About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scot Rail and Inverness Scotland

After a very late night (early morning really) we had to get up and get going.  We didn't get to sleep in much.  After a pretty good breakfast in the hotel - Brandon loved the fresh waffles - we caught a taxi to Queen Street Station.  Our train would be leaving around 10am.  

Katrina finds her morning happiness in a Starbuck's tall Chai at the train station.  

Edinburgh and Glasgow milepost dating from 1842.  

Our train journey to Inverness took a little over 3 hours, through the green and very beautiful Scotland countryside.  

Brandon and Katrina settle in for the train journey.

Our train arrived in Inverness sometime in the early afternoon.  We figured out where our hotel was located and headed that way.  The skies were cloudy and chilly, but not rainy.  

  Inverness is the only city in the north of Scotland. It's a normal, workaday town.  The urban "Highlands".  Its well located for enjoying the surrounding countryside and sights.  It has a bustling pedestrian zone, riverside paths, and foot bridges.  

Our hotel, the Strathness House, is located on the western bank of the Ness River.  

Inverness Castle.  Its the biggest place in town, but is not really open to the public.  It is now a courthouse.

After getting settled in our room, we headed out to find some lunch.  Our hotel host sent us in the direction of Castle Restaurant, a diner type place where the locals hang out.  Brandon and I had fish and chips.  
After lunch we spent the late afternoon just wandering around town.  

A local refuge had two of these owls on display.  They are impressive and big.  

View up the Ness River.  Our hotel is just around the bend on the right.  The castle is located on the top left.

One of two pedestrian suspension bridges that captivated Brandon.  You can see clouds.  We enjoyed mostly dry weather, with a few light rain showers.  Nothing too bad.  We were prepared for worse.  It was very cold and windy though.  

View from our hotel room window - very nice.  We were still a bit tired from out late travel to Scotland, so we took a nice break in the room before dinner.  

One of many churches in town.  This one sits along the River Ness.  

Another church in the evening (and cloudy) shadow.

The cemetery beside the church.  

We had planned on eating at an Indian restaurant that our hotel recommended, but it was crowded with a long wait and we didn't have reservations.  So, we made reservations to tomorrow night and headed out in search of dinner.  We actually found it difficult to find a place.  Many of the restaurants in Inverness are also bars.  After 8:30pm children can no longer enter these places.  We had to find a restaurant that didn't have a bar...thats difficult in Scotland.  That reminds me of something else that is different here.  The Scottish eat much earlier than Italians - they begin dinner service around 6pm, not 8 or 9pm like in Italy.  

We were kindly directed to Aspendos Mediterranean Turkish Restaurant.  It was fantastic, which is why I provided a link.  If you are ever in Inverness, check it out.  It's located on Queensgate.  

After dinner we slowly made our way back to the room for the night.  We had a good first day in Scotland.  Tomorrow we will head out in search of the Loch Ness Monster.  

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