Touring: The Isle of Skye and the West Coast of Scotland in a Mercedes C class diesel - Mercedes-Benz Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
st4
BenzWorld Member
 
st4's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2009 C220cdi sport estate with no options
Location: Scotland
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Touring: The Isle of Skye and the West Coast of Scotland in a Mercedes C class diesel

Day one: Getting to Skye

As you know from the thread in the Benz bin I decided to tour the Isle of Skye with my time off.

I had decided that as I had an immensely enjoyable tour last March towards the end, I would repeat the idea but tour somewhere differently.

Thing is, the weather started off terribly and watching the weather forecast was depressing. My plans were ruined but there was a glimmer of hope in the form of a sun over Skye.

Quickly charged Nikons, checked tyres and basic fluid levels in the car (added a couple of litres of screen wash) and hit the road.

The forecast for Sunday was epic, clear blue skies but cold. Saturday was a hellish day but I had the winter tyres on. I took the direct route to Skye on Saturday which takes you along some of the finest driving roads Scotland has to offer. The majestic A82 and A87.

There was snow, and high winds so drifting snow was encountered on the run to Ballahulish. In fact I encountered several over turned lorries and vans on the drive up, which was a timely reminder to use the speedtronic feature of my Mercedes and set it to a lower speed of 50mph, strong gusts of winds made the driving trecherous particularly on the Rannoch Moor sections of the 82.

Deep snow was encountered and I was glad of my winter tyres


_DSC0208 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Getting out of this laybe was easy with minimal wheel spin. The cold had got to me, so I aimed for the Ballahulish hotel for Lunch and began the descent through the pass of Glencoe.

Its amazing what 500ft or so descent makes. No snow, but windy.


DSC_0019 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Lunch itself was excellent and the hotel comes highly recommended, generous portions, good service and reasonable price and a big car park to keep your Mercedes safe, not that crime here is a problem, but its best to keep your baby safe.

The drive from here takes you half way up the Great Glen and you turn off at Invergarry and hit the A87. This is the finest driving road and it was a feature of the tour.

I mean look.


_DSC0217 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

If a road like this doesn't excite you, IMHO you should not be driving, and despite the winter tyres that give a vaguer steering feel and lower grip threshold (not always a bad thing) there is decent fun to be had even between 50 and 60. Mercedes I suspect with the C class decided not to spend the money on corrosion prevention judging by the state of my alloys or the interior trim, which is IMHO very average for a car of this price, but rather on dampers and decent springs.

The driving on this sort of road is immense and you can take pretty much every corner between 50 and 60, and the shocks do such a good job of keeping the car upright and it never comes close to bottoming out. It's incredible such a humdrum estate car can provide so much entertainment.

See that Loch in the picture. It ain't real. Its called Loch Clunie and is in fact a resevoir.


DSC_0023 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

One thing I feel the Scots can learn from their brethern in Wales and England is how to make an attractive resevoir. Places like Ladybower and Lake Vwyrwn are actively more scenic due to the Dams that were built. This is a monstrosity. But we do owe a fairly large debt of gratitude to this Dam as its given the A87 its path, and the path it treads is a long, sweeping and undulating one which makes it truly epic for those who like driving. And chances are, as you are reading this, you like driving.

Remember my chat about the weather...

Well, the further North and West I went this got better. At Kintail (15mi or so short of Kyle of Lochalsh) I shot this. Clear sky, strong wind, no snow. A good indication of the day ahead on Skye.


_DSC0238 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

My speeds were curtailed due to the bad weather. Really curtailed in sections, normally I really hoof it along here but conditions and tyres (winter tyres IMHO really perform poorly above 50mph) but a direct upshot of this was


_DSC0249 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Day Two: Touring Skye:

I took a B&B in Broadford. I had planned on sleeping in the car to keep the costs of the tour down, but the level of cold weather (nearly 0c) meant discretion took the better part of valor. The B&B was only £30per night and I like a good fry up so money well spent.

I decided to earn my Breakfast, so took a 5min drive down the 87 to place called Breakish and got my early morning image I travelled so far to get...


