and the Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands is really the Scotland of your imagination. With welcoming people, a unique culture, dramatic landscapes, romantic castles and a fascinating history, this is the perfect backdrop for either a relaxing or an adventurous holiday. With such a vast area, it's difficult to know where to go in the Scottish Highlands, from its lively capital Inverness to its stunning countryside. There are plenty of things to do in the Highlands, but do not rush to see everything: this is impossible.
I have been several times in Scotland and the highlands, so this time I decided to spend two weeks by just absorb this unique beauty. You cannot visit the highlands without a car, because the beauty rests in little “isolated places”. Of course, one can walk (and should walk a lot) or bike around, but the distances are really big. Another factor one has to consider is that roads up here are narrow, very narrow and that means you need more time to your destination of what the stated mileage suggests.
Rent a small car, especially if you are not used to left sided driving and find a house to stay (instead of a hotel) in the countryside. Do not rush to reach the furthermost towns, instead go as far as your discoveries allow you. Keep in mind, that shops here close early and restaurants even earlier. Carry snacks with you, so your stomach is not protesting loudly because its 4 pm and the local café or restaurant has just closed.
I rented an apartment in the outskirts of Inverness and from there I planned several day trips. I never knew the final destination of my day trips. Trips were not fixed and all were changing in the course. Diversions were often.
Roads are very narrow outside the main arteries and usually have only one lane. Scotland is scarcely populated, so It does not happen very often to meet a car coming the opposite way. In this case, you pull over using a “passing place”. These are spaces located at the side of the roads for you to stop when opposite traffic comes towards your way. At the beginning all this seems very strange, but it works well.
SIX FASCINATING FACTS:
1. Three languages are spoken in the Highlands: English, Scots and Gaelic.
2. The area is divided in two parts: the Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the northwest Highlands.
3. It has the UK’s highest mountains, ranging from 900-1300m.
4. The north west Highlands are, geologically speaking, 750 million years old.
5. Loch Ness holds more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.
6. Most road signs are bilingual: english and the Scottish Gaelic.
great blog and photos...as always. Loving the photos also shown on instagram