Our first stop was the Clava Cairn burial mounds, just a few miles from the airport. These tomb mounds are ancient, dating back to the Bronze age, and the entrances are situated to line up with winter sun patterns.
Also nearby was the very tall River Nairn Railroad Bridge.
From here we continued into Inverness to seek out some lunch. After finding an ATM we walked through the pedestrian zone to Black Isle for beer and pizza. Eric got a saison and then a scotch ale, and we split a mushroom and ham pizza, which went nicely with my oatmeal porter. Just as it was with our visit a year ago, we found Black Isle to be relaxed and dog friendly – even inside.
Given the amazing weather we took some time to walk around Inverness for photos and to the top of the castle for views.
From Inverness it was a quick drive down to the Morlea B&B in Drumnadrochit for check in, where we let Mike and Natalie relax while we continued on to Dog Falls. On the way, we stopped at the photogenic church next to the River Glass and spoke with owner/caretaker Steve for 30 minutes. Great conversation and a quick tour of the inside of the charming church he is restoring.
As for the waterfall, it was hard to get a shot of actual Dog Falls but we saw lots of real dogs and cascades at least.
We met up with Mike and Natalie again for beer before our dinner reservations at the Fiddler’s Inn. Dinner was great (burger for Eric and pate and goat cheese salad for me), but more importantly we moved onto our first whiskys of the trip!
Bruichladdich 2009 for first whisky.
Mortlach – iodine, butter, toffee, coconut. So much depth of flavor! Rich and big. So good.
Dalmore 12 – as nice as I remember. Chocolate and port cherry.
Benrinnes 15 – Fauna and Flora. Very good, sea smell with caramel and coconut.
Bunnahabhain / Margadale 2005 Single Cask 10 Year Old- lots of sea salt, iodine, light coffee. Big! Quite a bit of burn, needs water. Bunnahabhain private bottling.
On our way out of town the next morning, we detoured briefly to Divach Falls which was a lovely short hike to a very pretty falls.
And on the edge of town we stopped to smell the gorse and admire the ruins of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness before continuing on our way to the Isle of Skye!