Scotland Day Sixteen: Glencoe to Inverness

Today we had to get up early and clean the cottage. A Great Tit and Song Thrush have joined the woodpeckers and chaffinches in eating the peanuts I left out.

We drove northeast past Loch Loche, and Loch Oich. Somewhere before Loch Oich, along the river and boat locks, the hillsides are covered in rhododrendrons in a purple avalanche.

Loch Ness

After Loch Oich you hit Loch Ness. Loch Ness is a secrative thing. Many secrets are locked up tight under its mirror-tricked surface. It is a powerful and old place where the Lord of the Deep could truly dwell, an old god waiting, reptillian and shy. This would be no god for us, but one for things long past living, sleeping, but its power still lurking beneath those waves. I touched the water and found it warm.

Back on land....

About three quarters up Loch Ness lies Urquhart Castle. It is the most visited castle in Scotland and is terribly touristy. While it has a very interesting history and some interesting places to wander around (most notably inside the Tower House where they restored the wooden floors/ceilings giving you a good impression of what the inside of a Tower House really looked like) there are too many people and the floors have been paved over to accomodate people with unfortunate choices in footwear. Tantallon and Dunnottar were a lot more fun.

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Inverness sort of creeps up on you. One minute you are driving along Loch Ness and the River Ness and then, boom, you are in a town. Inverness has some really nice Victorian architechture. We stayed at the Ivybank Guesthouse, whose interior is one of the best Victorian era interiors I've ever seen. This is a great place to stay.