Ever since I moved to Scotland I have been wanting to visit the highlands, but for some reason it always has seemed to complicated or too expensive or out of our way. Most of our travels have been a direct result of my husband’s school needs. His PhD has taken us all over Europe. The highlands, though, have not been either easy to schedule because of it’s limited public transportation and seasonal attractions (castles, tours, etc…).
My wish has been to got to the Isle of Skye or to see the lonely Abby on the island of Iona, but both of these required a train, ferry, and bus combination to just get to our destination. With a young child and tight budget that just was too much. We could just rent a car, but my husband’s American driver’s licence is expired and I refuse to drive in the UK. I already have enough trouble with left and right for my dyslexia to throw in driving on the wrong side of the road!
At long last we were able to visit Inverness with my Dad by train. Inverness is a small city that has much to offer for those like us who don’t care to deal with a car. The beauty of the train ride there and the boat on Loch Ness was breath taking. I loved the smokey hills and hidden treasures. I adore to castles tucked in various nooks and onto of random hills. I am amazed by the craft and skill one will just happen upon in a tiny shop hidden away. These include highland stone wear, tartans of all kinds, soft cashmere, home made soaps, whiskey and whiskey flavored foods, and even elegant linen. Many people have told me the best way to experience the highlands is to hike up a Monroe (the largest of the hills) or to camp by a loch (lake). This would be truly the best idea, but one that we will need to save for when our rough and tumble 3-year old is old enough to carry his own stuff into the magical wildernesses of Scotland.