I had always wanted to see if I can find Nessie in the depths of Loch Ness, so when Brandon agreed it was time to go to Scotland, I put Inverness at the top of the places I wanted to go.
Inverness is the gateway to the Highlands in Scotland, and where we knew we could catch a boat to travel over Loch Ness. Instead of driving there, we decided to take a train that would make a pit stop in Aberdeen to visit my cousin, and provide a carefree journey to the north of Scotland.
As expected, the weather was not the best but we took advantage of the light sprinkles and went for a hike around town anyways.
Our hotel, The Royal Highland Hotel, was so easy to find because it was literally attached to the train station. The entrance and decor was beautiful (we felt like royals) but the journey to our room through tiny, creaky hallways was… interesting… but it added to the whole “Ol’ Scotland” effect.
We pre-booked our boat tour to Urqhart Castle over Loch Ness. I specifically chose the tour because it had depth and motion sensors running through the water beneath it so that I could watch for Nessie.
I saw nothing. I was heartbroken.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed the ruins of Urqhart Castle, especially because the fog and rain made the mood a little bit eerie. The leftovers of the castle were dark, old and a wee bit haunted looking– which I loved.
We had not planned to stay in Inverness very long, so upon our arrival back from the boat tour we decided to have a fancy night out.
We went to a whiskey store to sample some of the local offerings (Brandon sampled, I dry heaved at the smell). The staff person there was very informative and clearly has a passion for the Whiskey because I ended up learning a lot about peat soil and a man with a perfect nose (there is actually a book about this man and his uncanny whiskey tasting abilities).
We had booked dinner at a nice restaurant in town. We were the first people to arrive at the restaurant which always makes me a little weary but it smelled delicious.
We ordered our food, toasted our good travels, and when the food came to the table… I almost fell over.
There, sitting on Brandon’s plate was the ugliest beast I had ever seen.
Ok, so it wasn’t Nessie… it was apparently a King Prawn… but still! Wow. I sat there thinking it must have been a mistake in the kitchen that they forgot to take the head off the shrimp or something.
Wrong again! Sensing our discomfort, the main chef came out of the kitchen, showed Brandon how to crack the beast and get the meat.
I looked the other way. It was so disgusting. Brandon loved it.
As an introduction to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness treated us very well. I would go back in a second, but next time I will ensure Brandon does not have sea creatures for dinner.