Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I was in-ver-ness (Inverness)

Ah my rapping days were over well before they started.

D and me had decided earlier last week that we would venture a little further, so instead of going East or West of Scotland, we went North. Up as far as Inverness.
But before we got there, there was a lot of driving to do (just over four hours), so there was lots of stopping and sight seeing on the scenic A82 as now and again our attention was drawn to these magnificent rocky pyramids.
In true Scottish style it rained on us throughout our sojourn.
But the scenery was stunning and breathless at times. This picture was taken as we approached Glencoe.
There were plenty of highland cattle about, but this one especially caught my eye.
We paused at the Commando Memorial in Lochaber. This monument was unveiled in 1952 and is dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Since it unveiling it has become one of Scotland's best-known war memorial. As such it is used as site for memorial services. There is also a Garden of Remembrance, which has become a place where many families have scattered ashes and left behind tributes to loved ones who belonged to contemporary Commando units and those who have died in more recent conflicts such as the Falklands War or in Afghanistan and Iraq. This site is also serves as a tourist attraction offering views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr.
Next it was a stop at Castle Urquhart on the banks of Loch Ness. It was once Scotlands largest castle, but that is not the only reason why people come here.
Whether or not Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster exists - this place is a magnet that draws visitors from all over the world. I have to admit I was not happy on paying the entrance fees of what essentially was ruin overlooking the 600 foot deep waters. I would have been happy taking a peek of the loch ness from the A82, but unfortunately views are heavily restricted by trees, but hey at least I can say 'I've been there' now'.
We finally arrived in Inverness. After checking in to our bed and breakfast accommodation, we headed to the city centre. The skies remained grey spitting on us now and again.
We wandered through the Victorian Market. Stopped and had cake and coffee at Leakeys Second Hand bookstore. This bookshop is housed in an old Gaelic church; and Yes, I came out with a couple of cookbooks.
Then walked up to Inverness Castle, one of Scotlands more modern castles!
This is a view of the River Ness from Inverness Castle.
We had a peek inside Inverness Museum. This is a collection of boards with the names of trees, plants and herbs. I was intrigued to know more about this. Apparently this was a way to preserve and teach children the Gaerlic alphabet. Instead of the traditional way of learning the alphabet A is for apple, B is for Ball. Here is was learning the names of trees, plants and herbs, for example L is for Luin (Rowan), M is for Muin (Vine honeysuckle) and so on. So it was not about just learning the language, but also about nature.
Later in the evening we walked to Ness Islands. Two Victorian style suspension bridges link the islands together and to the banks of the river. Its a pleasant walk and provides breathing space from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, but i am sure if you were a local there are times you would avoid walking through the park as you may encounter the occasional drunk. Regardless of this, I really liked it here, the artistic wooden benches that blended in well with the environment.
Look I even found Nessie.


  1. sounds like a pleasant scottish summer's day :-) I love those wooden benches and the sound of the book shop - have only been to inverness very briefly on a tour and always wished to go back so appreciate seeing a little more of the town - thanks

  2. what a lovely trip you had! Scotland looks beautiful. I would love to have some cake in a Gaelic church become bookstore!

  3. You are so lucky to live near such beautiful places!

  4. what an adventure you had.
    Grey is how I remember Inverness from the one day trip we made there on honeymoon nearly 12 years ago. It poured with rain the whole time we were there so I'm sad to say while we loved the idea of visiting the castle we barely ventured from the high street. My most vivid memory is our trip to Millets to buy raincoats and a rucksack!

  5. Thanks Johanna.
    Yes a typical Scottish summers day!

    The city centre is not up to much, but the rest of it is fine, esp the Ness Islands.

    Thank you Darlene.

    Thanks Rose.
    I'm sure if you drove four hours from where you live, you'd find a beautiful part in you neck of the woods :)

    Thanks Nic.
    Not over - still more pictures and adventures to share.

    Grey sounds right. Funny we too ended up looking in a couple of stores for a raincoat for D. He lost his in the allotment fire.

    You didn't miss much re the castle. You can walk the grounds, but its not open to visitors.

  6. WOW! Stunning scenery! I love the castles (old and new!) They are very cool! I will be waiting to see what you cook up from on e of those cookbooks you grabbed!

  7. Thanks Morgan.
    I like looking at castles (old and new) from the outside.

    Seen some recipes in the cookbooks that I picked up. One of the books was Jamaican Vegetarian.

  8. I'm really enjoying your pics from scotland - reminds me that it's been way too long since I've been. Last time I was there I took a hike 'round loch ness. Not too many tourists, surprisingly. But similar, thought that's not very surprising for Scotland!

  9. Visited Nairn, years ago, but we didn't venture into Inverness itself, (3 young children, a amall caravan and an endlessly wet summer holiday possibly the reason!) Must visit now we are child free, your post here has inspired me.

    May go up on the train, it will be a lovely trip from Central Scotland.

    Again lovely photographs.


  10. I also love Inverness!! We went there 4 years ago, when we went on Holiday in the Scottish Highlands. We stayed in B&B's!

    I am a big fan of the beautiful & cultural Scotland!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  11. So lovely to hear from you Sophie.

    Yes, there is a part of Inverness that is just B&B land. We stayed there too!

  12. Thanks Monica.
    A hike 'round loch ness sounds great, you got to be a serious or adventurous walker for that!

    Thank you Jeannie.
    Guess what my next blog entry will be on Nairn. I liked it much more than Inverness.

    Now that you are child free, maybe another visit is due. Just hope the weather is kind to you.

    I'll pass on the compliemnts re the photographs to my husband. Mostly his handy work!

  13. I've been to Inverness a couple of times many years ago. Would you believe my husband and I tried to have a swim in Loch Ness?!! It was extremely nippy even in the heat of summer and there were a lot of slippery rocks. We dipped in as gracefully as possible and then made a hasty retreat back to the car (there were a few people about - no doubt wondering why we were doing what we were doing!!)

  14. Hello fellow Cabbage Tree Farmer.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    I am absolutely amazed, stunned in fact that you and your husband dipped into the Loch Ness. You both are so brave and Adventurous! I must add. The water must have been freezing!

    The cloest I got to the water and could have easily dipped when I was at Urqhart Castle, I could have wet my feet - but the thought of the cold water - nah I'd give it a pass.

  15. i have ony been to Scotland once, and stayed in a cottoge on the edge of Lock Lomond. It was so restful, I loved every mminute of it. I enjoyed your picture journey

  16. I live quite close to Loch Lomond, so its a regular trip with family and friends when they come up to visit.

    so pleased you enjoyed the picture journey.

    Thank you.


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