Leaving the Three Sisters stop we continued on A82 through the Village of Glen Coe to Ballachulish Bridge where we crossed an inlet of Loch Linnhe. The Loch was visible on our left the fifteen miles to Fort William.
At Fort William the sun was finally breaking through the clouds. We stopped at the Ben Nevis Highland Centre for lunch. It's another business very much geared to tourism with an expansive gift shop and a cafeteria.
Both buses hit at about the same time and near the end of the restaurant's service for the day. The staff did an admirable job of handling the 80+ people who descended; but it took most of the break to get through the line and eat. They didn’t have much in the way of leftovers to deal with that day.
Wendy and I were somewhat far back in the line with our guide, Kevin, standing behind us. He had exhibited not only great knowledge of history but also humor, so when I noticed the shirtless men in kilts calendar I naturally asked if he was on it (he was wearing a kilt). That began a fun time of banter but also getting to know him and a little more of Scottish life as we ate lunch.
Back on the road we drove 16 miles northeast to the village of Spean Bridge where A82 took a turn back to the northwest and our next stop, the Commando Memorial, a little over a mile outside the village.
The sun was out but in true Scottish fashion some of the clouds hanging around were dropping rain and treated us to our first rainbows, plural because it turned into a double. The whole bus was in motion to the windows snapping pics when Pat pulled into the Memorial. I don’t know whether it was a planned stop or he simply knew it would be a great vantage point for capturing the rainbows.
I was beyond thrilled. Probably most everyone likes rainbows but I have a deep seated long standing love. It may have begun during my childhood on the farm with our home situated on the top of a hill and a 360 viewpoint. Haven’t been on a farm since my teens; but not that many years later my young (then) son gave me the prism you see in the photo here. It has lived in so many windows I have no idea the count; but for 40+ years on a sunny day, at some point, I see rainbows.
When the bus stopped I was out like a shot to take pictures with a vantage point facing away from the Memorial. By the time I captured my pics and turned to be in awe of the surrounding mountain ranges, which included Ben Nevis, I was chilled and the bus was loading. I knew there was a statue people were going up to look at but I did not know until I began researching for the blog what it was. Wish I had run up real quick as it is a bronze statue honoring World War II British Commandos who trained all around the Lochaber region which the monument overlooks.
That double rainbow was one of two we saw that day. By the end of our ten days we saw a total of 8 rainbows; 5 in Scotland and 3 in Ireland. I really loved that.
As I am writing these blogs and our current state of affairs is front and center everywhere, I am very thankful for this happy task I set myself. And it just happens to be solitary. Thinking I sure would love to see some rainbows about now.
On to Loch Ness!