Blog 30 Sept 18A shorter Blog this week as we continued our road trip in and around the Scottish Highlands.

Last Saturday we said goodbye to our small cottage in Ardentinny on Loch Long near Dunoon and headed further North to a little area called Urray, which is just past Inverness, not far from Dingwall.

The journey was around 174 miles and the drive North took up most of last Saturday, but we finally arrived at the second cottage for around 16.30.

This particular cottage is located inland and doesn’t have a view over a particular loch but offers stunning views of the Scottish Highlands.

On Sunday Ellen and I celebrated the 12th anniversary of our wedding, which took place at 3pm on 23rd September 2006 at the Whitewater Hotel, near Newby Bridge, Cumbria.

It was a wonderful wedding weekend amongst friends and family.

Looking back though those old photographs, a few people are no longer with us, some have been divorced, re-married and have children etc….

The one thing that is certain, life continues to move forward at an alarming rate at the moment, and Ellen and I have both changed a lot during that period of time.

By way of a surprise, Ellen had arranged for us to do a scenic cruise from Inverness along the Caledonian Canal, which led onto Loch Ness as far as Urquhart Castle, but unfortunately no sightings of the famous Loch Ness Monster…..

The weather had certainly improved this week, but still plenty of rain and mist around.

Sunday afternoon was spent exploring Inverness, which is a beautiful little town.

On Monday we travelled even further North to Golspie, in order to visit Dunrobin Castle, which is a stately home in Sutherland, in the Highland area of Scotland.

Dunrobin Castle is one of the best castles that I have visited and it overlooks the Dornoch Firth, which is less than 80 miles from John O’Groats.

I will of course post some pictures on my personal Facebook Page, but if you are ever in the area it is well worth the trip.

Unfortunately, Monday was slightly spoiled by stupid “trolling” from people who really should know better, and if they don’t then they should certainly take some advice or seriously look at themselves before it’s too late…..

Wikipedia describes “troll” in Internet slang as a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and off-topic messages with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.

I think that sums it up very nicely, and I could spend the next few paragraphs having a serious rant about the topic and those individuals involved, but I won’t give these individuals the satisfaction.

Anyway, on Tuesday we went to a place called Cromarty, which is a tiny little place, but again with stunning views as we walked around the coastline next to the Cromarty Firth and Lighthouse.

Having seen Urquhart Castle from the Loch on Sunday, we took the opportunity to actually visit it properly on Wednesday – another great castle, although now ruined, and very atmospheric.

We then headed back into Inverness to do some shopping as the weather wasn’t great.

On Wednesday evening we went to Eden Court, which is the local theatre in Inverness to watch a play called “The Case of the Frightened Lady”.

The theatre itself felt more like a conference hall, but the seating arrangement was good and the actual play was fantastic.

There were several TV celebrities playing the main roles, including John Partridge, Deborah Grant, Robert Duncan, Philip Lowrie, Matt Lacey, Scarlett Archer and Matt Barber.

Definitely one of the best Murder Mysteries I have seen since the Mousetrap.

On Thursday we undertook another long drive, this time to the Isle of Skye, which is only connected to Scotland’s northwest coast by a beautiful bridge.

It is also the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago and it is known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles.

On the way home we stopped off to visit Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most recognised and iconic images of Scotland.

The Castle is situated on an island where three great sea lochs meet, and is surrounded by some majestic scenery.

Apparently, although first inhabited around the 6th century, the first fortified Castle was built in the mid 13th century and stood guard over the lands of Kintail. Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded through the centuries.

An easy day on Friday with only a short walk around the Rogie Falls, which are over 13 metres high.

In the afternoon we went for a drive, along with visiting the Glen Ord Whisky Distillery, the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle. Its principal product is a 12-year-old single malt whisky.

On Friday evening we went to Red Poppy Restaurant in Strathpeffer for dinner, which was fantastic. A massive thank you to the in-laws Steve & Lesley for paying as an anniversary present.

Throughout the week I also needed to keep one eye on emails and messages etc, but it didn’t spoil the week.

By the time we finish this little road trip we will have completed more 1,700 miles, which is not too bad – thankfully it is a hire-car…..

Details on this weekend’s activities will be given next weekend.