27 June, 2014

Oban to Inverness

Castles, castles everywhere and maybe a drop (or two) to drink.  That was the main theme of the day.  However, it's late and therefore tonight's entry is going to be short on text and long on pictures.

We packed up and got ready to head out of Oban.  First we made a quick stop at McCaig's Tower on the top of the hill looking down at Oban.  For the first time on the trip we actually had rain.  Not too bad, but we got pretty damp.

This "tower" was built between 1887 and 1902 by John Stuart McCaig.  He wanted something like the Colosseum in Rome complete with statues of himself and his siblings inside.  He died before it could be finished.  Now the town of Oban is left with this monument and grassy space on top of a hill overlooking the town.  It does provide some great views though.

On our way out of town, we also decided to stop by the first castle of the day.  This was Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel just outside Oban.  It's pretty much a ruin like many of them at this point.  It was built around 1220 by the McDougalls.  Interesting fact... the castle was once besieged by Robert the Bruce during the War of Independence.

On the grounds of the castle is also a little chapel.  Apparently it's a "stunning" example of 13th century architecture. 

We then really hit the road and headed for Inverness.  Of course we had a few stops along the way.  The first one was a tiny little castle ruin called Old Inverlochy Castle near Fort William.   Apparently once upon a time, this was a very important castle through the civil wars of 1640.    There wasn't a whole lot to see there, but we stopped anyway.

Soon after that, we begin to hit the lochs.  This area was absolutely stunning.  First was Loch Lochy and then Loch Ness.  Also along the way, we stopped at the Ben Nevis distillery and paused to photograph the mountain as well. If I haven't mentioned it before, R and I have been having quite an education in Whisky.  This was one of many distillery stops on the road.

Along the border of Loch Ness, we discovered Urquhart Castle.  This one was amazing.  Huge and imposing, it overlooks the loch.  I'll talk more about Loch Ness in tomorrow's post.  In the meantime, enjoy the views of this 13th century castle.


We moved on to Inverness after that.  We didn't to too much that first night.  A few drinks in our hotel bar and a steak dinner at a lovely little place in town.  We did however finally eat haggis.  Surprisingly it was really good.  Very flavorful and not at all suspect.

In our walk around town we saw some lovely views.

Then it was off to bed.  Hopefully I can get one or two more posts done tonight and be up to date.  It took most of the train ride to London to get this one all together.  Cheers!

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