We checked in to the Broomlea B&B on the Mains Balnagowan Ardersier just after 7pm Sun 27 May. The proprietors, Theresa and Alistair, are lovely. The children had left home so they decided to turn their home into a B&B. It is very comfortable. Out in the country. Farmhouses all around. Ardersier is a tiny village close by on the shores of the Moray Firth. Nairn a little further east is slightly bigger. Thirteen miles to the west is Inverness, cultural capital to the Highlands. Very busy city with lots of traffic.
Mon 28 May, we visited the Battlefield at Culloden. Very, very moving. The re-enactment of the battle in the cinema was way too realistic. The English were ruthless. The guide was a young French girl. Very knowledgeable. Very respectful but managed to lighten the mood from time to time. It was two hours well spent. The National Trust for Scotland own half of the battlefield. The other half is currently caught up in a land grab for housing development. We spent the afternoon in Inverness exploring the new and the old. My memory of Inverness from 33 years ago of being cold and wet was dispelled as we
sat in the hot sun with a Strongbow at a pub by the river. We drove back to Nairn to check out the golf club. Quite renowned. Then settled in at the Golf View Hotel for dinner out on the balcony in the evening sun.
Next day, we drove south to Boat of Garten in the Cairngorms. A nice little village but not quite what I expected. We had passed through Carrbridge and, eventually, found our way back there. Very quaint! Very fortunate for me Billy spotted a lovely little shop run by a local artisan craft group. After a chat with Julie, we headed up to Loch Ness for the afternoon. Very crowded and touristy now. Understandable but a still a shame. We managed to get parked at the Visitors Centre and, after a bowl of soup, walked three miles up the mountain to Urquhart Castle. We decided against joining the throng for the guided tour. Jez and Jodie, you might remember 33 years ago when we pulled up in the car park close by Urquhart Castle and made you get out of the car and have your photo taken in a freezing mist. It’s very different now!!
That road is now closed off. The road now runs up the mountain and people have to pay to get down!!!
We returned to the waterfront at Nairn for a little pub dinner. Had to have the Gin of Week, Bramble Gin. Very nice. Very dangerous. Farewelled Alistair and Theresa Wed morning. Set off for Dornoch.
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