Part 16: Inverness to Glenfinnan


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The Trip

The trip to Inverness was quite scary.  I was driving a rental car on the left side of the road and going through Edinburgh traffic required my full attention.  Once we were actually on the motorway, it was not so bad.  We arrived in Inverness and found a hotel for the night. Always having luck, we got the last 2 rooms.  It rained off and on, so we ate next to the hotel.  Dinner was good but not great. Next moring,  finished our exploration of Inverness and we were ready to move on to Glenfinnan.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

As night fell, I looked out my window and discovered that the bridge was lit.  I set up the camera on the window sill and too a shot with an exposure of 8 seconds at f/9, ISO 100.

I pointed the camera east toward Inverness Castle and using my Voightlander 35mm manual lens, I took a multi-frame HDR shot at ISO 50 and f/5.6.  The frames spanned 6 second to 30 second exposure and were combined with PTGui Pro.  The next morning we discovered that this structure is actually a working city building housing courts, jails and offices.

We looked around Inverness a bit before departing and saw this nice cathedral on the banks of the River Ness.

Our hotel was an older building facing the river.

We crossed over the bridge and the wind was blowing strong and cold.  Looking down river we could see snowy hills in the distance and the yellow fields of grape seed.

One of the churches undergoing renovation.

The north end of the Inverness Castle complex was in the classic style.

From the hill we could see a nice cathedral to our south.

At the south end of the government building was this nice statue of Flora MacDonald, Jacobite heroine.

We left our hotel in Inverness and headed southwest.  Our path took us past Loch Ness.  We stopped to check the temperature of the water.

From our roadside pull-out we could see down the long axis of the loch.  The yellow blooms are on a nasty bush called gorse.  Gorse has long, thick thorns that are very sharp.

From our travel path on the north side of Loch Ness, we could see ruins of Urquart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness.

The ruins were extensive, but we elected to pass on paying for the tour.

Highland cattle: it's what's for dinner!  These cattle have evolved to be able to take the harsh winters in the Scottish Highlands and thrive.  Tests have shown that these cattle have low cholesterol and are therefore touted to be "better for you" than normal beef.

We stopped for lunch at Ft. Agustus and decided that we would eat at the Boathouse Restaurant.  The restaurant shared grounds with the private club above.  An awesome structure, particularly considering it is private, not owned by the crown.

The Boathouse Restaurant was just that -- a boat house.  The restaurant is on the top floor.  The food was good, but not great.

The restaurant had a nice view of Loch Ness.

There is a system of canals that connects the various lochs.  We encountered this bridge that was open to allow a boat to pass.  This bridge rotates in the horizontal plane.

Driving on the left is just unnatural and spooky.  The roads were pretty tight and when large trucks with wide cargo approached we were cringing.

Our destination for the day was Glenfinnan.  This is the church at Glenfinnan.

From the front porch of the hotel we could see Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain at 1344 meters. Our hotel, Glenfinnan House Hotel, was on the shore of Loch Shiel.

The Glenfinnan Monument was built in 1815 as a memorial to the clansmen who died in the Jacobite Uprisings in the late 1700s.

Our quarters for the evening were in a guest house called Glenfinnan.  The house was build in 1750 and has been in continual use since.

The peak of Ben Nevis was visible across Loch Shiel.

The structure is Glenfinnan House Hotel.

The Scottish Highlands are stark and austere but beautiful.

We decided to hike around a bit and see what's up on Loch Shiel.

There is a salmon farm on Loch Shiel next to the hotel.  The dock is also used for boat tours on the loch.

There were a number of homes in the glen by Loch Shiel.

Sunset and calming winds provided a nice reflection of the Glenfinnan Monument on Loch Shiel.

We were eating dinner and I glanced out the window and spotted these deer coming down for a swim at sunset. 

We had an awesome dinner at Glenfinnan in the hotel.  The hotel also had a bar with an extensive collection of single malt scotch.  I tried a number of them, and Glenlivet is still the top of the heap for my taste buds.

Tomorrow, we head up the coast and then west to the Isle of Mull.  Kathleen has booked us a room in a castle on Mull.  It should be a unique experience.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2015, all rights reserved.
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