The Great Glen Way – Invermoriston to Drumnadrachit

August 18 – After another fine smoked salmon and egg breakfast, we set out onto a trail that immediately went uphill, and kept going uphill much longer than I wanted it to. See the town down below?

The day is gray.

We got to the woods, and they looked really, really dark. The tall pine trees blot out any light. Careful, Jim!

Jim found a pine cone heart on the path
Little stone cave
Finally, the Loch!
Heather lined both sides of the trail
Then, the sun came out!
Now it’s a lovely day

Because there was no lodging at the end point of our walk, our tour operator arranged for a taxi to pick us up and take us back to last night’s guesthouse. I like it when we can stay more than one night in the same place.

Tomorrow’s hike is all road walk into Drumnadrochit (Drum-na-DROCHHH-it), so, with the help of the taxi driver, we planned an alternate adventure. Can’t wait!

August 19 – Our taxi driver picked us up at the guesthouse and took us two miles past the town of Drumnadrochit to Urquhart (IRK-hart) Castle, the second most visited castle in Scotland.

Urquhart Castle

The castle was built around 1250, and passed through many hands before being blown up by the occupying English in 1690 to prevent the Jacobites from using it. It has been falling to ruin ever since. That does not stop a half a million tourists a year from coming to see it.

There were signs indicating that archeologists surmise that one area must have been the kitchen and another the stables, but you really had to use your imagination.

The tower
This must have been the prison!

The trebuchet below was built in 1997 for an American documentary that was filmed here. There is no indication that trebuchets were ever actually used to hurl big stones in a battle here.

Wildlife in the gift shop
The tourists!

Then we visited the Loch Ness Centre to see all the ways folks have been looking for the monster.

Diving bell
Yellow submarine

They haven’t found him yet. A few weeks ago there was an article about a local Nessie sighting. It turned out to be a swimming alpaca.

Then we walked into Drumnadrochit for a scrumptious meal, and to provision for tomorrow’s hike.

A piper
A floral reproduction of Urquhart Castle

We are staying at Drumbuie Farm, which raises the famous Highland cattle – beef cows of a gorgeous color that look like they need a haircut.

Highland cow cupcakes at the market
A Highland bull
and a Highland cow

Tomorrow is our penultimate hiking day!

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