LOCH NESS & CULLODEN June 26

I discovered at 3:30 this morning that the sun was already working at arising for the day. This is why you need to make sure your sun blocking drapes touch when you shut them.

 

Our vaguely formulated plan for today was A) Breakfast B) Culloden. As you can see, we had reached the point in vacation where we were a little tired from being on the go. And we were a little confused about what we should see. And I was still limping around, because I’m an idiot. Turns out Culloden is only 15 minutes from Inverness. Oh. I’m still having a hard time remembering that this island is rather small.

Culloden battlefield reminded me much of Antietam, in that it was a large field with a few markers and signs and that was all you really needed to understand the chaos of what happened here. From afar as we drove up you could see a line of blue flags – the Hanoverians – and a line of red flags – the Jacobites.

It was a little windy and a little sunny, which seemed the right mix for wandering around the field. We were walking by the clan markers when I finally realized that the mass graves they marked were mostly still mounds, 269 years later.

After Culloden we headed out to Falls of Foyers on the East side of Loch Ness. Chad wisely suggested we start with the short walk down to see the Falls, before committing for anything more ambitious since I was (still) gimping about, trying to pretend that my knee was just fine and dandy and ready to tackle Ben Nevis in a few days.

The Falls of Foyers drops 165 feet. It’s a narrow ribbon of water ending in this dark, dark pool almost completely surrounded by sheer rock walls. It looks quite mysterious and haunting. Especially once your eyes start playing tricks on you and the rocks themselves seem to move (Motion After Effect – terribly disorienting).

Due to subpar performance by pants and an inability of my knee to get its act together, we decided to not do the longer hike all around the Falls of Foyers and instead head out to Urquhart Castle. The glimpse we had of it from the boat yesterday left us both intrigued.

It was lovely when we arrived at Urquhart Castle and headed to the visitors center for our tickets. The sun was out and it was breezy. Just a good day to be outside exploring a ruined castle.

We meandered over to Grant Tower and I was itching to climb the stairs to the top. Me, Chad, and everyone else at Urquhart, judging by the ridiculous number of folks on the bitty platform at the top!

So there we were, taking in the view of Loch Ness when the sprinkles decided to kick it up a notice and turn into a full on rain. No big deal, except my rain jacket was safely in our hotel room and Chad’s was in the car. We spent the rest of the time huddled very closely under a rather tiny floral umbrella. (No photos of that for obvious reasons.) Wet and tired, we headed back to Inverness, which took far longer than it should have, thanks to it being Friday evening and Inverness lacking a plethora of ways into town. We had an additional bit of excitement during the traffic when Chad realized he had a tick stuck to his hand.

After drying out and de-ticking Chad, we headed out to see if there was anything in Inverness that we’d missed.

After a few laps around the river, we decided we hadn’t really missed anything and so headed up to the Castle Tavern for dinner. It was raining again and had cooled off a good bit. But weather be damned! This was supposed to be summer here, and the good folk of Inverness were eating and drinking outside! But not us. We’d already been soaked once and I was in no mood to eat in my rain jacket, so we found a nice dry, warm spot inside and settled in.

Check out the gallery, like the million times before, for additional lovely photos! 

chris on June 26th 2015 in Travel

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