After living for nine months in Scotland and having visited quite a few places, it was about time to set north and go to the Highlands. Looking at the map below, you see Glasgow, where I live, in the South-West of Scotland and straight North, you have the Loch Ness and Inverness, our destination for the week-end.
The traveling group was composed of my roommates Nicole and Andy, Andy’s twin Eric, Daniela, Leandra, Megan, Keeley and me. Being one of the only two that could drive non-automatic cars, I ended up driving all the way and back (Oh, joy :-))…you actually get used to driving on the left, although it still does not feel natural to me. Inverness is about a 3.30 hour drive away from Glasgow and after picking-up our car rental on Saturday morning, we arrived in Inverness just after lunch time.
After a quick check-in at the hostel, we went to drop the twins at the Rockness festival (similar as Werchter in Belgium) and decided to walk around Inverness. For some reason, I thought that it was just a tiny village with nothing to do but it is actually very nice. We went to the art gallery, around the city center and up to the castle, and after deciding to stop for a coffee, attended another Olympic torch parade! (We had seen the Olympic torch in Glasgow just the day before, and it followed us all the way to Inverness).
The day after, we left Inverness and visited a few places around it. Our first stop was the Cawdor Castle (14th century) and its beautiful flowery gardens. Then, we went off to the Culloden battlefield, where, in 1746, the scottish rebels (Jacobites) were defeated by the English government army, leading to the repression of the Highland society and traditions. Our last historic stop was at the Clava Cairns, which is an old Bronze Age cemetery composed of old burial “cairns” (man-made pile of stones) build about 4,000 years ago. Stunning!
Then, we drove along the Loch Ness, unsuccessfully trying to get a glimpse of Nessie…
For our last day in the area, we drove up North to Tain and visited the amazing Glenmorangie distillery. It was just fantastic. I had visited a couple of distilleries in the past but this one is definitely top on my list. It has the tallest and most beautiful stills in Scotland, adorable tour guides and the Whisky itself is the smoothest. I highly recommend it!
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I hope this makes you want to come along, this little trip confirmed my idea that Scotland is truly beautiful (and it did not even rain much, how cool is that?! :-))