Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Waterfalls in Scotland are wonderful in the rain

This is the sort of e-mail that makes everything worthwhile. No reason for Kate T and Geoff to be so kind, they had terrible weather but it did not stop them. Thank you K + G, it was lovely to have you.

Dear John and Gillian,
Beautiful Bay View Cottage was everything and more that I had
expected - warm, cosy, comfortable,beautiful location and very very

We had a brilliant time staying there for the week - despite appalling
weather - it rained sideways for most of our time there! But the plus
side was that the waterfalls everywhere were spectacular - including
the one that comes over the top of the mountain way up behind Bay View

We spent quite a lot of time in and around Glencoe - the cottage
couldn't have been better located and also went up to (and around)
Fort William and the Great Glen and down to Oban and around there too.

My visit has whetted my appetite for more Scottish Highland holidays
for certain.

We went up to Skye after leaving Kentallen - again the weather was
poor, but we saw some tremendous sights, and then down to Loch Moidart
where we were fortunate to see some sunshine and blue skies and had
another splendid time.

All in all a tremendous holiday and I'm already planning a return
visit! I have also given your website address to some friends and
family, so they may be in touch with you soon.

Thank you also for the excellent range of information available in the
cottage - we only scratched the surface of what there is to do and see
- and I have to say I LOVED the hip bath - took a bit of getting used
to to start with, but very effective.

(We never managed to get on line at the cottage - so nipped along to
the Tourist Information Centre at Ballachulish instead - good excuse
to have a cup of coffee at the same time!!)

Thank you again for helping us have a brilliant holiday. You are very
lucky indeed to own such a wonderful retreat.

Kate T & Geoff


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Finding an ancient Campbell (1)

One of the the loveliest things about letting out your cottage is the friends you can make. I've never met her, the lady who goes by the delightful nickname of PokeySue, but she and her husband live in the Usa and are coming back to Scotland next Spring for a visit.

She is a genuine romantic, loves the old Highland stories. Married to a Campbell, she is the kind of person who had to find out about his ancestors.

She is going to post the story in bits at a time and I am going to put them on this blog. I asked her how she started.

As a young girl, I read a book called "Highland Rebel" by a prolific author, Sally Watson, who wrote adventure books for girls. The heroine of the book was Lauren Cameron, a 12 year old arch enemy of the wicked Campbells and a staunch supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Some years later I found myself married to a Campbell with two Campbell daughters …..so, I was intrigued to find out how our American Campbells landed in the USA, and I wondered why they were "wicked".

First, I asked a member of our family, who supposedly had the Campbell family tree. He sent me a list of all the Campbells, going back to Noah and the Ark. This was very discouraging and I gave up quickly after realizing finding our John Campbell among thousands was too difficult. I gave up.

Later the history of Scotland drew me back into it. With my memories of Scotland from the childhood yarn still clear in my mind, Kent and I finally traveled to Scotland for the first time. I made Kent drive down all the backroads in Lochaber to find a place called Highbridge, the site of one of the first battles (a skirmish really) between the Highlanders and the Redcoats, described in the book. When we finally did find it after many trials and travails, it was breathtaking. A ruin, marked by a cairn, deserted and ignored by tourists. History was reality. I knew then, that if we kept looking, we would find our Campbells somehow.

It was the sense of history that made us want to know more. Of course I did not know at the time that our Campbells had left Scotland, long before the '45, and that our research would bring us to pre-revolutionary New Jersey.

To be continued...High Bridge is off the A82 between Spean Bridge and Fort William, the little road is sigtnposted "Brackletter"

The photo above shows Bidean Nam Bian, the highest mountain in Glencoe, and the Ballachulish bridge.


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