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Mallaig (Malaig)

There isn’t much to do at Mallaig – or Malaig as the signs have it. (It seems a bit pointless to have the name repeated only without an “l” but bilinguality seems to be important once you get to Crianlarich – or A’ Chrìon Làraich if you prefer.)

Mallaig’s raison d’être was herring fishing. That’s why the railway was run into there in the first place. I can remember the fish trains rumbling past my boyhood home in the wee hours. Now the herring fishing has gone but I believe prawns have taken their place, shipped all over Europe – by lorry.

Mind you I did buy a book. There’s a building directly opposite the station which among other things houses a second hand bookshop. There is a “first hand” bookshop further into the town but it had mostly touristy books.

There were the expected tourist outlets and several cafes and restaurants, some of which doubled up as chippies, plus a Co-op.

We had nearly two hours to kill though.

The Marine Hotel is just across the access road to the station. I leave you to decide if it’s Deco or not:-

We wandered round the coast road a bit. This is a panorama of the harbour from the other side of the bay. (To get to the larger version on my flickr click on the picture):-

Walking back into the village I saw this intriguing building on the harbour entrance. This side is a fishselling business:-

The building is quite big. The other side is/was a cafe and a ship chandler’s. The cafe bit was closed so may be defunct.

Not content with three business premises the side facing the harbour provides shipping services:-

This is a panorama of the other side of the bay from the harbour entrance:-

The harbour mouth:-

You can just see a fisherman’s statue in the above. Beyond where I took the next one was permitted personnel only so I took this long shot:-

That was Mallaig.

Strathfillan War Memorial, Crianlarich

This stands at the junction of the A 85 and A 82. As you’re coming along the A 85 from Lochearnhead you can’t see it as it’s hidden by the railway bridge and the trees of the memorial garden. It was only on the way back that we spotted it.

The memorial is dedicated to the men from Strathfillan who gave their lives in the Great War. I couldn’t see any names for WW2. I don’t know if Crianlarich has a WW2 memorial located elsewhere.

Lochearnhead War Memorial

We’ve been away again.

There’ll be some Art Deco buildings – or 30s style at least – coming up and, of course, War Memorials.

This is Lochearnhead War Memorial, by the road at the end of Loch Earn where the A 85 turns right to go on to Crianlarich.

A very dignified design, a stone rectangle embossed with a Celtic style cross. There are six names from the Great War, two from World War 2.

Connel Bridge

The good lady and I took a short trip over to the west coast early in August. We travelled via the A 84 through Callander and past Loch Lubnaig up to the A 85.

Suddenly, on reaching Crianlarich, we had entered Gaeldom. The green background A-road signs displayed the English names of destinations in the usual white but in yellow there was in addition the Gaelic.* Glaschu and An t-Òban, for example for Glasgow and Oban. Fort William was easy to decipher being An Gearasdan – the garrison – how literal; as was stèisean for station.

Now, it’s years since I’ve been that far over but I don’t remember any Gaelic* road signs in Argyll and Bute back then. Up north, round Inverness and the like, yes; but not over in the west. Or had I just forgotten?

Anyway we passed through Connel. When I were a lad I’m sure it was called Connel Ferry. (Or was that just the railway station?) There’s no ferry now, of course. But there is a striking modern bridge. The photo is a stitch to get it all in.

Loch Etive, a sea loch, was running into the Firth of Lorne like a river tumbling down a slope.

The water was roiling and churning under the bridge quite fiercely.Though the water wasn’t very deep I wouldn’t have liked to be a ferrymaster dealing with that lot.

*This should, of course, be Gàidhlig.

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