"Bless This House"

Trip Start Sep 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 19, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Thursday, October 11, 2012

The locals at Fort William claimed yesterday that they get 355 days of grey skies and rain per year. We struck two of the sunny ones, so don't feel at all cheated when it is miserable outside as we leave The Highlander.

Today is a short two hour drive to Inverness with one important highlight en route... Urquhart Castle.

Grandma has long claimed that, as an Urquhart descendant, this is her ancestral base.
(I have long claimed that the closest ancestor we have there lives in the lake...)

We watch the short history of the castle - which reveals a Pict, Macdonald and Grant domination. Its naming comes from the area of the countryside around the castle which has not a wee mention of an Urquhart connection! The castle was destroyed intentionally around the 1700's to remove any further occupation by enemy clans. The remains warrant just a short inspection before retreat by the modern day troops to the cafe for a fine cappuccino and slice of cake.

And the obligatory cruise through the gift shop. We farewell this house and continue east.

At Inverness, we drive straight through in search of a more appealing countryside bakery for lunch. We find nothing and return. Inverness gives an overall gloomy appearance and we resort to lunch inside a warm MacDonalds - our one and only descent to this depth in three weeks.

The car is returned to Thrifty with around 1300 miles added to the clock and 210 spent on fuel in total. This leaves a dull four hours to sit at the Inverness station waiting for the Caledonian Sleeper train to arrive - our home for the overnight trip back to London.

We have two sleeper cabins booked and true to form, they follow the first rule of train travel...
"Your carriage will always be the furthest away from the station entry and almost as far from the dining car."

For we "first class" passengers - we have beds, not seats - there is a hot menu served at tables. The green chicken curry is very tasty, Ian enjoys a red wine and G-ma tucks into a can of beer. There is a merry lot at the far end of the car... mates travelling to London and on to Wales for a World Cup qualifying match. It explains the combinations of Scottish flags and kilts with runners.

I remember back to the packs of mates that caught the overnight Prague-Venice train five years ago, carrying slabs of beer on board and hope that these guys aren't doing the same.

Or that they are way down the other end...
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Angela on

I need these emailed to me Jenny! Mother wants me to forward them to her and she can't open the link and isn't on Facebook (no idea why not)

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