Thursday the 14th June 2012 – Speyside – Inverness – Kingissie
We got up and had a yummy hot brekky in the hotel. I admit I haven’t had haggis yet…possibly just won’t – bad tourist! We set off in the car and had a plan to loop around the long way to get to the northern part of Loch Ness and a castle that overlooks it. By the way, the locals sooo don’t get behind Nessie! Most seem to think the only way to catch a glimpse is to have a few too many drams of whisky 😉
We drove for a little way and pulled into a sign for a castle. It was the least castle like castle we have been to! It is stll being lived in, the family open sections of it up to the public…which I found so strange!! It’s called the “Ballindoch” Castle and it is very pretty. It also has large gardens and grounds to wander through, on top of the house tour. The home has lot of old furniture, kitchenware and a really lovely library. It was good and we stopped in the cafe on site (every place you visit so far in the UK has a place has a cafe attached it seems!) – for some coffee and cake. We then walked through the gardens and down to the river, they have a little fishing lodge there… One day, if I win lotto several times..!
Caught sight of a red squirrel!
We drove onwards for awhile and stopped in Elgin – Scotland’s smallest city. We had Indian for lunch – it was ok, but not fantastic…Greg is on the hunt for a killer vindaloo – him and Lucy both love Indian food. (I like it, but don’t love it :P) After lunch we had a wander through the tiny city (managed to find an op shop = score!) and then visited the Elgin Cathedral. It was built around mid 1300s and used until 1560, but it is now mostly ruins. It is known as the “Lantern of the North” – it is very pretty – well worth a visit. You can climb up one of the towers and there is a bit of ground to explore.
Driving on we headed toward Inverness, the traffic got pretty busy as it was getting later in the day. We got past the city and started to get our first views of Loch Ness. It is big! Dark and lovely. I didn’t catch a sight of anything strange, but it was nice to look at. We wound our way around the edge, then caught sight of Urquart Castle . This is the best castle we have seen in Scotland (as voted by Greg, Lucy and I!)..so far anyhoo!
It overlooks the loch, it is quite big and there are a few things to clamber up and down to explore. Why was just that little bit cooler than Edinburgh and Stirling? The location alone for one and also how battle ravaged it appears! The castle has had a bloody and long history (most seem to have though!) and you can learn all about it in a ten minute presentation in the visitor centre. It features some actors in period dress, including a scene using Edinburgh castle (in the very chairs Greg and I were sitting in the day before!) … it is a bit over the top, but still delivers the history 😉
We headed home, enjoying the clouds and mountains and pretty greenery. We had dinner back at our hotel again, then had a sly port at the bar. The manager was quite nice and he was easy to chat to. I went and had a cup of tea and girly chats with Lucy, while Greg read the internets.
Friday the 15th June, 2012 – Kingussie – Glasgow – Hamilton
The next morning we packed up and headed south to Glasgow – it was a miserable rainy day! It made Glasgow city seem very, very gloomy! We had a pub lunch with Lucy before we had to say goodbye to her! She was catching the train that arvo. It was so nice to have her on the trip, it was great fun!
Greg and I checked into a hotel about ten minutes down the motor way from Glasgow in a place called Hamilton. We basically crashed out! A bit tired from driving all over the country side, we spent a day and a night not doing very much. (Went to a movie at the local shops!) It was much needed battery recharge time. We only have a little bit of holiday left and there is always so much so see! Scotland is beautiful though! I need to develop a taste for whiskey and come back!
Such a pretty photo of the red squirrel. All the photos are great tho.
Always so much to see – how true, but you are doing well!