Scotland, Day 5: Edinburgh to Inverness

We took a journey by car through the middle of Scotland along Loch Ness to the city of Inverness1, and stayed at a local bed and breakfast for the night. Inverness is considered the Gateway to the Highlands because it’s the most northern industrialized city. It has neither the urban conveniences of a modern city or the historical character of an old one, so remains something of a ho-hum subject in itself, but our short stay was just to break up the drive, and along the way was some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever encountered.

Scotland has long been on the top of my list of places to visit for exactly these types landscapes, but my favourite things to take pictures of are these farm houses under the mountains. At the same time, they’re a challenge to photograph because little details like sheep and streams of water running through the cracks of mountains disappear when trying to capture the sheer scale of the ranges.

The sun hasn’t been around much. When it rains it’s a fine spray, almost mist-like, but it can be just so dense that you’d get just as wet as if it was coming down in “stair rods” as they like to say here. The clouds hang low and shroud the tops of trees and mountains, making you feel like you’re right at the door of heaven.

house under mountains

These houses are so remote and serene, frequently with sheep grazing all around, and I wonder what life must be like to live among such splendor.

Scotland Landscape 2

We drove on roads through valleys like this.

Loch Lubnaig 1

Loch Lubnaig.

Loch Lubnaig 2

 

brown sauce

When I first saw a bottle of brown liquid being squeezed onto some French fries, I assumed it was gravy, but soon found out it’s “brown sauce”. I thought it was a colloquial term, but nope, that’s actually what it’s called. It’s made mostly of malt vinegar, so has a very tangy taste, and it caught me by surprise.

Scotland Landscape 1

You can barely make out the cars and the bend of the road around the mountain on the left.

Scotland Landscape 4

 

Scotland Landscape 3

 

Scotland Landscape 5

 

hand battered haddock

Hand-battered haddock. Quite different from the breaded haddock that Dennis cooked for us but just as delicious.

Malteser parfait

Malteser parfait with Griottine cherries. Last time I was in Scotland, I got to try Malteser cake. I love how they can make desserts out of those little round chocolate candies here.

  1. Meaning “Mouth of the River Ness” in Gaelic. []

8 comments

  1. Jeff, that first picture literally took my breath!

    It looks like you’re getting your fill of chips too – have you tried a chip butty? (sandwich of white bread, red or brown sauce and chips)
    It’s a carb fest but it’s a goody!

    • I haven’t tried chip butty, but I’m making a note to try it next time. With so much beans and mash, fish and chips, it seems like most Scottish food is a carb fest!

  2. Your shots do exactly what you were trying to demonstrate — I scrolled down to the wee house at the bottom of the first shot and went OH!!, and had to adjust my internal scale. Very cool.

    What is Griottine? What is malteser? Looks so amazing….

    • Griottine is just a type of cherry, like maraschino. And Malteser’s are a type of candy, with a sort of crispy ball coated in chocolate. So good… I’m surprised you haven’t heard of them, they’re pretty common in Canada, and I was surprised that they even made it across the pond to the UK.

      • OHHHHHH Maltballs! Yes we have them… didn’t know the other name for them. But Griottine I have never heard!

  3. Scotland is definitely on my list of places to visit while in Europe. The landscapes are amazing. It’s wonderful to see what you see.

  4. Speaking as true Scotsman, I can tell you exactly what it’s like to live amongst such splendour. It’s shite.

  5. Hi.
    Could you maybe tell me the exact location of the house in the first picture? That is so beautiful!

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