Halfway through our Scotland trip last month, we got a rental car, had a yummy farewell lunch at Mono, and got to know our dubious new friend, the GPS (who later misguided us or just faded away on more than one occasion) as we headed out of Glasgow. Since David was driving and I’m not much of a shutterbug, especially while in a moving car, there aren’t many pictures of our driving days.
On a different side of the road than we’re accustomed to, we drove up past Loch Lomand and kept going. Along the way, we stopped twice, once for the sheer greenery of the view, and again when we reached Glencoe―as the GPS (we had begun to call her “Evil Siri“) directed us off and onto our first single-track road, where we got a luckily-not-crash course in passing places. Since we needed a stop and a turn around, we went further down the road and ended up at the Clachaig Inn. We went inside for a break, and I noticed a sign there: No Hawkers or Campbells. Glad neither of us are Campbells! History lesson here (with mention of the Clachaig Inn at the end): These Terrible Historical Events Inspired Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding.
From there, we ignored Evil Siri and got back on the A82, where we were led past Loch Lochy (aye, really) and Loch Ness (didn’t see Nessie, but didn’t expect to) and finally reached Inverness, where we spent a lovely stay at Carbisdale B&B, which we highly recommend, if you happen to be in Inverness; we stayed there again on the trip back and hope to return.
The next morning, we enjoyed a lovely vegan breakfast, cooked by Wilma and served by Colin, and chit-chatted with other guests while admiring the bird-filled garden. Then we were off northwards. We stopped at The Storehouse of Foulis for some tea and to take in the view of the Cromarty Firth. Worth noting on the entire trip so far: no rain. Just wonderful weather.
When we got far enough to feel comfortable with our schedule to meet the ferry to Orkney (the reason for the drive), we made other stops. One was in Wick, at The Alexander Bain, which not only offered a wide selection of beer, but some veg-friendly items on the menu. At the time we were in Scotland, all the news was about the Referendum, and this pub was papered in material to help make a decision. Most people we met during our time in Scotland didn’t feel that leaving the EU was a grand idea, and their final vote reflects that sentiment.
As we neared the ferry, we still had more time, so we stopped at The Castle of Mey and got a look at our second castle so far plus a relaxing view of the tip of Scotland before boarding the ferry that would bring us over to Orkney.
Finally, we got to the ferry. We parked our car in the line to board, and had a cuppa tea. I’ve always wanted to see Orkney, so this is where the trip gets bucket-list for me. Might take me a while to sort out how to post about it, but I will!