Feb 10, 2008

Impressions of Inverness

This past week was tiresome, as travelling always is, but I had a marvellous time. I was lucky with the weather - I got some snow on my first day in Inverness, which was great, and other than that the days were mostly sunny.

Inverness is not as beautiful a city as Edinburgh (but then again, what city is?) but it has a lot of charm and a very unique mood. Plus, it's a great departure point for exploring the Highlands. I'm so glad I got to see the city covered in snow:

This is on the way to the Ness Islands, which were unfortunately closed due to some heavy rain the previous week. But just walking along the river was lovely enough.

The castle and the river Ness:

This is the Tomnahurich graveyard, where, according to legend, 13th century seer Thomas the Rhymer is buried:

Falcon Square:

A graveyard beside an old Gaelic church which...

...was turned into Scotland's largest second hand bookshop! The store itself is a bit pricey for a second-hand bookshop (most books were between £3.5 and £5, and some were not exactly in the best condition), but there's just something special about seeing a building that old completely filled with books.

The city and the river Ness (the tower on the left is the bookshop):

Loch Ness:

Approaching Urquhart Castle:

The castle and Loch Ness:

Culloden battle field:

The cottage that survived the battle. It has since been rebuilt, but the location is the same:

The Fortrose cathedral, up on the Black Isle:

The Moray Firth from Fortrose. It's a great place for spotting dolphins (the only colony of dolphins in the North Sea, actually), seals, and even whales, but unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to see any.

What can one say about this? I just love Scotland.

More of the Black Isle:

There. As you can imagine, I'm more in love with Scotland than ever. Inverness really is a great departure place for exploring the gorgeous surrounding area, and I promised myself we'd come back one summer, rent a car and just go driving through the glens. It's not too good to have to depend on buses on a place like this, even because the most beautiful areas are not even on any bus routes. But still, we got a fairly good taste of the Highlands.

Tomorrow or so I'll post my pictures and impressions of North Wales. It completely surpassed my expectations. I was stunned. I can't believe all the amazing places I got to see in the past few days. Beautiful landscapes, medieval castles, lovely little villages, ruins on the top of hills...Wales is absolutely magical.

Meanwhile, I've been slowly but surely catching up with all your blogs. You people post too much; my google reader was about to explode :P I'm kidding, of course - by all means keep posting. But it will probably take me a few days to visit everyone.


  1. Oh my gosh, Nymeth! Such beautiful, beautiful photos! I didn't think it possible for me to want to Scotland more than I already did, but I was mistaken! Fairyglen...how perfectly delightful! And I want to go stand in that exact spot where you took the photo of the castle and Loch Ness! So glad you had such a wonderful time...how could you not, huh?

  2. Absolutely beautiful pics. Will look forward to more!

  3. Wow, it all looks so gorgeous! I just want to close my eyes and be transported there...one of these days. I had never had Scotland on the top of my list of places to visit until I met you and Neil Gaiman :p Now I have a sudden urge to buy a ticket! Seriously, who wouldn't want to be surrounded by that! Can't wait to see Wales!

  4. How beautiful! I would love to visit the area one day.

    And I have to ask - no Nessie sightings?


  5. Lovely photos, I'm glad you had a good time!

    I'm hoping that in the next year or so we will manage a trip to Scotland. Would be nice to take a holiday there with the pup and go exploring. I think this year we will probably end up going somewhere like Dartmoor. I love Dartmoor, and haven't visited in years. One of my favourite places.

    Looking forward to hearing about your trip to North Wales! It really is beautiful there.

  6. I'd love to go to that part of the world; your photos are the next-best thing. Glad you're having a wonderful time!

  7. I love your photos and it's all about having a signpost to Fairyglen! I can't wait to see some of your Wales ones. I used to go to North Wales every year with my family growing up and I think North Wales is my favourite place in the world. I plan on taking Alex and a tent this summer for a week or two and exploring my old haunts and some new.

  8. I really enjoyed viewing all the pics, Nymeth! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the trip. I wish I'll have the chance to visit Scotland. I can't wait to see more pics from you! :)

  9. What gorgeous pictures!! I so want to visit Scotland someday. I'm glad you are having such a wonderful trip!

  10. Those are great photos. Thank you so much for sharing, Nymeth. I'm already to fly there tomorrow and visit the bookstore. I wonder what my boss would think? :-)

  11. Thanks for posting these! I want to go to Scotland!

  12. well those pictures would make anyone jealous! That includes me! It does look like places we've read about in our books~

  13. Looks beautiful to me!

    I don't know if you noticed my recent book review for Halting State, but it is set in Edinburgh and the city is an interesting part of the story.

