Tag Archives: Invermoriston

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!

The Great Glen Way – Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

August 17 – a chilly but sunny forecast for today. The temp was in the 40s this morning, so I wore my sweatshirt and fleece jacket. We headed into the woods, and stayed there most of the morning, occasionally glimpsing Loch Ness through the trees.

Then we got to a clearing, and there it was!

No monster sightings today. We read that the last Nessie sighting was in 1985, so we don’t hold out much hope for one, but we’ll keep looking!

We amused ourselves at a traffic reflector in the middle of the woods:

Pretty soon we came to Invermoriston, which has one hotel, a collection of guesthouses, and no other services. They have a very welcoming sign:

They have an old bridge, one of over a thousand built by Thomas Telford in the early 1800s to improve communication and transportation in the Highlands.

They have a waterfall:

They have standing stones:

They have a memorial to the fallen of the great wars. The WWI memorial contained two soldiers that share Jim’s surname! We look for the names of our forebears in every town, but these are the first we’ve found. Like so many names in America, Jim’s was changed many generations ago from MacLennan to McClenon. We count it as a match.

The memorial contains two MacLennans

There is also St. Columba’s well. St. Columba was an Irish evangelist who came to Scotland in the year 563 to convert the Picts to Christianity. In 565, when a sea monster in Loch Ness (first Nessie sighting ever!) attacked his traveling companions, he banished it to the bottom of the Loch. So, this well used to have toxic water that made people break out in boils and die, but after St. Columba blessed it, the water was pure and cured people of their ills. The well is blocked off so you can’t get to the water.

St.Columba’s well

So, now we are in another lovely guesthouse. We are full of lasagna and planning tomorrow’s hike. Good night!