Another road trip under our belts; this time to the Scottish Highlands (Inverness, Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, the Cairngorm Mountains, and Glen Coe). This all-day trip took us through some of the most beautiful and majestic scenery we have seen. It was stunning!
"Inverness" - meaning "mouth of the river Ness", Inverness is considered the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Settled somewhere around the 6th century, this is the northern most city in the U.K. The Picts (the Celtic tribe that painted their bodies blue) considered Inverness to be their chief stronghold. Because of its strategic location along the river Ness, a number of important battles occurred here; including the 11th century battle of Blar nam Feinne between Malcolm III of Scotland and Thorfinn of Norway; and the 18th century battle of Culloden (part of the religious civil war between the Jacobites and Britain). Malcolm III built his first castle here after he defeated King MacBethed (on whom Shakespeare based his play MacBeth). Today, Inverness is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe and is rated as having the best quality of life of all Scottish cities.
"Loch Ness" - Best known for all of the "reported" sightings of the monster affectionately known as Nessie, Loch Ness is one of several fresh water interconnected waterways throughout the Highlands. While only the second largest lake (by surface area), it's 755 foot depth makes it the largest by volume. It has been estimated that all of the other fresh water lakes in England and Wales combined would not fill Loch Ness. The water contains a very high concentration of oxygen but remains quite murky because of the high peat content in the surrounding soil.
"Glen Coe" - One of the most beautiful and spectacular places in Scotland is Glen Coe - meaning "Glen of Weeping", considered to be a reference to the 1692 massacre that occurred here during the first Jacobite religious uprising. The whole area is of volcanic origin and has become popular with walkers and climbers. Legend claims that Glen Coe was the birthplace of Ossian, mythical narrator of a cycle of epic poems.
"The Highlands" - in Gaelic, this means "The place of the Gaels (Scots)". This was some of the most beautiful country we have seen and is home to the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis.