Another great day exploring the city of Inverness. I took a walking tour of the city and learned a lot about the buildings and history. There was an old man and his puppet putting on a show on the street and later a fiddler performing on the street. This seemed to be a common site (yesterday was the tenor singing by the market steps). Stopped in the Black Isle Bar for a half-pint of their own Scottish Ale. This is a local organic brewery which I believe I will visit tomorrow when I take the tour to Culloden and other sites. It was a good day to visit more shops, go into the East Gate Mall, and the Victorian Market. At one time Inverness had open-air markets, in 1876-70 the Town Council built a covered market which was destroyed by fire although the original sandstone entrance in Academy Street remains. Following the fire the Victorian Market was rebuilt by Inverness Town Council in 1890-91 and now houses a variety of small shops, including a marvelous chocolatier who makes his own chocolate creations.
A few of the people who were on the walking tour were from Louisville, KY proving once again what a small world it is! Our guide, Kath, was wonderful. While walking along the river Ness she told a story of St. Columba in the 6th century. As the story goes, he was in Inverness and came across a man who told him a monster had reached up from the river and pulled another men under the water. St. Columba told the man to swim across the river and get his boat so he could encounter the monster. The man was swimming across the river when he was pulled under by the monster. St. Columba held up his cross which repelled the monster who left the river and moved into the lake where he remains today – yes, the Loch Ness monster! So that’s how he got into the lake.
We visited the Saint Columba High Church, the site of the conversion of the Pictish king by St. Columba in 565 AD. Beautiful graveyard but also the place where the Jacobites were imprisoned in 1746 before being taken to London for trial. We also went in Leakeys Bookshop, Scotland s largest secondhand bookshop with 100,000 selected volumes. They have been actively buying books throughout the Highlands for well over 40 years. The bookshop is located in an old church and you can still see the old pulpit when you walk into the store. All in all it was another most interesting day! Finished the day in The Gellions bar taking a few pictures of the musician performing.