  14. Beautiful photos! But you've made me really want to visit Scotland sooner rather than later and just when we've decided we'll be in Japan for a few more years. Oh well, someday hopefully we'll get there again and see more than Edinburgh.

  15. I'm in love, and I haven't even been there! It's beautiful. I would give a kidney to go visit.

  16. Debi: I'm glad you liked the pictures :) I do hope you have the chance to go there soon! It's such a beautiful place.

    3m: Thanks! I'm glad you liked them.

    Chris: I remember Neil posting pictures of Scotland...they were so gorgeous! And then of course there's Stardust, which reminds me that I also have to visit Iceland someday...

    CJ: No Nessie, sadly. We did go to the Loch Ness Monster visitor centre, but it was a little disappointing. What they do is demythologize the whole thing...but I don't want facts, I want stories and legends! They're much more fun.

    Quixotic: Thank you! I hope you do make it there next year. It's a great place to explore with a dog - there's so much space in which they can run! Dartmoor sounds beautiful too. I wish I had been able to go there, and to Cornwall...it was next on my list, but we simply ran out of time. Ah well, hopefully someday I will!

    Melissa: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures :)

    Rhinoa: Isn't the sign wonderful? North Wales in the summer must be even more beautiful. You and Alex will have a wonderful time!

    Melody: Thanks :) I hope you do have the chance to visit it someday!

    Stephanie: Thanks! I hope you make it there someday. We should have our international book bloggers meeting there :P

    Literary Feline: I'm glad you liked the photos. Your boss would probably not be too happy about it :P

    Dark Orpheus: I hope you make it over there!

    Deslily: It does look like the setting of some great fantasy story, doesn't it? That's one of the reasons why I loved it so much.

    Margo: Glad you liked them :)

    Carl: I missed that review, but I'm heading over to read it now! Thanks for letting me know about it.

    Tanabata: It's too bad you won't be able to visit Scotland again soon, but you are also surrounded by beauty in Japan! Your photos are always so gorgeous!

    Andi: I hope you do get to visit, and without any kidney removal involved :P

  17. Ha! Iceland now too, huh? I'd love to see how long your "places to travel" list is...I'm sure it's comparable to mine :p Only you've had the chance to cross some off of yours! Well, I did get to go to Mexico!

  18. What great experiences! Hubby and I had hoped to go to Wales this fall with my mother-in-law, but we are going to Toronto instead to visit my grandparents. I'm really sad that we'll miss our chance to go, but hopefully one day we will be able to go and travel around. Your pictures are beautiful (and I'm quite envious!!). :)

  19. What a beautiful second hand bookstore! Some of the ones I go to look terribly dingy in comparison! ha,ha...
    Your pictures make me want to book a flight now :)
    I'm looking forward to the Wales pics. I was in Wales for a couple of days quite a few years ago - it was so peaceful and beautiful.

  20. I can see exactly why you love Scotland! What beautiful photos, and what a fun trip!

  21. I'm listening to the Outlander series right now, and your pictures help bring the images to life. Thanks for posting them!

  22. Lovely, lovely photos! And my goodness, secondhand bookstore! An old building filled with books! What a lovely thought!

    Glad you enjoyed your travels.

  23. Chris: It is quite a long list, I'm afraid :P I was kind of hoping to be able to go to Iceland while I was in the UK, as there are some low-cost companies that fly from here, but even a "low-cost" flight to Iceland is something like £200. I really love travelling, I just wish it weren't so expensive! Our book buying addiction is quite cheap in comparison :P

    Trish: I do hope you get the chance to go some other time. And I'm sure you'll have a lovely time in Toronto this fall :)

    Iliana: It really is very peaceful! That was one of my favourite things about it...it was just so relaxing.

    Robin: I'm glad you liked them!

    Somer: I am dying to read that series. I kept seeing the books all over the place in Inverness. I must get the first soon.

    Lightheaded: I'm glad you liked them! And there really is something about an old building full of books, isn't there?

  24. oh wow! i can totally see why you're in love with scotland - those pictures are gorgeous!

    i especially like the castle and the cathedral... and the sheep! :)

  25. Absolutely stunning, Nymeth! Scotland undoubtedly is a mythical land and you have proven that fact by your beautiful images and thoughtful commentary. :]

    One of these days I have to see Scotland for myself. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Your photos are lovely - they remind me a bit of the north shore of the St. Lawrence here in Quebec. Just loveley - thank you for sharing.

    Kathleen Molloy, author - Dining with Death



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