May 18: I embark on a 2 day tour through the Highlands. After meeting tour guide Bill and the twelve other passengers, the 15 seat bus headed out of Edinburgh. We passed Stirling Castle, but had no time to stop for a tour.
Our first stop was in the Trossachs to meet the living legend, Hamish the Hairy Highland Cow and his young offsping, Honey.
Next, we stopped in Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous Scottish glen. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the Macdonald Clan by the Campbells took place in 1692. The landscape is gorgeous, volcanic mountains carved from thousands of years of glacial ice.
Glenfinnan is historically important as the landing site of Bonnie Prince Charlie in mainland Scotland to begin his 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. (More on this later). Glenfinnan Monument erected in honor of the Bonnie Prince.
Due to the incliment weather, we could not see the whole of Ben Nevin, Britain’s highest mountain. So, we travelled on to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. The castle was attached, but never breached- though the garrision there were determined to keep it from Jacobite forces and eventually tried to burn in to the ground. What remains today is as close as they got to completely leveling this strategic location.
We concluded day 1 in Inverness (which translates to: mouth of the river Ness). A great first day in the Highlands.