#annacoritakelondon part 4: inverness & loch ness
Due to the massive rainstorm the night we landed, we had to stand outside in the rain for a good 30 minutes until more cabs arrived. Turns out, the cab situation is not like New York - go figure! ;) As mentioned in the Culloden Moor post, we rented a car for our stay in Inverness, but weren't scheduled to pick it up until the next morning. We stayed in this little Bed & Breakfast with the most adorable Scottish host. He stayed up until 11pm, which is when two soaking wet girls showed up on his doorstep for their stay. I think he felt a little bad for us, so we were upgraded to a nicer room with two beds and a private bathroom. This was my first B&B experience, and I absolutely adored it. Especially the breakfast the next morning. I felt like we were part of his family.
On the way back to the airport the next morning to pick up our car, we had a great cab driver. We told him it was our first time in Inverness, and asked him what we should do. Well, when Scottish people try to tell you directions, it goes a little something like this:
"At the McDonalds in the main square of town, take the roundabout and go straight. At the next roundabout, take a right. Then go straight for awhile, then take a right. After you take a right, there's another roundabout. Go left at the roundabout until you get to the sheep meadow. Then just go a little farther down the road, and it's on your left."
Completely how I tell directions at home, but a little crazy for two tourists who just want to concentrate on staying on the LEFT side of the road. The cabbie told us the best place to eat was at this place called DOORS INN (or how we thought it was spelled). He gave us directions in his Scottish ways, and we remembered about half.
After Culloden Moor, we wanted to see the famous Loch Ness. Early in the day it was completely overcast, but by the time we left Culloden the sun decided to clear the clouds, and it turned into the most gorgeous day. I swear, these photos look like they're taken on a separate day, and they don't do Loch Ness justice.
We drove along the side of the lake, and pulled off at different spots to take photos. Along our drive, we noticed the Official Loch Ness Exhibitand decided we wanted to learn all about Nessie. The Exhibit was interesting. It was full of large rooms that could easily hold 50+ people, and we had the whole show to ourselves. Each room had a video that played for 5-10 minutes, and then you moved on to the next room. Unlike other museums taking you through the whole story, they gave up the real answer of Nessie's existence in the first room. We lost a little bit of our interest for the last 20 minutes of the exhibit.
After the riveting news of Nessie, we drove a little further and ended up stopping for some afternoon tea at The Fiddler's Cafe. We noticed the sun was started to set, so we decided it would be a good time to start driving back to Inverness. Along the way, we stopped at Urquhart Castle, but we missed opening times by 10 minutes! It wasn't meant to be, but it definitely gave us both something to look forward to on our next trip.
One place that is mentioned in the Outlander series is the church at Inverness. On our way back in, I really wanted to check it out. We couldn't go inside, but we were able to look through the windows. It was a beautiful church, situated right on the river. There was another castle like structure across the river that looked interested to check out as well. The Inverness Castle wasn't original, but a castle has been there since the 11th century! Today, it's the Sheriff Courthouse and County Hall, and off limits to tourists. But, the grounds were so beautiful.
When we were driving around the Castle, I happened to notice a sign labelled DORES 8. I pointed it out to Anna, and our minds clicked. This was where the cabbie told us to go! The sun was almost completely set by this time, so we decided to hurry over to Dores to see if the infamous Dores Inn existed. And it did! It was situated at the bottom of Loch Ness, with a view that was breathtaking. The sun created the most beautiful colors with the clouds and mountains, and it was honestly one of the best views I'd ever seen. We ate dinner in the bar at Dores Inn, as they were completely booked (who knew?). Hands down, best meal and view of the entire trip.
I'm completely in love with Scotland, and will for sure be back some day.