Early morning was, as usual, cloudy though this morning there was no rain. It was already light out at 4 AM (sunrise was at 4:22) and hadn’t gotten dark until after 10 PM (sunset was 10:03)….long days here in the summer, reminds me of Alaska. Temperature around 69 this morning so a bit warmer. There always seems to be at least a light wind here but so far a long sleeve shirt and light jacket has been enough.
Departed the hotel this morning at 9:00 AM with the affable guide John MacGilivary and headed off to Urquhart Castle on the shore of Loch Ness. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Control of the castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence. The power struggles continued, as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s. The last of the government troops garrisoned here during the Jacobite Risings blew up the castle when they left. (info from Urquhart Castle website)
Next stop was the Glen Ord Distillery and a whisky tasting. A lovely young university student, Tommy, was my server. Its Glen Ord distilled whisky is only sold in the distillery or in Asia! After a fine tasting experience I enjoyed a lunch of fish and chips and a visit to an 1000 year old priory in Beauly, a beautiful village which is ideal for a day out or a longer break. Beauly Priory is one of three priories founded in Scotland in about 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order. The Valliscaulians came from Val-des-Choux (‘Valley of the Cabbages’) near Dijon in France, and adhered to strict ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience. (info from Beauly Priory website)
So ended the first half of my amazing day.