MBAs in Firbush

Firbush

The University of Edinburgh owns an outdoor center on the banks of Loch Tay, at the base of the Highlands. This outdoor center is used by university groups on retreats as well as individuals affiliated with the University who want to get away for the weekend. In February, the MBA’s had our first weekend retreat to Firbush, where we had the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities (structured and unstructured) and team building.  We drove up on a Friday night and arrived in time for dinner. The facility is pretty barebones in terms of amenities – it’s very much like a summer camp –  and dinner is pretty communal, but the food was decent and there was a bar and game room on the lower level that got plenty of use.

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The next day we headed out for our big activity for the day: a group hike. We made a quick pit stop at a church and the burial-place of Rob Roy, a Scottish folk hero who fought in the Jacobite uprisings of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Continue reading

Beans in Scotland: Glen Nevis and Glen Coe

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This was the last and final day of our Great Scottish Road Trip. We had a long drive ahead of us (about 4.5 hours), but we wanted to make our last day in the Highlands count. So we decided to do one last hike, this time in Glen Nevis. Glen Nevis is probably most famous as the site of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s (and Britain’s) tallest peak. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to bag a munro, so we skipped Ben Nevis and headed instead for Steall Falls. Like so much in Scotland the journey was just as breathtaking as the destination: Continue reading

Beans in Scotland: Walking the Isle of Skye

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Day 4 of our Great Scottish Road Trip was our last day on the Isle of Skye. Since our first day on Skye was spent exploring the Trotternish Peninsula, we decided to devote our second (and only full day) on the isle to its west coast. The best way to explore Skye is on foot and I wanted to experience the diversity of the island, so when I planned our trip I looked for walks and hikes that would provide a variety of scenery. In the end I chose three walks (I say walks not hikes because they’re all relatively flat and easy) from a list of “Top 10 Walks” on the Isle of Skye that would give us just that. Our plan for the day was to start at the northern-most walk and work our way south, since we planned on staying just over the bridge back on the mainland that night.  Continue reading

Beans in Scotland: The Road to Skye

Beans in Scotland Day 3 (1)

Day 3 of our Great Scottish Road Trip took us to the Isle of Skye, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides and one of the most visited places in Scotland. In keeping with our theme of seeing at least one castle per day, we added a stop at Eilean Donan Castle – Scotland’s most photographed castle – to our itinerary. The drive from Drumnadrochit to Eilean Donan Castle isn’t long – it takes just over an hour – but it passes through some spectacular scenery, including right alongside three lochs and through the mountains of Kintail. The fog was out in abundance, blanketing tree tops and capping mountain ridges. Continue reading

Beans in Scotland: Loch Morlich and Loch Ness

Beans in scotland Day 2

Loch Morlich

The morning dawned cool and clear on the Richmond Arms hotel in Tomintoul as we groggily made our way downstairs for some hot breakfast. After we’d filled up on a “Full Scottish” (eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, grilled tomato, mushrooms, black pudding, tattie scone, toast – I opted for the “just 2 eggs scrambled with toast please” version) we gathered up our stuff and headed for our first stop of the day, Loch Morlich, about a 50 minute drive across the winding roads of the Cairngorms National Park. Continue reading