonderful and Sheena (a great grandma) was just as charming as could be. We talked to her for quite awhile. (And used the facilities too, ’cause the camera club said you should do that — she takes you into her house, through her hall, and into her own private bathroom! Where, conveniently, I might add, there’s a little donation jar LOL.)
During the course of our conversation, Sheena mentioned that she gets lots of visitors. “Supposedly, I’m on the internet.” And, indeed, she is. (If you click on that second link and scroll down to the end, you’ll see pictures of Sheena and of the inside of the hut because I’m a dope and didn’t take any.) Sheena also told us all about the buck. They think he’s about 18 or 19 years old and he’s been coming to Corran for about 9 years and as Sheena said “I love him to bits!” The town feeds him and he’s always there except when he’s in rut. There’s a long story behind it, but they’ve named this little buck Bin Laden. Does this look like a Bin Laden to you???
Yeah, me neither LOL. The camera club was right though– we had a fantastic adventure driving to Corran and it’s something we won’t soon forget. Corran sits right on a little bay surrounded by mountains and the scenery is stunning. Look at these gorgeous little fishing huts, each with their own painted door.
And our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was rainy and drizzly, but because it was fall, we were able to see all the beautiful orange on the mountains. As you can see there was snow at the higher elevations too.
So. If you’re ever in the Highlands, take the advice of the camera club and go visit Sheena — it’s something you’ll talk about for a long, long time.
P.S. You need to run and check out Camille‘s blog — she’s having an AWESOME giveaway!!!
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