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By plane to Inverness

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 15 to 17 September 2015

Tuesday 15 September, by plane to Inverness

We leave for Scotland again, this time only for 2 weeks and since there is a new, cheap scheduled flight from Schiphol flying directly to Inverness, we will try that. We arrive close to Beauly where we start, staying with our friends Iain and Cathy. We also booked a house on Mull for a whole week, another new island to explore.
Also this time we first drive to Almere where we park our car and then take the train to Schiphol.
Our plane to Inverness On the way to ScotlandAlthough purple is the favorite color of Elisabeth, she is less enthusiastic when she sees the size of the plane. She thinks that smaller planes are less able to stay in the air than those big boys while they are so much heavier. Think of it as a luxury taxi, I still try, but if you suffer from fear of flying, there is little I can say to diminish it.
I myself have no problem flying: I have no control and it is a safe way of traveling but I can imagine that it is not fun when you do suffer from this phobia.
Oil drilling platform in the Cromarty FirthThe plane leaves at 3 o'clock and we arrive at 4 o'clock but it is an hour earlier in Scotland, so it is 2 hours flying. A nice scedule, we could leave Groningen not too early in the morning and after arrival we only have to drive half an hour to our destination, Beauly. When we arrive in Inverness, there are a lot of heavily armed customs officers and it takes a while before we get past the customs, but after that we are driving away in our rental car within 10 minutes and at 5 o'clock we are in Beauly.
In Beauly we are warmly welcomed and I immediately get a cold beer. We have not seen each other for over a year so we have a lot to talk about. Cathy has decided that she is now retiring and Iain has to run the hotel as much as he can on his own. But it is reasonably calm in the hotel, they take fewer and fewer guests and no longer rent out all the rooms. They also closed the pub so they have more time for themselves. And so we can catch up with them the whole evening and we also get a nice meal in between.

Saturday 19 September 2015, and the next day, driving near Inverness

River in Scotland River in ScotlandThe first few days we stay here and we drive around to find places where we have not been and beautiful spots we want to see again. I keep record of all the roads we have driven on a laminated map, marking them in the hope of one day having seen all of Scotland. It is a pity that the GPS function of our camera does not always work well, so I do not know exactly which rivers this is. But I'm guessing it's in Glen Affric, a beautiful valley for walking.
Loch east of Loch Ness Loch east of Loch NessThe same applies to the loch on these photos. Scotland has thousands of lochs but I'm pretty sure they are in the area east of Loch Ness, a beautiful area where few people live and you rarely see a tourist. The west side of Loch Ness is much more famous because of Urquhart where there is a castle room and you can get closer to the lake and thus the monster. But it might also be a loch near glen Affric.
Drinking coffee in Inverness Drinking coffee in InvernessFor mid-September the weather is quite good and I have to close my eyes against the bright sun when we sit on the terrace in Inverness. Scotland has few outdoor terraces but fortunately we know a couple in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. And at this pizzeria they also serve good drinkable coffee and cappuccino in a normal sized cup. Usually you get very weak coffee in way too big cups.
Cawdor castle from afarWe also drive a day to the east of Inverness where there are many castles such as the famous Cawdor castle where, according to Shakespeare, Macbeth killed king Duncan in order to become a king himself. Now the problem is that Macbeth lived in the 11th century and Cawdor Castle was only built in the 14th century. But the story continues to circulate. The 5th Earl of Cawdor wrote: I wish the Bard had never written his damned play! But in the meantime it attracts a lot of tourists who have to pay to see it.
Heathland south of Dulsie Heathland south of DulsieIn the direction of the Cairngorm Mountains the landscape becomes increasingly inhospitable and empty but the heather is still in bloom. When it is gone, the slopes of mountains often look rough and brownish when the sun does not shine. Especially in areas where there are almost no forests and there are quite a few of those areas in Scotland. It seems that a lot has been cut down in recent centuries and that only recently landowners and the government has begun to replant forests in many areas.
Farm shop Househill CourtyardWhen you drive around Scotland you come across many farm or estate shops, from very simple to super luxurious. Usually there is a shop with local products, food and handmade goods but also more and more luxury things. It is always fun to look around and often you can also eat and drink somethin. In the past we never stopped at these places, but nowadays we like to take a look around and have a break like here at Househill Courtyard south of Nairn.


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