It's a crime I know, only one day! But when your itinerary includes twenty seven countries- a day is about all we have time for. Our driver Mike picked us up at our hotel this morning and showed us around his home- Inverness, and the surrounding Scottish countryside. It really wasn't a tour- it reminded me more of when we visit the "rellies" in Australia, and they take us out for a drive. First stop was Loch Ness of course! No sign of Nessie but we did see a lovely swan cruising near shore. The lake itself is beautiful all on its own; it should be a destination even without its famous "monster". Mike says he knows a number of people who've seen it- just like the Tasmanian Tiger, most who have seen Nessie never tell a soul for fear of ridicule but mostly to protect the beast from being tortured to death by the ensuing media circus. Mike said most folks around here hope they never find Nessie- it would spell doom for her they feel, scientists fighting over who gets to cut her up first and all that sort of "rubbish" as he put it. At any rate, we had a lovely drive around this very large, very deep and mysterious lake- fantastic.
After our visit to Loch Ness, it was off to see some castles- a requirement in Scotland. I think the board of tourism levies a tax on anyone leaving the country who has not visited at least one castle. ;) We saw three- one very old and in ruin right by the lake, one in perfect condition right in the middle of downtown Inverness, and one that is still being used as a residence but is open for tours. "Caword" castle is still owned by the Caword family although Lord Caword has passed away- the Dowager Lady Caword still lives in private apartments off the castle's tour route. The castle is impressive but the gardens and forests surrounding it are magnificent. The trees are all huge and ancient with lots of exotic specimen trees all over the property. There are paths leading across a bridge over a rushing stream and into the forest. It's Spring so all the leaves are fresh bright green and wild flowers bloom everywhere- the Bluebells are fantastic. I recommend a hike along the stream- it goes on for quite a ways but is a terrific place to just take in the beauty of the Scottish landscape. On the way back to the castle a ran into one of Lady Caword's employees; she was out taking two little terriers for a "walkie". After seeing the Scottish countryside, now I know where all that poetry comes from!
If you enjoyed this article please feel free to share it!