Travel diary: Inverness and Loch Ness

Day 13-15 of the Euro trip.

Day 13 involves us packing up the car to head to the southern end of the Isle of Skye to see the castle ruins and a museum on the history of the Isles (Islands) in Scotland in Armadale which is home to clan Donald. We have a walk around the beautiful gardens there too and are amazed by the impressive view from the castle ruins and cant help but think why were they moved out of, which only occurred about 80 years ago. By the time we finish up here Tanami is very tired and throwing tantrums so we decide to leave instead of having something to eat in the gardens. As we walk back to the car we walk past a playground and he absolutely flips it when we go past it. Screaming and crying for the next 10 mins as I carry him back to the car. Such a relief get him in the car and give him some food and milk.

 

From there we take off to Eileen Donan castle, one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland, although it is no longer lived in it regularly hosts weddings and functions. Definitely worth a visit if going to visit the Isle of Skye.

We take the route up the West Coast and then across to Inverness, it’s about 10 minutes longer but I love getting a bit more off the beaten track and having a look around.

Finally we reach our destination, 10 minutes out of Inverness. A 3 bedroom caravan, think of the caravans in the movie ‘Snatch’. Very popular with the ‘travellers’ in the UK, and I’m not talking about the Grey Nomad community either. 3 bedrroms is an absolute blessing, the first time ever we have had a room each for the kids and one for ourselves. Kids go down very early and have possibly the best nights sleep they have ever had, without the ability to wake each other up throughout the night or in the morning!

 

Next day we head to Culloden battlefield, the place of the last hand to hand battle in the UK and where the Jacobite uprising was finally crushed. I go through the exhibition whilst Ewelina takes the kids to the outdoor area to kick the soccer ball with Tanami and a quick walk around the actual battlefield. There is a wealth of information within the exhibition which I soak up.

Lunch is had back in the Caravan which is only 10 minutes away. After lunch it’s off to the Tomatin distillery. This is a privately owned distillery, unlike a lot of the distilleries in Scotland which are owned by the one group.

They inform us kids can go on the tour, but I’m not having a bar of that. The kids won’t have the patience to last over an hour on a tour like that. I suggest that one of us should do the tour and the other take the kids. Ewelina informs me that she doesn’t want to go on the tour, I tell her that 1 of us is doing this tour. If she doesn’t want to do it, she’ll be taking the kids. She suddenly has an interest to go on the tour. I ask the lady on the desk where the nearest park is, she directs me to a great little park in a village 5 mins drive up the road. There they have an astro turf mini soccer pitch, which is enclosed and is covered. Tanami, Ori and I go there and kick the ball around before jumping on the playground and having a run around there. Such great facilities in a little village with only 2 shops in it.

After over an hour we head back to Ewelina who informs us the tour was great, definitely worth it and that they went into a lot more detail than the Talisker tour. I’m a little bit jealous.

Next day it’s off to the Loch Ness. The drive along the ‘Great Glen’  is absolutely beautiful, we have been amazed by Scotland’s natural beauty quite regularly on this trip. By the time we get to the exhibition Ori is Asleep. We chuck her in the pram and go inside. I ask the lady is the exhibition relevant to a 2 year old, honestly she informs me no. I really appreciate this instead of her tring to get my dollars. I had no real desire to go to this exhibition, so I leave Ori, sleeping, there with Ewelian before heading to the village, a 3 min drive, with Tanami with Thermos and ball in hand. Kicks of the footy in between sips of coffee and after an hour we head back to pick up mummy, who informs us that she really enjoyed the exhibition but I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it.

 

From here it’s off to ANOTHER castle, Urquhart castle ruins. It’s a castle right on the Loch Ness and their exhibition is well put together with a good run down on the history of the castle and a video that goes for about 10 minutes before they open the curtains to reveal the beautiful castle ruins in all its glory. I thought that was very well done. By this time, Tanami hasn’t had his sleep and is becoming difficult. Running away from us both and not wanting to hold anyone’s hand, which is quite dangerous as the Loch (lake) surrounds a great deal of the castle and there are steep drops into the dried up moat as well as from the castle itself. Ewelina takes him away whilst I continue on for another 15 minutes with Ori.

We go home via Fort Augusta, which is an hour or so longer, but again I just want to have a look at different parts of this beautiful country and don’t see the point in following our tracks back.

Tomorrow we are off to the Scottish Borders, another exciting part of the trip and one of our first experiences!

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