Scotland: Loch Ness Monsters, Invergordon, and Dunrobin Castle
Ah the land of the Loch Ness Monster. We must let you know that there was no sighting of the monster on this trip. Our friends Sharon and Dave actually went to Loch Ness for a look but they were “skunked”… no sighting of Nessie. However they said the scenery was spectacular ;-) When we got back to the ship we saw a sign that cleared up everything… Nessie was going to be out for all to see…tomorrow
! We missed her by a day! LOL
As for us, we were off on a one hour bus ride through incredibly green and beautiful countryside with sheep, Scottish cattle and old and modern homes and villages to Dunrobin Castle.
We approached Dunrobin through the forest on a long tree lined driveway. The back of the castle came into view and just looked like a big black castle. However, what we learned was that the Castle sits on a cliff overlooking the water. Much of the harbor (that was said to be so beautiful), was destroyed by a storm….nevertheless, it is still breathtaking! The front of the castle faces the water as most
of the visitors would come by water as Queen Victoria did in 1896.
Dunrobin is the most northern of Scotland’s great houses. It is the largest home in the highlands, with 189 rooms and is one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses, dating from the 1300’s. Can you imagine… continuously inhabited for over 700 years?
This is the ancestral home of the Sutherlands; The Earl of Sutherland was one of the seven Earldoms of Scotland and one of the most powerful families in Britain with many important territorial and matrimonial alliances.
There was art work, portraits of the family dating back hundreds of years, tapestries and historical artifacts. The castle was a full time home until 1963 when the family moved to London. The English Victorian gardens are highly manicured and beautiful to see. The gardens were laid out in 1850 by Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament. Inspired by the gardens of Versailles, we are told they have changed little since 1850 when they were planted. They remain perfectly maintained even though the family only comes to stay sporadically.
If you do make it to Dunrobin, try to do it on
your own… it would not be hard to rent a car and drive here. We could have stayed 3-4 hours with no trouble. They have a little café downstairs with lovely scones and tea to keep up your strength ;-)
On our way back to the ship we passed by two small but lovely churches. One was where Madonna was married and the other was where her son was christened ;-) Then on to the little town of Dornock where Jean took a moment to go into a "second hand and antique store" where she found an antique metal matchbox double decker bus, made in England... good thing it is small... into the suitcase it goes ;-)
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