Thursday, May 22, 2008


The past two days I spent hanging out and playing tour-guide a bit with Kelly and Sean (some photos are here). Kelly lives in Dublin but is from Nova Scotia, I met her when I first arrived in Scotland and then visited her when in Ireland. Sean is a friend of hers from back in Nova Scotia, where he lives now. It was his first trip overseas, and he and Kelly had done some touring in Ireland before coming over here on the ferry in Kelly's car (a Nissan Micra).

Tuesday morning I caught the bus down to Fort William to meet them, and we did some hiking in Glen Nevis. Kelly was well amazed by the twistiness of the road through Glen Nevis and the way there is so many blind crests on it. We didn't walk up Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in Britain), as it's a long ol' slog, but instead walked along a burn into the glen.
We then started the drive up to Inverness, stopping to view Loch Ness at a few locations along the way. The fresh air in the morning had made us all a bit dozy on the rest of the drive up. Went out for a really good Indian dinner once in town, and then went to Hootananny's pub to satisfy Sean's mission of trying one new beer per day of his travels.

On Wednesday, we went out to Cawdor Castle, another sight on Sean's list. Although the castle is quite old (around 14th century), it's a fancy modern home inside with the owners still living in it outside of the summer months (we figured they must have a "summer castle"). So there's old portraits and books mixed in with modern art, some carefully chosen family photos, and fashion magazines. The descriptions of the rooms were often funny in a dry sort of way due to the language used; a fireplace in one room was described as "hopelessly off-centre".
We took a walk in the castle grounds and found some gigantic old trees; here's Kelly demonstrating the size of one.

Next we went off to the Black Isle to tour the small brewery run there on an organic farm. Then we went up to Foulis (across the Cromarty Firth) for lunch. The rest of the day was spent taking care of errands back in town and then just hanging about. Thursday morning saw Kelly and Sean heading eastward to visit a friend in Aberdeen.

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