Off to the Scottish Highlands & Loch Ness

June 15, 2010

Inverness is a gorgeous town on Loch Ness with lots of old stone houses, very charming. Didn’t see Nessie, but we’re here two nights, so anything can happen.

We were all glad to leave the Cameron Hotel on Loch Lomond. The guest rooms had been remodeled in trendy dark dark dark and that meant there wasn’t even enough light to read ourselves to sleep.

“Should we set fire to the furniture?” I asked M. last night, as I struggled to read James Joyce.

The wait service was so bad that a few of us wanted to re-engineer their processes on the spot. Then, the power went out this morning in part of the hotel. Our wakeup call was a banging on our door. At checkout time, everyone’s bill had mysterious erroneous charges. Yes, we were glad to get on the road.

FL (Fearless Leader, our tour director) made us sing the Loch Lomond song as we left. It was actually kind of fun. And then, we were off to the Scottish highlands.

Ok, I have to stop right now. I am alone in my room and my TV has just gone on. The remote and the TV are both six feet away.

But I digress.

FL began telling us of the festive traditional Scottish dinner and entertainment on tap for tomorrow night.

“We’ll have haggis piped in, as it’s meant to be,” he said.
I turned to M and whispered, “I thought it was food?”
“Carol,” he said, “he means that platters of food will be brought in while bagpipes play.”
Oh. Ok then. (I was a bit sleep-deprived this morning.)

I’ve decided to adopt that silly Scottish coo cow as my personal icon. It’s just so befuddled looking that it seems to fit.

We stopped in the beautiful great valley of Glencoe. Spectacular. A bagpiper just happened to be on hand to set the mood. I’m not kidding. (Yes of course he is probably paid by the tourism people)

Soldiers were hiking back up the hills from a training mission with an ambulance and medics on hand.

It’s all lovely. The highest peak in Great Britain is Ben Nevis, at 4,000 ft. (not kidding, that IS the highest). The summit (and I use that word loosely) is normally fogged in, but we got to see it because the day was sunny and bright. Apparently there are snowstorms up there, even in summer, and climbers often have to be rescued. We are so far north that the sun is probably not going to go down at all today.

We stopped for lunch at a charming B&B. See the tree with the top cut off, below?
An RAF jet buzzed down too low and took the top off a few weeks ago. I guess they’re pretty crazy.

I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves. Tomorrow’s another day and one that could bring better adventures.

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