Twelve days vacation, ten days riding, with a group of British Bike Riders from the US. This will be an adventure into the culture of motorcycling in the UK... beginning with the infamous Isle of Man and continuing on into Scotland where ledgeds thousands of years old still give birth to new dreams.
Welcome folks... for a ride from the home of the Beatles to the northern most tip of the United Kingdom
A special challenge at the beginning of the journey. 4 stolen bikes, two very eager tour guides and ultimately fantastic solutions that promise a good trip.
3 bikes are waiting for us on the Isle of Man. More bikes will be ready when we return to the mainland! After a hearty breakfast we started towards the ferry to the Isle of Man in good, dry weather heading north. We left the heavy traffic of Liverpool, along the coast through Southport, stopped for a delicious coffee at the Cafe " Tastebuds at the wharf" and finally reached the Heysham ferry at around 1pm. First driving attempts in left-hand traffic, a few roundabouts, no problem at all.
However, one problem and ultimately impossible was parking the van and trailer in the Heysham ferry port, so that Paul was unfortunately unable to accompany the group to the Isle of Man. After a smooth crossing we reached Douglas around 6pm and 10min. later the hotel.
At 7pm we met Mike, the owner of the local motorbike rental who provided us with 3 bikes.
A little later we enjoyed good food, even enjoyed a very special, actually more Scottish specialty, a fried Mars bar and rounded off the evening with a good MPA, a Manx Pale Ale. Last challenge of the evening, the somewhat intimidating elevator in the Regency Hotel. Tomorrow the TT race course welcomes us!
Of course, everyone spent our rest day on the Isle of Man on their motorbikes. Who comes to the Manx and doesn't ride a motorcycle? No one! And so we started in a good mood shortly after 8 for the first lap on the racetrack. Not so easy to find your way in rush hour traffic. Sometimes you take a wrong turn here, sometimes you miss the gas station, but in the end we make it out of the hustle and bustle of Douglas together and begin to understand how incredibly fast an average speed of 130 miles is on these bumpy roads surrounded by hedges and stone walls. After the 37 mile loop we treat ourselves to a quick coffee stop before paying a visit to Mr. Murray, the 91 year old owner of the incredibly impressive Murrays Museum. The smell of oil and history is in the air, there's no question about the Manx that he can't answer. A little later we wave to the fairies and we are very grateful that they are merciful to us a little later and saved us from greater harm. We strengthen ourselves in the wind and sunshine at the southern end of the island in the Sound Cafe and continue to Peel, to Peel Castle. Heading north again over the race course, we finally visit the racing legend Joey Dunlop and pay our respects to him before we reach our hotel again in the early evening with a big grin on our faces. There is no escaping the myth of the Isle of Man, it is simply contagious!
Today we started at 7.30am to catch the ferry back to Heysham. After a smooth crossing, we didn't have to wait long before the EDELWEISS promise was fulfilled and really everyone had their own motorcycle after the somewhat special and complicated start of the tour. In a good mood, we again took a ferry across the lake in Windermere. As if in another world, we reached the Lake District National Park with its dense forests, meadows and mountains. We reached the Hardknot Pass via narrow roads and decided to split up. The brave climbed the pass and the rest of the group got the chance to enjoy a fantastic view of the mountains and lakes around Keswick. After a short tank stop, we reached the wonderful Hotel Horse & Farrier around 5:30 p.m
Today we started in good weather in Edinburgh north-west towards Ballachulish. Our first stop was the Falkirk Wheel, an engineering feat that lifts boats over 24 meters in the air. A little later we reached Stirling Castle from which it is said "If Stirling Castle falls, then all of Scotland falls". Strategically, 3 rock flanks were used so that attackers only had one direction of attack, which was excellent to defend. A good 2 hours later, after a hearty lunch, we reached the most impressive part of today's route, the day, the Glencoe valley, which opens up into a wide, very impressive mountain world up to Ballahulish. Luckily we reached the hotel before the heavy rain and Paul was already waiting for us with a boot beer!
