Near the famous Lake Ness, there lies at the mouth of the river of the same name into the sea and the ancient city of Inverness. Today it serves as a natural center for the entire Highlands of Scotland. But the city itself is worth a stop and a little exploration.
I first arrived in Inverness 8 years ago by night bus from Edingburg Airport. It was the first Scottish city I had the privilege of visiting, and perhaps more emotion was attached to it than the others. On a bike trip in the spring of 2019 I could not miss it again.
Unlike my first visit, this time I was caught in Inverness by almost constant rain and heavy gray clouds. So I spent the first 2 hours in one of the cafes trying to dry, which is an almost unrealistic task in Scotland. But at least I had more time to watch the peaceful life outside the windows and heard bits and pieces of how locals talked.
In the end, I gave up waiting for a while without rain and set off into the streets anyway. After a while I realized that the rain really does not bother anything, and on the contrary, perhaps gives the city a distinctive character, which underlines the atmosphere of the harsh region.
I forgave myself a tour of the castle, but I stepped out on the lookout near it, where you can see a large part of the city. Even here, the city seemed almost sleepy, yet majestic. Fog and clouds seem to cover the mystery of nearly 2000 years of history.
I spent a considerable amount of time by looking closely at the town hall and I will be happy to recommend the same. In any case, look into the interior, which seems to have fallen out of the Harry Potter scene.
Have a look at one of the local churches, for example St. Andrew’s Cathedral. For some reason I have been fascinated by Scottish cemeteries since my first visit. He at the Old High Church will breathe a mythical atmosphere, perhaps because the local hill used to serve for religious ceremonies since the Celts.
I do not normally purchase souvenirs, but here I had to look into several shops. If you want to get presents and souvenir whiskey outside the hustle and bustle of the capital, you have the perfect opportunity in Inverness.
And by the way - at the beginning I mentioned a night bus trip. At least once in the light of the A9 highland wasteland you can enjoy the road. You will be rewarded with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. It will only be better by train, but you will pay a lot for it.
In the next episodes of the series we will look directly into the Scottish wilderness.
In connection with Scotland, everyone will surely recall the fierce people fighting for independence throughout the history of this wild country, be it the Norman and Viking raiders, or the English and Irish usurpers. For the first time, however, the Romans attempted to penetrate the area at that time inhabited by the wild tribes of the Picts and the quieter Britons under the command of Agricola. However, they soon found that the land was not profitable enough for the long-term stay of the soldiers, so they decided to leave the north of Great Britain again and leave the newly built roads, fortresses and ramparts lying fallow.
The Hogwarts School of Magic is located somewhere in the Highlands, so it's no wonder the landscape is literally interwoven with references to Harry Potter books. J. K. Rowling, who wrote the books, was inspired mainly in the streets of Edinburgh, where she lived at that time. On every corner you can find some unobtrusive reminder from the books, be it street names that look strangely reminiscent of the names of the key characters, or the places where the books themselves were written.
Are you fascinated by Scottish castles? Against the dark sky, walls with gothic windows over the centuries lashed with rain and overgrown with rich green grass provoke our imagination longing to know at least a small piece of their stories. Castles and ruins of churches, monasteries and medieval buildings built from the local dark stone are a typical decoration of the beautiful and dramatic Scottish landscape.
The mountains in the north-west of Scotland rarely exceed 800 meters and roads usually run along rivers or coasts. Therefore, I would not expect here to be as beautiful and high as Applecross pass. Let's go to there!
It is time to leave the landscape of lakes, mountains, and long valleys in the center of Scotland and head through the inhospitable wasteland to the north to Thurso in sight of the Orkney islands. Instead of the highway A9, leading along the coast, I also chose deserted roads through endless moors and wetlands.
Our Slovenian adventure full of knowledge continues. After visiting the Kranjska Gora, which is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, we move on to another natural gem - the Vintgar Gorge (Blejski Vintgar, Vintgar Sotesque).
In the long valley between Fort William and Pitlochry in the middle of Scotland lies a large heath and in the middle of it one of the most deserted train stations. Surrounded only by lakes and heathland, you can still have tea inside it.
When I first went out into the world at 18, it was Scotland. I still remember the moon in it, when I almost traced it all to this day. For 7 years I wanted to go back and finally it was time. I got on a motorbike in Prague and set off for about 2000 kilometers long way to the northwest.
Early in the morning we set out to explore the beautiful Scotish island of Skye. Today, we are about to expect the rain whole day. We are disappointed by that because the place is beautiful. However, as rains are quite common around here it is nothing easy to plan your trip accordingly.
Upon our walk around Loch an Eilein lake, we return to have quick lunch in Aviemore village. Then we set out back to snow covered Scotish nature. This time we walk through a 5 kilometer trail in Ellan Wood, close to Carrbridge village which itself is situated about 20 minutes of car ride from Aviemore.
On this day we set off to central Scotland, to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Loch Lomond is the largest Scotish lake with the area of 71 square kilometers, the maximal depth of the lake is192 meters. There are over 30 small islands and we strive for visiting one of them.