The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #157 TBD


A reader writes:

My contest submission is McGrath, Alaska, USA or some other town in central Alaska.  Key identifiers: river, with low balding hills on the other side.   The housing looks a little too nice, unfortunately, but I’ll go with my guess anyway.


When I saw this photo, the hills immediately made me think of the region (Umbria) surrounding Lake Trasimeno in central Italy. There are several small towns surrounding the lake, a famous lake from antiquities when Hannibal drove a Roman army into the lake and turned it red; and Passignano sits on a part of the lake where across from the town you would see this type of view. Europe has had a very late spring, so the green foliage seems just about right instead of the normal brown you’d typically see in central Italy at this time of the year. If it’s not Lake Trasimeno, please don’t tell me.  I’m having a flashback to my time there more than a decade ago.  Don’t ruin it for me.


Answer:  The picture was taken from the lounge room at the Tom-na-Creige Bed & Breakfast located between the towns of Onich and North Ballachulish, Scotland, PH33 6RY.  The B&B’s website even has a picture taken from the same window with a cat sitting next to the model boat (though the picture seems dated because the building on the foreground on the right has a newer roof in the contest photo):


I love that this week’s picture is from the Glen Coe area.  We took our daughter, then almost two years old, to Scotland before our son was born.  This week’s contest brings back so many great memories.  I started flipping through our photos from the trip and looking at our AA road map.  It turns out that we drove over the Ballachulish Bridge (on the left side of the contest picture) and right past the Tom-na-Creige B&B on our way from Glen Coe to Ben Nevis four years ago yesterday on June 7, 2009.  I’m attaching a picture of Glen Coe from that day.  A beautiful landscape that pictures just can’t capture:

Glen Coe

I suspect, however, that you will receive many correct answers because of the flyer for Mayfest at the Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe (about 9 miles away) resting on the table.  We drove by that Inn too on our way to and from the Three Sisters in Glen Coe.  And I’m also sure that I’m not alone among your readership for that either.

Unfortunately we didn’t notice the very faint but visible lettering on the flyer until after posting the contest photo, and by the time we cropped and replaced the photo (seen above), scores of readers had submitted their entries. Oops. Exact details from the submitter:


I am the reader who submitted the photo of this week’s View From Your Window contest. Looking forward to see what the readers say!  (I wonder if the pamphlet resting on the window sill will be of any help to them.) Seeing it in the contest made me nervous, however. I figured I had better make sure I have the location details correct, especially considering that when I first sent you the photo I had the wrong loch identified, which I corrected in a followup email.  Anyway, here are the details:

This photo was taken from the breakfast room of the Tom-na-Creige Bed & Breakfast in Scotland.  It is located on the A82 in Onich, between Ballachulish and Fort William.  The body of water is Loch Linnhe.  The innkeepers told us that Tom-na-Creige means Hill of Rock in Gaelic.

The attached photo shows the window from which the photo was taken.  I also attached some maps based on the GPS coordinates of photos I took at the B&B:

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 1.18.54 PM

A reader tells a story:

When I saw the house to the left I thought it’s got to be Scotland and, by the landscape, the west coast. Then I saw the bridge and instinctively exclaimed Ballachulish. I was disappointed later to notice the flyer for Chlachaig Inn and to realise that everyone will quickly come to Ballachulish (it’s the first hit).

My Ballachulish story goes back to the sixties and seventies when I was a boy living in Bridge of Allan, Scotland. Every year we would holiday with my paternal grandparents who lived in Glenbeg, Ardnamurchan. The holidays were dire – it invariably rained, the food was awful (reconstituted powdered milk on my cornflakes and every meat dish was based on venison offal), and my grandfather and father would have blazing rows.

Worst though, was the journey. According to Google maps the distance is only 119 miles but it took all day. The last 30 miles were on vomit-inducing, winding single-tracked roads with passing places. Before we got there, though, were the ferries at Ballachulish and Ardgour. These were a treat – a chance to get out of the car and feel the wind in your hair. Occasionally the queues were so long at Ballachulish that Dad would decide to drive around the top of the loch. This was very bad news – not only missing the brief joy of a ferry break but an extra hour’s driving in Dad’s Hillman Hunter (and, later, a Triumph PI).

In 1974 we moved to the US and there were no more holidays in Ardnamurchan. I believe the bridge was completed the following year. I only once drove over it – an early-morning dash from Edinburgh to my grandparents’ house which took under three hours (including the Ardgour ferry) in my beaten up Alfa Romeo GTV on empty, pre-speed-camera roads. The horrible journey of my youth had become a glorious pre-breakfast run.

We can’t really pick a winner for this contest view, since the flyer gave away the location for so many readers, so below is a redo view, which we will score on Thursday at 1 pm:

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 12.11.57 PM

You have until noon on Thursday to guess it. City and/or state first, then country. Please put the location in the subject heading, along with any description within the email. If no one guesses the exact location, proximity counts.  Be sure to email entries to Winner gets a free The View From Your Window book. Have at it.