Greetings from Scotland! (Part 2 -Aberdeen and Inverness)

To backtrack a bit, I didn’t get any pictures of the Queen Mary 2 from the crossing, but Brian did.

 

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Queen Mary 2 – Docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia – 10 September 2016

Here’s a photo of the boat from our New England and Canadian trip in 2013.

 

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Queen Mary 2 – Bar Harbor, Maine, October 2013

Back to Scotland.  After leaving Edinburgh, our first stop was Stirling Castle and the site of the Battle of Bannockburn (June 1314).  Stirling is probably the grandest medieval castle in Scotland.  It was restored by King James V for his wife, Marie de Guise – parents of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

 

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Stirling Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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Stirling Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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Stirling Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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View of Stirling Castle from the Bannockburn Battle Field

Adjacent to Stirling Castle is the site of the Battle of Bannockburn. The first real victory for the Scots – lead by Robert the Bruce – over England and King Edward II.

 

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Site of the Battle of Bannockburn (June 1314) – 19 September 2016

 

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Statue of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots – Battle of Bannockburn – 19 September 2016

After Stirling and Bannockburn, we drove to Dunnottar Castle.  This was probably the most picturesque castle we saw on the entire trip.  Again, it was a medieval ruin, but it was situated on a cliff overlooking the sea, like something straight out of Macbeth or Lucia di Lammermoor.

 

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Wild Rose on the hike to Dunnottar Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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Haymaking – Hike to Dunnottar Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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Dunnottar Castle, Scotland – 19 September 2016

 

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View from Dunnottar Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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Dunnottar Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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Dunnottar Castle – 19 September 2016

 

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View from Dunnottar Castle – 19 September 2016

From Dunnottar, we drove to Aberdeen and stayed overnight at the Marcliffe Hotel, and as coincidence would have it, we were in the ‘Dunnottar Suite.’

The following day was the drive to Inverness.  First stop was Craigievar Castle.  My hands still hurt from clutching the steering wheel on this drive.  A one-lane winding road with hairpin curves and zero visibility of on-coming vehicles.  I seriously considered abandoning the vehicle and seeing if there was an Uber driver somewhere in rural Scotland.

So while this is supposed to be the finest example of ‘Scottish Baronial-Style’ architecture, all I could think was ‘It’s an ugly pink building.’ (It really wasn’t leaning like this; I was still recovering from the drive.)

 

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Craigievar Castle – 20 September 2016

After Craigievar, we drove to Loch an Eilein and the Rothimurchus Forest for hiking.  This area was gorgeous and really what one thinks about regarding Scottish lochs.

 

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Castle on the Island – Loch and Eilein – 20 September 2016

 

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Loch and Eilein – 20 September 2016

 

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Loch and Eilein – 20 September 2016

 

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Mossy Tree – Loch and Eilein – 20 September 2016

 

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Loch and Eilein – 20 September 2016

From here, we drove to the Battlefield of Culloden – the bitter defeat of the last Scottish Jacobite uprising against the English in 1746.

 

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19th Century marker for the Battle of Culloden – 20 September 2016

 

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Restored peasant cottage on Culloden Moor – 20 September 2016

From Culloden, we drove to our hotel in Inverness – the Rocpool Reserve Hotel.   The hotel was very nice – and the restaurant was great – but the best part about this hotel was the hot tub on our balcony; a godsend after the morning’s drive from hell.

Next up:  the Isle of Skye, Glencoe, and a brief stop en route to Hogworts.

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