After arriving in Inverness we checked into our hostel and received a sleep sheet. I had never slept in one before and I was grateful there were instructions posted on the wall. I didn't quite go the full nine yards, but next time I'll make sure to bring a teddy bear. We didn't stay in the hostel long because we had to find my tartan.
And so after fifteen books we finally found the tartan that will adorn me. It is actually an Irish tartan from Donegal County, which incidentally also happens to be where our Irish missionary is from. When I told him about it he told me he had no idea that his county even had a tartan. So I don't really know the history behind the tartan and there might not even be one, but so long as I end up with it in time for Hogmany (New Years) I'll be set.
We ended up with some free time before we met our friends from Inverness for dinner. Since all of the stores in Scotland close at 6 p.m. we decided to take advantage of that and go indoors and do some window shopping. Kristen thought I looked wonderful in these glasses and I thought I looked really special too. Needless to say we didn't purchase the glasses.
When the city center shut down we headed down to the Ness River. I had been telling Kristen that Inverness looked pretty much like Edinburgh, until we walked down to the river. It reminded me of something we might see when we make it to the continent of Europe. Inverness is located on the river and it really is quite amazing.
And of course every city of importance must have a castle. This is no longer used as a castle but as a courthouse instead. It was still really pretty, especially when lit up at night.
We ended up walking up to it anyway and Kristen started playing around in the shadows. It reminded me of my younger days when I would tell stupid ghost stories on my top bunk bed with friends. We did a few of the classic shadow poses and ended up liking this one the best.
Seven finally rolled around the Terri and her mum Elna picked us up for dinner. We had a wonderful time with them discussing the differences between American and Scottish cuisine and tried one of our new favorite dishes. It was turnips and potatoes smashed together. Don't remember the proper name for it, but I won't be forgetting what a great meal it was. It really was great meeting up with our good friends and creating more memories.
Sunday was pure misery. The clocks had been set back on hour and it rained like crazy. We did make it to the Inverness Ward though and that brightened the day up a bit. But it was such a gray and wet day that I never bothered to take out my camera, except for the obligatory two photos for my other blog. But the rain made for a beautiful Monday. Kristen and I decided to take a cruise down the Loch Ness to the Urquhart Castle. The leaves were gorgeous.
And of course we had to look for the beloved Nessie. I thought it was quite nice that they had a replica of her so we could be sure to identify her when we saw her.
Donald was our guide and I found his tall tales to be quite enjoyable. Nothing like a tour guide that will say whatever is on his mind. He made the adventure even better.
And of course you have to have a view of the Loch Ness. I picked this photo because of the shadows on the camera. I would have loved to say that this is Nessie, but it is just a smudge on the camera. But I'm sure that Nessie is hiding just below the surface.
This photo and the following few are the Urquhart Castle located directly on the loch. Is is assumed that a castle has been on this ground for thousands of years. I found it quite breathtaking, even though the castle is no longer being used today. It was really neat to think that people actually lived here long ago. But it must have been miserable back then. The wind made it a bitter cold day and even with two jackets on I was still chilly. If I had been in charge of defending the castle I think I would have given it up and found somewhere warmer to hang out. But people lived that life and I am grateful for central heating.
After the castle we headed back to town and decided to see Up in 3D while waiting for our coach back to Edinburgh. It was a fun movie but really sad. It did make for an enjoyable last day though. We had a great weekend exploring more of our beloved Scotland and the adventures will only get better.