I'm headed downstairs to the eating area over looking the luscious grassy backyard sporting a pair of brilliant pheasants pecking for their breakfast and the green hills in the background. I ordered a full cooked breakfast. Poached egg over "black pudding", bacon, sausage, tomato. Tea and oj. Everything was delish! Even the black pudding! I sort of knew what it was but I refrained from looking up its' ingredients until later. (I'll let you do the same in case you are eating right now.)
Back onto our bus and it seems everyone had a good night and our fearless leader Mark was a chipper as ever. Och aye!!
(Oh, with the exception of one lady who was dissatisfied with the size of her room so changed accommodations on her own.)
We drove for 20 min up the Loch and half of us were dropped off at Urquhart Castle to tour the grounds of his fabulous ruin and exhibits for an hour. We would be picked up at the jetty for half hour boat ride on Loch Ness, joining the rest of our group who opted for just the boat ride.
The castle was quite amazing. A ruin but partially restored so we walked around and explored on our own. I took lots of amazing photos!
We caught the large cruising boat at the jetty and had our 30 min ride up the Loch Ness. There was quite an excellent view of the castle grounds from the water! Quite chilly but I enjoyed the fresh air. The sun had gone behind the clouds by this time. I sat on the top deck with the rest of our group.
We docked and had a look around a gift shop (perhaps spotting the famous monster herself!) then back on the bus to Culloden.
Mark enthralled us with the gritty story of the Jacobite rebellion and lead up to the battle at Culloden as we drove. (See Outlander books and tv show!)
We had limited time at the museum and the huge battlefield and this was to be our lunch stop as well.
I chose to head inside the Culloden museum, snap a few photos, and took in a 360 degree reenactment film of the battle. Very exciting and interesting. I even held a musket and fired it! Without any fodder of course. Then I rushed outside and took a few photos of the battlefield and grabbed a yummy turkey cranberry sandwich and jumped back on the bus.
Our last stop of the day, sadly our final day of this tour, was the Tomatin whiskey distillery.
As we entered the visitors centre and store we were handed a small glass with a tiny taste of whiskey and say to watch a short video on how Tomatin makes their products. We then had a wee taste. I'm not sure I said before but one of our train guides in Ireland gave us a taste of BushMills Irish whiskey. It's was ok, a bit harsh and burned a bit. But this lighter Scottish 12 year old single malt whiskey was quite nice. Light and smooth. I'm not one to drink much at all, so don't worry! Just this wee taste and in fine for a long while!
After driving for a bit back towards Glasgow, we stopped in the small town of Picklochary. A really cute Victorian tourist town. I poked about in some shops, found a few little momentos, and grabbed a yummy Isle of Arran ice cream. "Cranachan" flavour - vanilla, oats, raspberry swirl and whiskey. Very taste indeed and another new flavour to add to my docket.
Once back in Glasgow I left my wonderful 3-day tour family and said farewell to our awesome guide, Mark. I found the subway station I had to use to get to the apartment retal I had lined up for two nights. Traversing the subway was easy peasy. I just watched everyone else and did as they did.
I called the apartment hosts (booked off of Air B&B) and was picked up by John, a lovely older gent in a nice little new Mazda car. The flat was less than 2 min drive from the station but they wanted to make sure I found it. Its in a complex of very decent apartment buildings over looking the city.
The flat was just PERFECT!!!! Super nice, it's actually a two bedroom, washing machine, tv cable, wifi, nice bathroom, and they supplied some fresh buns, eggs, butter, and milk for breakfasts! Super nice people!! He looked and there wasn't any washing soap so he said he'd get some and leave it for me the next day. I was thrilled! There were a few restaurants just across the street, too. Though I decided to stay in and rest up after so many active days.
Next up is my day tour to ride the Jacobite Steam Train from the coast!!
Catch up on ALL my posts of my awesome #kbintheuk trip: