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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Aviemore April 8th 2015

Given how scenic those lakes were yesterday, I decided to head back to the Cairngorms early in the morning to see what they looked like as the sun was rising. I was not disappointed; it was quiet and peaceful, the water was still and the sky was dramatic and colourful. I went back to Loch an Eilein first, with a view of the castle. I then headed to Loch Morlich, where the Cairngorms mountains were reflected in the still water. Sadly we were on an early morning flight back to home this morning, so after breakfast we drive back to the quaint little airport. We were advised to allow plenty of extra time as someone or other was on strike and indeed there was a picket-line outside the airport as we drove in. Things weren't too ... read more
Loch Morlich
Highlands From Above

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Aviemore April 7th 2015

I got up early again and went back to Urquhart Castle for the sunrise, this time hopefully without the mist. I was in luck and there was a stunning sunrise, but I'm not sure which will make the better photographs - although I'm open to views? Our plan today was to visit the Cairngorms National Park, just to the south of Inverness. This was surprisingly quick to get to given that it is on the main road between Inverness and Perth. We were not quite sure what to do so we went to the village of Aviemore and spoke to a really helpful guy in the tourist information office and he recommended some walks to do. His recommendations were spot on. First we drove to Loch Morlich and walked to a smaller loch which is just ... read more
Green Lake
Loch en Eilein
Urquhart Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Loch Ness April 5th 2015

After a run to the mouth of the river, with a fantastic view of the Beauly Firth, and breakfast, we set off to see Loch Ness. We stopped off for some views of the loch and then we headed to Urquhart Castle. It was a nightmare trying to find somewhere to park (despite the massive coach park that was completely empty). Before entering the castle, there is a video about the history of the castle. The early history is a story about fighting off those bloody English, which bought back memories of the history tour in Boston. Once the English had backed-off however it was a story of infighting between the various Scottish clans. This concluded with the guard tower of the castle being loaded with gunpowder and blown-up, and the castle being abandoned to fall ... read more
Urquhart Castle
Nevis Range
Nevis Range

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Inverness April 4th 2015

Our daughter was away on a school trip over the Easter holiday and our son was busy studying (miracles will never cease) so my wife and I thought we would get away to Scotland for a short trip of our own. It's on a door step and we had hardly ever visited, and it always features heavily in the photography books and magazines that I read, so I was also particularly keen to go there. After the chaos of London Luton, Inverness airport is the cutest, quietest and most civilised airport I think we have ever had the pleasure of arriving at. There was the inevitable queue at the hire car desk whilst the one person on duty was typing merrily into a computer. Apparently he had started work early and officially the desk should not ... read more
Ness River
Bagpiper
Rainbow Bridge


The sun is setting on the shores of Loch Ness right now. In about four hours, we are climbing into our little Fiat and I'm driving us (yes, the vote came in and the race car driver was chosen and gladly accepted) three hours to catch our 5:25 am flight to Frankfurt..............this place is magical. We were graced with brilliant sunshine again today and we explored the remainder of the abbey grounds and walked along the River Taff and the Loch Ness. We swam again in the chapel pool and from a pool operator's standpoint-what a great piece of work! The pool water here is cleaned by the UV system....every ounce of water is pumped by UV light system in the pump room killing 99.9% of any bacteria. Salt or chlorine is then used to keep ... read more
Croquet at the abbey!
One of the pheasants
Lichen laiden branch


We're cuddled on the couch under a big, puffy comforter tonight thinking about the grand adventures of this day...both today and a year ago. Our family and friends surrounded us and watched us exchange our vows and our girls tied our hand fasting cord. A year ago, we never would have guessed we would be here on the banks of Loch Ness .... We truly feel blessed to have found each other and enjoy every second in each other's company. I'm lucky to be able to share my entire self with another soul. It's 11:00 pm, 5:00 pm back home in a South Dakota and time for the Skype fiesta! We really enjoy visiting the girls with this and it has really kept us all sane while we are apart! Love this technological advancement with the ... read more
Our favorite beverages!
Nessie ExhibitionistšŸ˜„
Red NESS


Today we left the abbey in MY little race car, better known to the lay person as the Fiat 500. When we rose for the day, we were greeted with brilliant sunshine and a fabulously sunny forecast! We quickly decided that our travels over to the Isle of Skye was a must today. It takes about two and a half hours of driving to get over to that region so we enjoyed a Tia Marie coffee and hit the road....it was my turn to take on the task of driving! The roads here are two way with no shoulders, much like driving the needles highway of the Black Hills of South Dakota....I absolutely thrived on the thrill with my navigator white knuckling it for about the first thirty minutes of the trip...I cannot help it if ... read more
This is my castle!
Standing where the castle guards protected
Gaelic is prolific here


Happy Spring!!! Due to the overcast, we missed the amazing solar eclipse but the day was filled with great gifts on our Scotland adventure. We explored more of the St. benedict's abbey grounds and trekked around Fort Augustus. This thriving village of pop. 650 has charming businesses and niches. We explored more of Loch Ness and just enjoyed the atmosphere. It is chilly here with the wonderful aroma of peat throughout the countryside. Peat is a form of natural energy that gives off a lovely scent....and I believe attributes to the naturally good moods the locals all seem to excude. They will greet all on the streets and in their shops whether they are a customer or working away. It is very refreshing! These people seem to have a slower pace than what we are used ... read more
Light Ness brew at the Bothy
A Scotland Daffodil
My first game of Chess!!!

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Fort William October 23rd 2014

Another day of, as the locals say.... "Shyte weather" but nonetheless we braved the rain & wind for a trip back in time. Elke had surprised me with first class tickets in the 1st car. Nice big wing back chairs with a view to allow the world to glide by. As is usual for the train system here we left at exactly 10:15. Very shortly the sweets trolley appeared which supplied tea & coffee with shortbreads. Occasionally the rain would let up and allowed us the chance for some pictures. A quick stop at Glenfinnan to stretch our legs where there is a diner and a small railway museum. We have been to Glenfinnan before thankfully because it was a long walk to the monument to celebrate the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his attempt ... read more
13B & 13 F
Jacobite on Viaduct
Viaduct

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Fort William October 22nd 2014

Day 6 - Portree to Fort William. Well the weather today was no in our favour. No high winds but a steady light rain all day. This was supposed to be the day to sail around looking for wildlife but no such luck. With a late start we decided to drive to Elgol anyways. We knew it was a picturesque drive (if not slightly treacherous). We were also looking forward to the Tea Room (closed) so we looked for another place and found the Elgol shop. A lunch of leek & potatoe soup with the Elgolian (squat lobster sandwich). On our way to Fort William we had time for a little excursion hoping to see some wildlife. Well we thought the road to Elgol was exciting...the road to Kylerhea was a real adventure. With the excessive ... read more
Cottage on the misty mountain
Run Off
Sharing the road




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