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Corrimony Cairn, Urquhart (Loch Ness) and Glen Garry

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Friday 21 September, Corrimony Cairn, Urquhart (Loch Ness) and Glen Garry

Breakfast tastes good again (for some reason it always tastes better when somebody else prepares it), although we stick to eggs only. Today, we want to drive through the neighbourhood a bit more and make a trip to Kinloch Hourn, at the end of Glen Garry, south west of Beauly.
Corrimony CairnWe see a lot of places where we have been yesterday with Iain. We don't visit Glen Affric, how beautiful it may be. We go there next year again. After following the river Glass, we take a left turn towards Drumnadrochit and have a look at the chambered cairn at Corrimony.
Corrimony Cairn Corrimony CairnA cairn is a conical hill of stones and, in this case, it contained a chamber. Corrimony is an impressive monument, build about 2.000 BC. as a burial pace. A low tunnel gives entrance to the central room where the dead were buried with their gifts. In this cairn one skeleton was found.
Corrimony CairnThe tomb is restored and looks very orderly. A fence prevents the cattle from destroying the monument. On the picture we look into the chamber from the top of the tombhill which has been left open.
On we drive, towards Drumnadrochit to visit Castle Urquhart again, probably one of the most famous castles in the Highlands because it is situated on the shore of Loch Ness and most of the sightings of the monster were made in the neighbourhood (bay of Urquhart).
Castle UrquhartWe have been here last year, but we just have to walk around this place again. It is a ruin, but you can imagine how it would may have looked like in the old days. The castle once played an important role in Scottish history, but was blown up in 1692, to prevent it from falling into the hands of Jacobite rebels. More about this on the history-page on this site.
Castle Urquhart Castle UrquhartThe location on the shore of the mysterious Loch Ness makes the castle a fine sight. By means of information signs, every part of the castle is illustrated in a comprehensive way.
Castle Urquhart Loch Ness from Castle UrquhartArcheologists are still excavating the area. They think the castle was build upon an earlier fortress and maybe the place was inhabited already in prehistoric times.
Castle Urquhart Castle UrquhartWe make some pictures of the nice view on the lake. Does anyone see the monster? It must be somewhere. There is also a live webcam (not always turned on), pointed at the lake. So you can search for the monster on-line, anytime.
Castle UrquhartWe wonder if this place will stay as scenic as it is today... The ground is being excavated not only for remains of older habitation, but also because there will be build an enormous hotel with an undergound parking lot and probably more 'touristic' attractions. In a few years time it will maybe be like any other touristic place in Europe. Modernisation in itself is not bad, and we know tourism is important to the economy. But can't they build these hotels farther from a place itself. That way, the important spot stays intact and authentic. But maybe that is some sort of sentimentalism on our part.
Castle Urquhart Castle UrquhartBut we enjoy our visit, like last time, and probably we will visit it again when we will be around next year.
Take care!Back in Drumnadrochit we notice this traffic sign; we have seen it already a few times, but this time on a spot where we can take a picture of it: take care of disabled drivers, sitting in a wheelchair which is put onto a horse cart!?
Glen Gary Glen GaryWe continue our way southward and turn off at Invermoriston, drive through Glen Moriston till a lonely phone box, turn southward and thus arrive at Glen Garry.
The road is winding and we don't expect much traffic here. Except for the ever present sheep and cows, of course.
Glen Gary Glen GarySo we are quite surprised when we meet a long oncoming parade of oldmobiles in this long, narrow valley. There are only 2 small villages along this road which comes to a dead end at Kinloch Hourn and Loch Hourn. So, where do they come from?
Loch Quoch End of Glen GaryEspecially the last part of the Glen, just before Kinloch Hourn is exciting: a narrow track with sharp curves and steep inclinations, often in the curves. They fish a lot for mussels here, but we didn't check, because it was ebb tide and the sea was far away. This Glen is certainly worth a visit, but you have to take some time for it, at least 3 hours.
We drive back the whole way, then turn left towards the west coast and have a short look at Eilean Donan Castle. This is a splendid ruin which is build in 1230 to defend the area against robbing Normans. The castle is very photogenic and therefore has been used as setting in several movies, like Highlander and Braveheart.
Eilean Donan Castle Eilean Donan CastleWe have payed the castle an extensive visit last year, so we don't enter it this time. Maybe next year again.
We drive back southwards of Eilean Donan and find a nice pub in Dornie, by the water. It is a very nice place for having a break.
Pub in DornieIt is late in the afternoon and we still have to drive a long way, so we don't stop in Plockton where we haved spend a nice time last year. Dornie, a cosy village, with on the background an inhospitable mountain landscape, attracts a lot of visitors in the summer. A must when you visit the Highlands.
And again, like last year, we don't visit Skye. We want to go there tomorrow, but after talking about it with some people in the pub of our hotel, we decide we will go there next year and spend a few days. So, in April 2002 we are going there! (This translation is made on March, 28 2002, so we go there in a few days!!!)
Teije in the pub of the Caledonian hotelTeije has his pint of lager, Elisabeth her Bailey's. We enjoy it until a man in the pub gets an attack of epilepsy. Elisabeth is the second to faint. But all is under control very quickly and Elisabeth goes off to bed, the man to the hospital. But we find him sitting in the pub again next night (a minor attack, it turned out to be and he didn't drink any alcohol, he never did). It has been a long day and we are ready for tomorrow.


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