Like most of us who holiday in the UK, and Scotland in particular, one needs to pack for every eventuality. Having had three weeks of continual rain I was just praying for a dry spell …and having had zero temperatures at night, I was hoping that the days ahead would at least allow the wearing of a light jacket … but no one can predict the weather not even the weather men so I set off toward the train with a bulging suit case filled to the brim with muli - layers and warm wraps for the evenings …. relieved that it was the first dry day.
My journey did not run as smoothly as I had hoped, as my reserved seat was occupied but not by me and the carriages were packed … as were the luggage racks. I did however manage… through loudly sighing and exclaiming ’I just do not believe this’… to get a surly attendant to show me to one of the few remaining seats …. but who also insisted I just left my case where it was …in the way of other travellers.
I finally reached my destination, having passed through the most gorgeous scenery along tracks that rose high into the hills of Avimore and were, due to the terrain, only finally laid in the late 1890’s.
The Guest House was a welcome sight to the weary traveller …built in 1830 from stones once used in a previous building and long discarded …. it was recycling at its best.
My room over looked the River Ness, a fast flowing seven mile river, apparently plentiful in salmon…and it looked so picturesque at night.
Inverness has its history but it also has its restaurants …I am sure one could eat for a year and still not eat in the same place twice…. I was so spoilt for choice when it came to lunches and evening meals …but I could only manage one deluxe repast every day … and every meal had its food high light.
Now for a bit of history
Inverness …meaning Mouth of the River Ness …lies at the end of the Great Glen and was a strong hold for the Picts . It became a town in 585AD and borough in 1158AD…. and finally a city in 2000 It is thought that these original inhabitants were given the nick name Picti by the Romans meaning Painted Ones. The Scoti were Irish tribes who invaded the west coast line and the name probably meant Raiders. In 565AD St Columba, a Gaelic Irish missionary monk, arrived with 12 companions and he made his way to Inverness….stopping on the way to have a word with ‘Nessie‘, after an incident on the Loch. Interesting that she has never been truly witnessed since.
Over time the two, the Picts and the Scoti ,became the Scots but a divide remained between the Highlanders and the Lowlanders until recent year.
The new day brought early morning sun …surprisingly warm …and a wonderful breakfast…after which I set off to find the ‘hop on and off’ Tour Bus. This is the ultimate way to see a new city when you are not the sprightliest or robust of walkers. The day just got warmer and warmer and I felt so good, After doing the whole trip I hopped off and on a couple of times including having a wander around the Victorian Market.
And a meal in ‘The Kitchen’…the highlight was a chicken breast on a bed of haggis
And a little further along ….the Ness church built in 1901 … which now has the Three graces sitting by its side.These were originally on top of a building in the town centre and were sculpted in 1870....they were absent from Inverness for 50years….
More of this impressive building on the next post.
Day two ...and it was an even hotter day .... was a wander around the shopping area …just to say I had done it …and to admire some of the architecture to be seen in the town centre … fabulous reminders of the past.
The Town House … completed1882 …built in the Victorian gothic style
In Scotland it usually is a jail house …here there was a courthouse too …. the spire was built on the jail and court house in 1791.
I rounded the day off with a Scottish High Tea sitting in the Waterside restaurant garden. …this is a main meal followed by a cream and jam scone and cakes, served with a pot of tea …eaten usually between 4 and 6. Having devoured this, I had to go for a wander to the Infirmary Suspension Foot Bridge built in 1881 …known as the bouncy bridge by the locals…. And yes it does bounce as you cross it …and makes you feel as though you have had one too many…not just one …and it creaks too …so glad I was warned.
Hope you enjoyed this enough to pop by to read Day 3 and 4, which will follow in a few days with photos of Loch Ness ...sorry no monster.
Take care xx