It’s fortunate that we’re flexible as our original plans got altered a bit….. but all for the best. Our day began with a lovely English breakfast in our cozy B & B. They do know how to make good, strong coffee over here in Scotland.
First destination was the village of Carrbridge, just 7 miles north of Aviemore, site of a famous stone bridge. Back in 1717, the strong Scottish rains and resultant spate (flood) prevented anyone from crossing the river in town. This made it impossible for burials to be conducted with the church on one side of the river and the burial site on the other side. Within a period of only six months, a graceful, curved stone bridge was built over the rapids. [insert picture] The construction of this bridge appears far more amazing than the stone bridge along Route 9 beyond Hillsboro in NH.
Though the little town of Carrbridge gets many tourists coming to see the bridge, the town retains a very small town feel to it. A sign on the local general store / Post Office noted that only two school children were allowed in the store at the same time!
We’d planned to spend the night in Inverness, a large bustling city. When we got there, we found it was, well, just a large modern bustling city. Busy, noisy, and with none of the charm of other towns we’d been through, including Edinburgh. We were happy to continue on, even though it meant missing some traditional music (supposedly). So after a walk along the river Ness, we drove along the western shore of Loch Ness. The Urquhart castle ruins, on the shores of Loch Ness, were too intriguing to pass up so we stopped and explored (along with lots of Japanese tourists). This formidable castle was eventually laid to waste by technology…in the form of a catapult that hurled 300 pound balls which broke down its walls. No sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, which, coincidentally, were first reported in 1937 when the road along the shore was first built. Looks as if Nessie was just looking for some publicity with the throngs of people that used the new thoroughfare. At the same time marine biologists are puzzled as to how such a large creature can survive on the meager nutrients provided by the loch.
Moving along we found rest in Invergary. No music but a quiet town nestled in a wooded glen between two lochs (lakes).