Hello Scotland

It was really sad leaving beautiful Ireland but the time had come to move on to Scotland. We boarded the Stena SuperFast VII Ferry in Belfast for our 2 1/2 hour voyage to Cairnryan, Scotland. The ferry was huge with lounges, restaurants, and even free WiFi. The seas were calm and the sky was clear for the entire trip.

On the Stena Superfast Ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan, Scotland

As the ferry was passing by our first sighting of Scotland, we saw the Corsewall Lighthouse.

We saw the Corsewall Lighthouse from the ferry

We picked up our rental car at the ferry dock and were soon traveling on Scotland’s roads on our way to Glasgow, our first destination.

Another country, another rental car, more curvy roads. We have arrived in Scotland
Scenic drive from the ferry to Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is a huge city, much bigger than I thought it would be and we only had one full day to explore. After a good night’s rest we enjoyed our first Full Scottish Breakfast before starting our sightseeing. Henry tried the haggis with eggs, I passed on the haggis. We set out on foot to explore the area around the hotel. Our wandering took us to the Museum of Modern Art, George Square and the Glasgow City Council Building.

Wellington Statue at Museum of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland
George Square with Glasgow City Council City Chambers Building in the background, Glasgow, Scotland
Ceiling in Glasgow City Council Building

We decided the best way to see the highlights of Glasgow would be to take the Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour. The tour was about two hours around the city, making a few stops along the way. If you got off, you could get on another bus to continue the tour. The top deck of the red double decker buses were open and a guide pointed out places of interest as we went. The city is an interesting mix of old and new.

Mural in Glasgow, Scotland
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
Italian Shopping District, Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow SSE Hydro concert, sporting, and special events arena
The old and the new in Glasgow, Scotland

The next day our adventure was a ride from Glasgow to Inverness in our rental car. After a few wrong turns and a ride through the Glasgow suburbs the scenery got better and better as the day went on.

On the road to Inverness, Scotland
Snow in the Highlands, Scotland

Inverness is a much smaller city with the River Ness running right through the center of town and a castle at the top of a hill. The name Inverness means “mouth of the Ness”. We arrived early enough to take a walk beside the river.

Inverness Castle, Scotland
Faith, Hope and Charity statue in Inverness, Scotland
River Ness, Inverness, Scotland
River Ness, Inverness

Next up, a full day bus tour through the Scottish Highlands.


Day 41: On Top of the World

Day 41: June 25, 2013. Dawson City, Yukon to Chicken, Alaska on Top of the World Highway. Chicken Gold Camp Site 5. 108 miles traveled in about 7 hours.

To get to Alaska from Dawson City, the shortest route is to travel across The Top of the World Highway on mostly gravel road with few guard rails and spectacular views.

Our journey began as we got in line for the ferry about 8:00. We watched the ferry make several trips across the river before it was our turn to board about 9:00.

Once we exited the ferry in West Dawson, we were on our way on the Top of the World Highway. It was originally called the Ridge Road because it was built on top of the ridge.

We crossed back into the United States at Poker Creek, the northernmost border crossing by land in North America

After that, the road was even worse than before! There is construction work on the American side. The road is very narrow in places and has very soft shoulders and no guardrails. After about 8 miles we turned onto the Taylor Highway which was the scariest part of the trip. Soft shoulders, narrow, and straight drop offs. The view of the valley below was supposed to be beautiful but I had to keep looking straight ahead!

We arrived in Chicken, Alaska and got the last electric site there. There are only three places in Chicken – Downtown Chicken, The Town of Chicken, and Chicken Gold Camp where we stayed. You can walk from one place to another. Each one has a campground, store, and restaurant. There’s a post office down the road a short distance. The mail plane only comes twice a week.