DSC_0033 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Now, I've never really been to Skye, so took a punt on heading to Portree and Staffin as looking at the topography is the hilliest and being a landscape photographer, I felt this was the correct course of action to take.

Along the A87 you get some truly remarkable views....

In order of seeing them

1. Loch Ainort


_DSC0266 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

2.Scurr nan Gillean (I think)


DSC_0056 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

The road itself is truly remarkable, and as a major road is double track and well sighted, you can really gun it along here just be mindful of sheep and rough bumps. The C sport is perfectly suited to this. To be fair my old E could have been terrific up here, but the mid corner bumps would have been nastier in the E. The shocks keep sudden body movements better in check and the lighter mass (200kg) really is felt. It's as if Mercedes went against their brief of making cars for the motorway and built something fun and sporting instead. Its terrific and I reckon engine aside, on a twisting road, it would hold its own against a GTi Golf I borrowed and possibly an impreza, it grips tenaciously, turns where you want it to, and resists roll. Understeer is much better contained actually than in a FWD GTi Golf but the grip levels etc are similar.

Terrific fun and the roads really do cater for a press on attack driving.

Further up at Portree, I decided to aim for Staffin. I wanted to particularly photograph Old Man of Storr. I did twice...


DSC_0061 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Even further up you get to the Falls at Kilt Rock, the light was nasty mid day light but you can still get the idea...


_DSC0290 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Staffin is great for wild life and bird watchers. I am not hugely interested in this, but this is where you go if you are. If I had longer, I'd have attached my 50mm prime and gone looking for wildlife but the mood was for a very different Wildlife. The cooked variety....

Which led me to dine here


_DSC0294 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

The Flodigarry Hotel does a truly inspiration menue of Scottish cuisine. Its not cheap, but one of the finest places to dine in Skye, and yes, I did go in dressed like that (I can sense gizze having a fit) and Haggis Neaps and taties, roast beef and a strawberry cheese cake later I was fit for the road...

Mercedes built a remarkable car here, so I decided where best to test it than a road that says "15% Gradient, road normally impassible in winter conditions". A sign that says that always leads into a road that challenges car and driver. Manual mode selected and I charged up it, hair pin bends, single track, some well sighted sections, it has the lot. Not quite as exciting as Beleach Na Ba, but not far off it.


_DSC0305 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

This road takes you to the other side of Skye, which to be honest, isn't as pleasant, so I headed back to Old Man of Storr and got a less cloudy picture.


_DSC0311 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

I had a little time on my hands, so went to the pub to get Irn Bru (I don't drink alcohol no more so I guess the lack of mentioning of Distilleries in this thread is disturbing to some, but they are of no interest to me whatsoever so no pics of them) and planned my sunset trip....

There is no finer location for a Sunset in Scotland than Elgol, Isle of Skye. This is a fact.

So I went there. The drive to Elgol is amazing fun in a C sport and in my last car was a slight PITA, it was just a tad too large. 50mph may not seem fast to you, but up here with sheep, single track roads and tight bends in sections its plenty, and its fun. The superior shocks on this car really show up, I chinned my old 211 several times along here at speeds 10mph less, the C would take more, but its driver would not.

Anyway. Sunsets.

Don't you just HATE other people. The best spots were taken by a chap who was running a class for lesser photographers. Between them they sown up the best spot, but they make an interesting subject...


_DSC0351 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

The sunset wasn't the best, so I took this


_DSC0358 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Drove back and the days touring was


DSC_0069 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr
[B][U]
st4 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
st4
BenzWorld Member
 
st4's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2009 C220cdi sport estate with no options
Location: Scotland
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Day 3: Elgol, Hebridean light and the journey back [/U][/B]

I was not pleased about the other photographers ruining the spot I wished to take my sunset and I was not at all pleased with the picture I took. Elgol has dramatic views over the Black Coullins and is simply one of my favourite places. The road is truly epic and as such, to conclude a road trip there is most excellent. After breakfast I went back....


