Today we would be making our way to Loch Ness for the next two nights, and though I'll always deny it out loud, there was a tiny part deep down that secretly hoped we spot something strange out there. The car coasted over the amazing hills and it felt like we were on top of the world. Scotland's beauty is severe, its rocky hills blanketed by deep green and speckled with sheep. Up and over each hill we kept catching ourselves in tiny gasps at the sight of it, and this was just the countryside. We had yet to set our eyes on the mountains and lakes of this obviously enchanted place.
We drove through the city of Inverness, the growing capital of the Highlands, which rests at the northern tip of long and narrow Loch Ness. After finding and checking into our quaint Bed & Breakfast in a small town on Loch Ness' western side, we decided not to cram the rest of the day full of rushing about, trying to fit every possible thing in. Just up the road and around the bend from where we stayed was Urquhart Castle, a beautiful set of ruins perched on a cliff over the loch.
It was really windy.
This bagpiper created a superb soundtrack for all the people crawling around the castle ruins.
After Urquhart we decided to make it an early night in order to organize the next day's activities.
A ten minute walk through some farm-like land and woods brought us to a small guest house known for its great Aberdeen burgers, so that's where we headed. In Stonehaven I learned that Black Angus in the States is a hybrid cow of the Aberdeen cow from Scotland (for its richness of taste and tenderness) and an Argentinian cow (for its ability to stave off sickness). Now I'm not a burger connoisseur, I can't taste the grain the cow on my plate munched on in his final days, but these burgers were good, and we were satisfied.
After dinner we walked around a bit to avoid going to bed later with still full stomachs, finding a trail through the woods nearby. The hope was to wind or way to the loch's edge and enjoy some moments of quiet solitude together by the water. When it started getting darker and we began feeling loster (yeah, I know it's not a word), we headed back the way we came and spent the rest of the evening planning out the next day.