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  • Writer's picture Jana

We Continue on the Castle Circuit as we Head to the Capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness

We departed the Isle of Skye for Inverness on Tuesday. We saw some beautiful scenery as we made our way through the legendary Highlands of Scotland. I have dreamed of visiting this country, and particularly this area, for as long as I can remember and it was everything (and more) I had ever imagined. We saw not one, but two more castles that day, both very different, but equally interesting.

We continue to enjoy our much-upgraded French car. We also enjoy listening to the various BBC stations on our (often) long car trips, but admittedly miss RTC, from Ireland. We became addicted to Radio One on RTC in Ireland to the point where sometimes we didn't want to get out of the car (after having been in there for hours on end), once we reached our destination because we found their hosts and stories so compelling.

Our first stop of the day was at Eilean Donan Castle. The castle was originally a seat of the Clan MacKenzie, but it also has strong links to Clan MacRae who became constables of the castle in 1509. The castle is situated at the meeting point of Lochs Duich, Long, and Alsh, not far from the pretty village of Dornie. This picturesque castle, built in 1220, holds the title of the most photographed castle in Scotland. There was no photography allowed inside the castle (although I snuck a few covert shots). To learn more about this castle and see some wonderful photos of it use this link:

Our next stop was the Urquhart Castle. The early 13th–century castle is associated with several Highland families and regimes, including our own clan, the MacDonalds. Urquhart Castle's ruins, one of the largest in Scotland, are situated on a headland with panoramic views overlooking Loch Ness. The views from the castle, of Loch Ness, are stunning. We learned that Loch Ness is the largest loch by volume – it contains more water than all English and Welsh lakes combined. To learn more about the castle and see a wonderful gallery of photos use this link:

Like out of a movie, we ran into two West Highland Scottish terries as we were leaving the castle.

Garin called it. As soon as we grew close to Loch Ness, he predicted there would be all kinds of Nessie "merch," as he refers to it, and there was! There were shops with every imaginable Nessie tchotchke, a fish and chip shop named for Nessie, and even a strange hotel that we came upon that had something called "Nessieland" on the premises. To learn more about Nessieland and see some photos of this strange place, use this link:

Miles was determined he was going to experience a Nessie sighting, but alas, that did not materialize. I'll admit that I too was looking for the legendary monster as we made our way around the massive lake.

In the early evening, we finally arrived at Inverness, which is located on the northernmost end of Loch Ness. We checked into our b and b, Heathmount. We freshened up, had our afternoon tea in the room, and finally, enjoyed a delicious dinner in their cozy restaurant. Our room wasn't big, but cozy (with a huge bathroom) and a great view. The staff here could not have been nicer.

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