Saturday, August 9, 2014

Highland -- Day trip to Inverness

Reaching to unknown and to the boundary is a such human desire. After landing to Edinburgh, first desire I had was reaching to the uppermost location of scotland. So out of 3 weeks, I had I decided at least spend one weekend to northern side of country.

I lost one week find residential place to stay, so I had to plan it for next week .

After searching various tours available decide to go by grayline  day tour. Benefit  of using grayline tour was that they have free pick up. So it was best choice to go early in the morning. In the morning, I missed my breakfast and also bus was late but I got front seat so was happy. From front seat, I got complete view of similar to driver.
He picked up another 40-50 passengers in next half an hour and we finally started our tour approximately at 9:00 AM.
Our first stop was Forth Bridge .. I mean not actual stop but just going through places.. since it was a one day trip and it was around 400 km round trip journey. So there won't be actual stop as such but mostly sight seeing from the bus. While going we can clearly see Forth Bridge. I did visit day before to see mechanical structure.

On the way we watched Stirling castle. One thing I liked about Scottland was amount of castle it has. You just go anywhere you will find castles. Even hostle I stayed have one castle in it.

On the way we saw two enormous horse heads known as Kelpies. Both horse heads are around 30 m in height.The Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 10 horses.

In same vicinity in Falkirk  there is rotating boat lift called 'Falkirk Wheel'. It is engineering marvel but I didn't get a chance to visit this place. Next time, I will try to visit this place.

On the route, we visited small town called Callander. There we had our first coffee break and also paid for our trip.

Next stop was Loch Earn. It is a freshwater loch  (lake or sea inlet ) in the central highlands of Scotland, in the districts of Perth and Kinross and Stirling. The name is thought to mean "Loch of Ireland".

Next village on this picturesque journey was Crianlarich village. Crianlarich means low pass and it was used from medieval time to connect north and west Scotland.

Next we visited place called Glen Coe. Famous for MacDonald massacre. Early in the morning of 13 February 1692, in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite uprising of 1689 led by John Graham of Claverhouse, a massacre took place in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland.  Thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, on the grounds that the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary. Another forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.

After passing village spean bridge and Loch lochy we reached Fort Augustus.We had 1 hour shop and I tried to reach one of mountains considering it will be worth visit rather than going on cruise. But I walked so much that I could't reach back to bus stop in time and I was the last one to reach.
After running for 1 hour, I was tired decided to just seat and watch rest of journey. Later most of the journey was on the bank of Loch Ness. It is very large and deep lake. But this lake is famous for finding of monster but it later turned out to be just toy picture.

On the way visited Urquhart Castle The castle is on the A82 road, 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-west of Inverness and 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of the village of Drumnadrochit.

Final stop was inverness, biggest city on north side. It is also regarded as capital of highland. Invern means mouth of river. Although it was historic city couldn't see much because of rain and heavy traffic.

Return journey was quick with one stop to Pitlochry where we had coffee. It is also famous for distillery. On the way we also saw Blair castle. It has 800 years of Scottish history.
Finally we saw Dunkeld -- small town before reaching our final stop of Edinburgh.

Forthbrige , stirling , Callander, Loch Earn ,Crianlarich, Glen coe, Fort William, Loch lochy
spean bridge, Fort Augustus , loch ness,  inverness ,  Pitlochry , Blair castle, dunkeld

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