Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 934: Inverness, Loch Ness, Glen Affric, Red Deer, Wild Hare, Sweet Red Peppers & More!

The beauty of Scotland continues!

After breakfast at Atholl Villa in Pitlochry, we made our way to Inverness, the "Capital of the Highlands", as it is called. The route was again very scenic. I love the yellow wild flowers that seemed to grow anywhere and everywhere in Scotland! There are the really tiny ones that cover the grassland and looks like a wispy spray painting of yellow and there are the much bigger ones that are clumped up in huge bushes. Both of them make the landscape look so pretty & chirpy!

With my favourite yellow wildflowers! 

At Inverness, we passed by the gorgeous Loch Ness (or Lake Ness in other words) and after a couple of photo stops, proceeded to have lunch at the Loch Ness visitor centre cafe. As you arrive at the visitor centre, you are welcomed by bagpipe music which I absolutely love and it added an additional flavour to our lunch!
At the Loch Ness

After lunch, we decided to drive around the surrounding area. Upon some research, we discovered that "Glen Affric" is supposed to be very scenic. But without much idea of what Glen Affric is or where it is located, we set off on our way there. Scotland is not really great with the signposts, and our GPS couldn't figure out Glen Affric, so we ended up going up in random directions for a while. But random directions in Scotland only mean more scenic glories to behold, so nobody was complaining!

After quite some circling around, we chanced upon the road to Glen Affric and we took it. The journey was via a super narrow, single lane track through a thick coniferous forest was fascinating! First a wild hare ran straight across our path and then out of the blue, a huge...and I mean HUGE red deer appeared on the side of the road! I was super duper thrilled to have spotted the deer! For the last couple of days, we had been seeing signs of possible deer sightings along the roads and I had been commenting on how awesome it would be to see one, but I really had not expected to actually spot any. So when this majestic, tall, strong, beautiful animal appeared in front of us, I went nuts! Sheer awesomeness! I wish I could have clicked a few pics with it, but very evidently it was not as excited to see us as we were to see it, so the darling thing darted away as soon as I could collect my sense. Oh well! But that's one thing I was have in my memory for a very long time to come!
Driving through Glen affric

Glen Affric, as it turned out, was the name of the region covered by the forest. The stopping point for the cars was in the middle of thick vegetation, next to a beautiful lake and this was to be the starting point for walking trails. There was nothing else there other than a couple of benches. So we made our way back and decided to check in to our bed & breakfast and get some rest.
Somewhere in the middle of Glen Affric 

Our B&B, the lovely Kim Craigan's B&B, had one of the best locations ever! It was in a quiet cluster of homes, right by the Loch Ness and was just beautiful! We couldn't believe the view from our room and how nice a place this was to stay in!
View of the Loch Ness from our room at Kim Craigan's B&B 

After comfortably settling in and getting a bit of rest, we set out again for dinner. We chose the Cobbs restaurant by the Loch Ness and had some rather fancy food - Sweet Red Peppers in cheese for me and Lamb Shank in some herb sauce for the hubby and both of them were delicious.
The lovely Cobb's restaurant, with a view of the Loch Ness

My dinner of sweet red peppers with cheese! 

And then it was time for some good rest, in our lovely room by the lovely lake! I felt so much at peace...and blessed, really!

66 more to go.  

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