Thursday, July 31, 2014

Travel tales: Scotland part 2

Where was I....? Ah, I covered Edinburgh in this post, but that was just the first couple days of our little Scottish jaunt.

Day 3 saw us on the road to the Highlands. We were bound for Inverness, but thought we'd stop along the way to see some sights and have some lunch. Which ended up involving a distillery tour at Dalwhinnie and a pie from the servo.

The distillery tour was great - our guide was an entertaining fellow, and as I consider whisky one of my hobbies (...what?!), it was interesting to see how the golden liquid is produced. We also got a tasting and a souvenir glass. Being a bit serious about my whisky, I opted to pay for an additional tasting of three whiskies, paired with locally made chocolates - purely for scientific research purposes, you understand.

Whisky and chocolate - a match made in heaven.
Fortified by good Scotch whisky (me that is; Bike Boy was driving), we forged onwards to Inverness.

After checking in at our B&B, we set off to explore the town. We *may* have been distracted by a pub we stumbled across and abandoned our walking tour prematurely. Dinner, drinks, walking distance from our accommodation...what more could you want?

The Castle Tavern. Who could resist the warm glow of those lights and the musical clink of glasses?

The following day was dedicated to sightseeing. After fortifying ourselves with a massive breakfast, courtesy of our hosts, we soaked up a bit of Scottish history at Culloden battlefield and wandered through the glorious gardens of Cawdor Castle.

Then it was onto the REAL reason we were in Inverness: to have dinner with my lovely blogger mate and ex-pat Aussie Shauna and her fab husband. We chatted for hours about Scotland, Australia, travel, food, this and that, and generally had a fun night - and managed to not take a single photo. Oops. Bad bloggers.

Oh, I did take this one of Loch Ness from the pub car park (no monster in sight, sorry).

Leaving Inverness next morning, we drove along the length of Loch Ness and around past Ben Nevis, stopping at Fort William for some pretty decent fish and chips for lunch. The scenery changed markedly. Along the loch it was green and lush with wildflowers blooming, but as we climbed up into the hills, it became wild, bare and dramatic with patches of snow glinting on the higher slopes. There aren't many places you can stop for photos though, so this is about all I have:

SNOW. On the last day of June. 

Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness. 

I dunno. Somewhere between Ben Nevis and Fort William

We stayed in the beautiful village of Luss for our final night in Scotland. I could have happily stayed there for a week. It was so peaceful, so pretty and our accommodation was GORGEOUS.

I did have a creepy feeling of being watched though. Possibly something to do with the stuffed birds, fish and deer heads hanging on the walls of the bar and restaurant. Decorating with dead animals is a thing in Scotland, apparently.

Luss - on beautiful Loch Lomond
We took a short cruise on the loch before we left next day, and then we were on our way to The SOUTH. That's how all the road signs are written, in capital letters. I felt I had to shout "THE SOUTH!!!" every time we passed one. It amused Bike Boy endlessly. Especially after about the tenth time.


We bypassed Glasgow, stopped very briefly at Gretna Green (horrible tourist trap, don't bother) and we were heading on into Cumbria for our next adventure.

Scotland, you won me over. I'll be back, just as soon as I can.



Shauna said...

LOOOOOVE your pics... it was so good to see you!

Kek said...

You too, Lovely! Wish I'd been able to hang about in Inverness longer and spend more time with you. And I'm SO grateful for all your suggestions and your fabbo maps. xx

As for the pics, you need to get ye that new camera, stat! I'm very happy with my wee compact Samsung, it's done a great job.

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