We’re on the move again our final leg today to Inverness, the warnings, mud slides and road closures continue. It has momentarily stopped raining and now the cold has set in. It’s the first time I’ve felt the cold since we were back in Fife days ago.
We’ve had a gorgeous 24 hours in Drumnadrochit and I have to attribute it to the amazing scenery, the mountains and rural setting combined with Loch Ness in the background and of course the highland cattle but most of all the amazing people.
In case you’ve forgotten or never heard it said, “we were born to be in relationship” and though I find peace and solace in the quote of the landscape the true beauty is in the people and their stories. We grow through what we hear whether good or bad we then can make decisions either good or bad. With stories we have heard and the topics of independence that currently surrounds this country at the heart of it, unity and peace is what people crave.
We have encountered generous hospitality, heard personal stories of love and loss and grief and my heart goes out to the story teller.
There is always fun and laughter, this morning it was a young calf who with its still young sounding call trotted in haste to meet us. Adamant to reach us as we stood atop a wall I had to find a way to stroke his longing face. Isla our host, told us it was rejected by his mum and they’ve been hand feeding it large quantities of powdered milk. He had made friends with another calf Panda, named because of the black rings around his white face, Panda’s mum lets our little orphan calf steal milk from her which happens only rarely.
We walked around to the fence where I could reach him, I could see him run to meet me and he quickly sought out my hand tugging on my fingers, his tongue so tough but unfortunately for him there was no sustenance and he’s roughened up the skin on my fingers.
We’ve been to plenty of cafes as you can well imagine, the interesting point of difference has been twofold. Firstly many of the cafes offer table service, classy, the second is the style of music, its background music to start with not the loud and pounding thump, thump, thump playing in many Adelaide cafes but almost all the songs are from the 60s and 70s such a pleasant change.
Inverness is the beginning and end of the Great Glen Way but it is so much more. The buildings remind me a lot of Edinburgh though no comparisons should be made, every place has its own history. If you’re an Outlander fan then this is one of places you would probably choose to do a walking tour. I’m a fan but I’ll do my own tour. If you haven’t been to Inverness you will find a monument to Flora McDonald in the forecourt of Inverness Castle. Flora assisted Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) to escape to America after the Battle of Culloden. This momentous battle between the English and the Jacobites (Scottish freedom fighters) is the reason for us being here, apart from the fact that it’s the end of the GGW. We’re going to the Culloden battlefield tomorrow so more about that and the history lesson another time.
However as we circled around the castle which incidentally is a functioning sheriffs office and justice court we could hear a fiddle and whistle playing, we just couldn’t resist and followed the sound across from the castle to the pub on the corner where we found six young musicians; three fiddlers, accordion player, guitarist and young girl playing the tin whistle. It wasn’t long before the pub was full of people like us.
The more we wander around Inverness the more there is to like. From the pub we continued to walk on and away from the town centre, which incidentally is not large, attracted by the grey stone buildings finding ourselves in.a tree lined suburb of large jaw dropping estates, and gardens that pushed my envy button. Wow what a find!
We are in a b’n’b on the other side of the River Ness in a quaint suburb where there are rows and rows and streets and streets of house that are in the main established guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. It’s surprising to us, we are trying to work out the how and why of it and I’m dying to find someone in the street who can give us the history of this phenomenon. I’m inclined to think that many of the guests are people who work here and longer term tenants. Perhaps this is the Inverness answer to flats but how did it begin. If you have the answer please leave a comment and let us know, otherwise stay tuned Peter will find someone to talk to before we leave tomorrow who will give up the secret of Inverness guesthouses.
We have another blue sky day hope your is too.