Caledonian Canal, Fort Augustus, Scotland
Scotland - Part 2 - Fort William to Inverness
Along Loch Ness, Scotland
The drive this day was long Route A82, a tourist route to be sure, and narrow and winding, but beautiful all the same. Leaving Fort William the drive goes almost due north to get to Inverness, and at first the road travels under the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles, which this day was fog shrouded. We continued along to Fort Augustus, where a most amazing engineering feat has been established – there is a canal that connects Loch Ness to the Lochs on the other side (South) and eventually allows water travel all the way back to Fort William and thence out to sea – avoiding a boat having to go around the northern tip of Scotland. We watched as boats were lowered this day along the canal, and walked the shores of Loch Ness.
After a wonderful lunch at Fort Augustus, we drove along Loch Ness and drove past a series of bridges and waterfalls in Invermoriston and then came to the amazing Urquhart Castle. There is an incredible visitor’s centre there, and if you pay to go out to the ruins (I most highly recommend this), one gets a simply marvellous look into history – and fantastic scenery from the castle, put there because of the commanding spot it was built on! My 26x or so great grandfather William the Lion of Scotland may have had his headquarters here, and he most certainly lived here for a time as there is archeological evidence to that end displayed at the site. The Scottish Government has done well and not “restored” the castle, razed in 1692 so that nobody else could use it against anyone, and then held by the Scottish Government since the late 1800’s. The Castle site was first used in the late 700s to the early 800s, so one is standing on over 1000 years of history. Quite the amazing experience to stand there and take it all in! We then drove on to Inverness itself and also spent a day travelling along the Spey River, which is the focus of next week’s blog.
Pepper Pot Light - the Entrance to Loch Ness
Urquhart Keep - the Oldest Part of the Castle and where William would have lived