Heute sind wir bei gutem Wetter in Edinburgh nach Nordwesten, Richtung Ballachulish gestartet. Unser erster Stop führte uns zum Falkirk Wheel, einem ingenieurtechnischen Geniestreich, der Boote über 24 Meter in die Höhe hebt. Etwas später erreichten wir Stirling Castle von der es heißt " Fällt Stirling Castle, dann fällt ganz Schottland". Strategisch wurden 3 Felsflanken genutzt sodass Angreifern lediglich eine Angriffsrichtung blieb die dadurch exzellent zu verteidigen war. Gute 2 Stunden später nach einem ausgiebigen Mittagessen erreichten wir den beeindrucksten Teil der heutigen Strecke, dem Tag, das Tal Glencoe, das sich in eine weite, sehr beeindruckende Bergwelt bis nach Ballahulish öffnet. Wir erreichten das Hotel glücklicherweise vor dem starken Regen und Paul erwartete uns bereits mit einem Bootbier!
Today we started on time in good Achottian weather (no rain) in Ballahulish towards the Isle of Skye. Our first stop took us to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a railway bridge that owes its fame to the Harry Potter films. A little later we reached the impressive Eilean Donan Castle and took our time to explore the entire, very impressive complex. A good half hour later we reach the Isle of Skye via a bridge. Of course we treated ourselves to an extensive 2-hour tour of the island until we finally reached our hotel around 5 p.m. Scotland like in a picture book, no rain, what luck.
A great day starts with a good breakfast and so we start our day with delicious porridge in the privacy of our rooms before we set off towards Inverness. The weather is good (no rain) and after we left the Isle of Skye again, we reach the Applecross Pass at the beginning of the legendary "The 500" motorcycle dream road. One could think one is in Norway, the narrow road winds its way between mountains up to a high plateau. Then it winds further, always along the north coast of Scotland and after every bend another, great view awaits us, one or the other nervous sheep, a Scottish highland cattle or a stag with his wife and daughter. With a lot of luck we will reach Inverness dry and without rain after fantastic hours of pure driving pleasure and end the evening with very tasty local delicacies. What a fantastic day!!!
On the rest day in Inverness we decide to set off for different destinations. Following old memories, hovh to the north or everything to do with Nessie was the motto on this again rain-free day. Although we managed to track down many plush fellows around Loch Ness, the mystery of Nessie remained unsolved for us too. Exciting to watch the ships that can traverse the whole of Scotland through the Caledonian Canal as they climb the stairs through the weirs in Fort Augustus. Exciting in every way Each and exciting day and in quiet awareness grateful for the favor of the "little people" of the Isle of Man
Today we set out from Inverness eastwards to Aberdeen in again impressively good Scottish weather. At an early hour we first drove to the Cairngorm Mountains to get an overview of the fascinating landscape of the national park with a fantastic view. After an extensive coffee & cake stop, we continued, over mountains and valleys, across harvested fields, past countless cows and sheep in all colors to the Spey River, the water dispenser of the many exclusive distilleries of "The malt whiskey way". Of course we also visited a distillery and treated ourselves to one or the other souvenir. In the late afternoon we reached our hotel in Aberdeen again dry and let the evening end in good company.
On our final day of driving we set off from Aberdeen, first to pay our respects to the Queen at Balmoral Castle. Later we had great fun driving in Tag Glennshee, through which a road, like "a rollercoaster in Disneyland" leads. Up, down, left, right, wonderful. In the afternoon we reached the Firth of Forth bridge and the biker grill "Bikers cove" which provided us with rustic burgers and a lot of heart & love for AC/DC music. A few skulls later we reached Saltire bikes, our last stop on our journey before we ended the day in the evening with many beautiful memories of this unforgettable tour, some IPA's and good food. An unforgettable journey to the Isle of Man and throughout Scotland is now coming to an end.