_DSC0378 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr


I am happy now. Elgol is classically used as a sunset location for photographers. Personally, it looks cracking during the day. Look at that water. It really was JUST like this


_DSC0383 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

However the weather was changing, so I drove back.

Clearly the snow hadn't really shifted much. Back at Glencoe the Pap of Glencoe is covered in snow


_DSC0408 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Had lunch in Ballahulish (the fish and chips come highly recommended) and got battered by wind in Glencoe, the pass of Glencoe covered in snow.....


_DSC0419 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Given the cold weather and undulating terrain, I've bettered the combined figures in 2 out of 3 runs....


DSC_0070 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

So, once again, the C class estate shines in Scotland.
st4 is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
st4
BenzWorld Member
 
st4's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2009 C220cdi sport estate with no options
Location: Scotland
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
......

Last edited by st4; 03-26-2013 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Duplicate
st4 is offline  
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:53 PM
Moderator
 
Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: 90 300E, 99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
Location: WI
Posts: 19,096
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Quoted: 932 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Very nice road trip.

Scotland is amazing.
Noodles is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
st4
BenzWorld Member
 
st4's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2009 C220cdi sport estate with no options
Location: Scotland
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
Very nice road trip.

Scotland is amazing.
Its why I bought the car, for fun road trips. Its nice to drive, cheap to fuel (small diesel engine) with just enoigh shove (170bhp) and I can sleep in the back of it.

I've had an E320cdi W211, and a E220cdi W211 before, but this is the most fun to drive on the twisty roads.
st4 is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 02:11 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Kajtek1's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2005
Vehicle: W211 E320 Bluetec R129 SL500 - $1300 car ........ Ford F350 6l
Location: CA Bay Area
Posts: 31,797
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 1127 Post(s)
C class with diesel engine. Why Americans can't think about it?
Enjoy the trip and can you remind us the view of original Scottish stool?
Kajtek1 is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
st4
BenzWorld Member
 
st4's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2009 C220cdi sport estate with no options
Location: Scotland
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
C class with diesel engine. Why Americans can't think about it?
Enjoy the trip and can you remind us the view of original Scottish stool?
Diesels are coming slowly to the US IIRC.

I can see you've got them.

Diesel engines out sell petrols in C classes, E classes something like 9 to 1.

Whilst a petrol may give a slight refinement advantage, the diesels now make as much peak power (bar the AMG series) or nearly as much peak power with much more low down torque.

I had an E320cdi V6CDi. It was good for 155mph on the German Autobahn
st4 is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 08:41 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Kajtek1's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2005
Vehicle: W211 E320 Bluetec R129 SL500 - $1300 car ........ Ford F350 6l
Location: CA Bay Area
Posts: 31,797
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 1127 Post(s)
The E320cdi I did own was governed at 130mph in US version.
In US big oil is running the politics and they don't want you to drive 50-60 mpg cars. They will push you to drive 7 mpg Hummers and pickups.
So how about those stools?
Kajtek1 is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
st4
BenzWorld Member
 
st4's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2009 C220cdi sport estate with no options
Location: Scotland
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
You've lost me with the Stools?

This C class has averaged in my usage including urban, fast country road driving and highway driving over 40uk mpg.

Reckon a star machine would get rid of the 130mph limit. Still, its fast enough as IIRC your limits are similar to ours?

Your nations politics are different, here is CO2 obsessed. I used to run a V8 4.4i X5 five years ago and I used to average 18mpg. Fuel prices have gone up by a third, but a more efficient model has seen my fuel bill drop.
st4 is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 09:17 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Kajtek1's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2005
Vehicle: W211 E320 Bluetec R129 SL500 - $1300 car ........ Ford F350 6l
Location: CA Bay Area
Posts: 31,797
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 1127 Post(s)
Our Scottish member posted a picture of the original stool years ago, but I can't find it anymore. Google can't find a good one neither.
You know, the stool that makes Scottish man in original dress sit comfortable?
Just teasing you, but that was funny item
Kajtek1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > General Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome