Inverness to Nairn isn’t much distance wise, if you were to go straight there and back but we rarely do anything in a direct route when we’re on vacation.
Our first stop this morning was to see the sixteen men of Tain at the Glenmorangie Distillery after a few photo ops along the way.
Unfortunately, they were fully booked for tours because of two cruise ships. But we were each given a free dram of the amber nectar (not that I could drink mine because I was driving but I did let it touch my lips and had a wee sip).
We bought a bottle to take to Kennethmont for our stay there along with a couple of other things from the gift shop before heading off to see Hilton of Cadboll stone.
Before making our way back to the main road, we found ourselves on another single track road and at the Shandwick Stone which is under glass to protect it from the elements.
Now that our thirst for sculptured Pictish stones had been temporarily quenched, we got back on the road. We weren’t the only ones who had a thirst needing quenched. Our car wanted petrol (not to the point we were on fumes or anything) so we drove into Invergordon to fill up. The two cruise ships that we had been told about at the distillery were docked here and the passengers were being shuttled by bus to Glenmorangie. Those who weren’t wandered about aimlessly like cattle.
Another reason we stopped here was on our way up, we had seen lots of rigs in the water and this put us right along the Cromarty Firth where we could get a good look.
Next stop was Fortrose Cathedral. Not as impressive as some of the ones we’ve visited over the years but filled with history and interesting artefacts.
Fort George is almost directly across the Moray Firth from Fortrose but because there is no bridge, you have to double back to the main A9 road bridge. The fort is also a working military base so there are places where you can’t go. It reminds me a lot of The Citadelle in Quebec City.
It was late when we arrived here so we didn’t have a lot of time to explore but we did see the highlights (as suggested by Historic Scotland).
Cawdor House B&B was our destination for the night. Aside from street parking only, it was a lovely place. Our room was enormous! 4-poster bed, daybed and leather sofa and a spacious en-suite bathroom.
Our hosts suggested a restaurant where we could have our evening meal that was within walking distance. That meant I could have a drink, too.
During our meal, I had been eyeing the cocktail menu so afterwards, I had not just one, but two Porn Star Martinis!
Whilst drinking Porn Star #2, a devilish thought came to me… Remember the movie Around the World in 80 Days? Well, I came up with with a twist on it. Around Scotland in 80 DLays. I know, I’m bad and stay out of the Porn Stars. LOL!
This morning we were greeted with blue sky and a rainbow – a vast improvement over yesterday’s pouring rain.
The first leg of our journey was from Oban to Glenfinnan – the monument and the viaduct.
At one time we were members of the National Trust for Scotland which gave us free entry to their properties but we let it lapse when my mum got sick and it looked like we wouldn’t be travelling abroad for quite some time. We could have climbed to the top of the monument for a fee but seeing it and Loch Shiel were more than enough.
The other thing we wanted to do in the area was walk under the Glenfinnan Viaduct. In 2013, we took the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig over this amazing structure so it only seemed fitting that we saw it from a different perspective.
As impressive as the viaduct is when you ride the train over it, it’s even more so from below. The stone masons who built this huge structure were skilled to the “nth” degree.
However, as much as we were captivated by this area, we had to carry on to Inverness.
Our next stop en-route was the Commando Monument near Spean Bridge. This has been erected adjacent to the main A82 road to Inverness.
At this point, we knew we weren’t going to make our anticipated check-in time at Acorn House in Inverness so we called there and pushed our arrival time back to 17:00 and passed on the side trip out to the Witch’s Cauldron.
We made it to Acorn House well in advance of our revised time and were given a warm welcome.
Once settled in our lovely room, we set out in search of supper. I had seen Indian food on google maps and we found a wonderful place in the city, well withing walking distance of the Guest House.
The atmosphere at Rajah was excellent as was the food, service and price. Highly recommended place to go for an authentic meal.
Well fed and content, we made our way back to the guest house and settled in for the night.
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King