Quote of the day: there's no bad weather in Scotland only a poor choice of clothing. Once again Julie and I slept until 9:30. We were trying to make the 10:30 cruise, but ended up driving to the wrong location...oh well. So we booked tickets for the 11:30 and drove around looking for scones. We found a random cafe, but not a minute too soon because this girl was hungry! We also bought Scottish Tablet...aka fudge (they need a catchier name).
It was raining by the time we boarded the cruise so we stuck inside for the first half. I got a coffee and the guy started chatting with me about the United States. It's obvious I'm a tourist apparently. But it all worked out because he showed us a stag (aka deer), a beautiful castle, and told us the the bottom of the loch (aka lake) is flat because it was carved out by a glacier. So interesting!!
We went up on deck when we turned around at Urquhart Castle. The sun was trying to peak through, but it was still chilly.
We also got some good pictures of a very picturesque castle.
After the cruise we drove onwards to Eilean Donan castle. This drive was BREATHTAKING. I have never seen anything like the landscape in Northern Scotland. Mountains, snow, valleys, lakes, and all blended together. It was unreal. If I wasn't driving I would have taken pictures! But those too would not do it justice.
The castle was great. It was destroyed and in ruins for many years before being restored. The rooms are elaborate and give a great picture of the past. I especially loved the kitchen. It showed Mrs. McRae and her butler overlooking the production of an elaborate meal. There were receipts tacked to the board and a small window seat for planning meals and overlooking recipes. No tiny kitchen for that cook! Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures inside, but my Grammie would have loved it!
We mainly saw one tower and, therefore, it was hard to picture what the rest of the castle looked like or functioned as, but it was a beautiful landscape. There were SO many people, similar to Edinburgh Castle. I've realized my favorite castles are ones in which I know some of the history like with Balmoral and Holyrood. Time to do more research!
We hopped in the car again and drove back the same breathtaking road. I keep saying to Julie that I actually like back tracking on roads because everything looks different from the opposite direction and if you don't look back you miss another gorgeous view. I wish you could all be here to see what I have seen!!
We were starving after a few hours. Our goal was to drive in the direction of Loch Lomond and see what pops up. Julie, being the best navigator, found an amazing restaurant in Fort William. Parking was tricky, but eventually we were seated at the cutest bar with some gin and tonic. I skipped the chips tonight for mashed potatoes and we both opted for dessert since dinner wasn't enough after one scone, a piece of fudge and a banana all day.
Mom helped us find a hotel close by for the night and Julie and I paid a little extra for a semi lake view. But check out that view!!!
I'm sitting in a chair by the window as I type this! I just cannot get over the views of Scotland. It's also 9:15pm and this bright out: