1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Whistle Stop Café

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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Whistle Stop Café

Safari: Day 2. Have you read the book or seen the film? I enjoyed the film. Very much like in the book The Whistle Stop Café at Kinlochewe (encircled in red on the map below) is a place one either lives near or visit when passing through. It's not, generally speaking, a place one would actually set out to go to. Nor is it on a main route to anywhere. Pauline and I arrived in Kinlochewe on Day 2 of our safari.  Although on the map Kinlochewe is very close to Achnasheen (where we stopped the first night) we went via Balnacara, Lochcarron, Applecross, Sheildaig, and Torridon: a stunning journey often on single track roads in between glorious mountains. Having stopped for a late  lunch at The Whistle Stop Café we drove on to Gairloch, Poolewe, Laide, Letters and arrived in Ullapool for the early evening ferry to Stornoway. 

A remote part of the Scottish Highlands
Self explanatory
The Whistle Stop Café 
Probably a shepherds' bothy long since fallen into disuse
The Cuillins on Skye from the Applecross peninsula
Slioch and Loch Maree 
And the same view taken by me in 1960 before the foreground was obscured by trees.

22 comments:

  1. One of my favourite films! ... Beautiful scenery in the Scottish version - and amazing how much nature can change in "just a few years" (hm!)...

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    1. Monica I was 15 or 16 when I took that last photo. Yes. "Just a few years" ago!

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  2. You know, Graham, I once thought that the highlands would be beautiful but suspected they might not be quite as good in real life as portrayed by your photography. How wrong I was! You capture them well but there is that 5% or so of magic that no camera can reflect. I think it's the air or something in the air. Your then and now shot worked out well, didn't it?

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    1. Pauline I am so pleased that you feel like that about the Highlands. They captivated me as a child and have done ever since. I was pleased with the then and now shot. It's as though Slioch always has mist on it.

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  3. I've not read the book, but I have seen the movie...a couple of times. Very good movie.

    I love the Scottish Whistle Stop Cafe. I'll bet it, too, has many stories to tell between its four walls.

    Wonderful photos, Graham. What a fascinating trip you're on...through stunning-looking, somewhat remote areas. I'm really enjoying tagging along with you and Pauline. I hope you don't mind...I'll stay out of your way...I won't be a nuisance. :)

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    1. Lee you are very welcome to join the safari. I hope you enjoy the reminiscing as much as I'm enjoying relating it. It's a very homely café with a huge woodturning stove and I imagine that it's a very popular place for locals and people from the local campsite.

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  4. I always tell Adrian that he lives in a very beautiful area. You have some awesome photos of this landscape.

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    1. Thanks Red. It's difficult not to get super photos if truth be told.

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  5. Very good look at Loch Maree and the Whistle Stop. I spent over a week just behind the cafe and could barely see it for mist and midges.

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    1. Adrian it was a midge-free day. I saw the campsite but I'd forgotten that you stayed there.

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  6. I wonder how 'Letters' got its name. That Bothy would suit me fine; beautiful.

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    1. That's a good question Cro. I know it as Letters Logie. Unfortunately I've never been able to find it's meaning on a search engine. Perhaps one time when I'm in the area I'll try and find out.

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  7. Great views of beautiful landscape!
    Just wondering when the Whistle Stop Café began serving Cappuccino; it's not the kind of drink you'd expect in a small place in the Highlands, is it? Love the "open till late" bit - very much open to interpretation as to when "late" is :-)

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    1. Actually Meike the little cafés in the Highlands now usually have the ubiquitous coffee machine which will produce just about any coffee the mouth desires. I suspect 'late' means when everyone goes home. If there's a ceilidh on that could be any time at all.

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  8. Beautiful photos, Graham. Do you miss New Zealand very much? Do you plan to go back some time?

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    1. Frances I miss New Zealand and The Family there dreadfully. I shall return but I'm not sure when. I'll drop you a line.

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  9. You took the last picture in 1960? I am surprised that your parents allowed a little toddler loose with a camera! I wonder what life was like for the shepherd who occupied that bothy. Probably very simple and yet challenging too. I bet he talked to himself sometimes.

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    1. YP my Dad was a keen photographer and member of what I think was called in the 1940s/50s the Liverpool Photographic Society. I remember that it met in the Bluecoat Chambers. He encouraged me to take photos from about the age of 6 so by the time I took that I was, in my own mind at least, an old hand. But then at 16 one has a confidence I wish that I had now. So far as the bothy is concerned, assuming my assumption is correct, I suspect that with the sheep that would have been on those hills several shepherds and their dogs would have stayed there in the midge-infested summers and, in fact, most of the year when the sheep were not down on the in-bye land.

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  10. Those are quite a few places that you passed by on the way, and I love the names...I would want to stop and visit each one....as always beautiful photos.
    Does Pauline realise how lucky she was to be enjoying such incredible beauty live and direct?

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    1. Most of the places, Virginia, are very small but we did stop and take photos in one or two of them and plenty of the countryside and mountains in between.

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  11. You've captured the area beautifully, Graham! I love the comparison of the last 2 shots from 1960 & now. You definitely are an "old hand" at this photography hobby. :)

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    1. Thanks Liz. The colour cast from the 1960 colour slide (I usually used Kodachrome but made forays into both Ilford and Agfa and can't recall which this was) is quite evident (and I was almost certainly using a UV filter) but there was little one could do about it then apart from use a different transparency film.

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