For one thing, Loch Ness had a mystery to it. Yes, I mean the monster - or Nessie as she's affectionately known. There are many interesting things about the Loch I didn't know. It's very deep and large. The amount of water that Loch Ness holds is more than all the other lochs in England, Scotland and Wales combined. Pretty amazing stats. It's long and narrow in comparison to some other lochs we drove by. At one end of Loch Ness is Inverness (Inver means mouth of) and the other end is Fort Augustus, which is a charming little town that we visited for dinner one night.
|Map courtesy of Evergreen (click on pics for larger images)|
I highly recommend Evergreen, it's almost right on the Loch with views that are beautiful. We saw deer and red squirrels in the neighboring woods, it's very quiet and peaceful. There are only two guest rooms at Evergreen and we had them both, so the place was basically ours. It was very comfortable and I thought of it as our home away from home. Our hosts, Graeme and Fiona were wonderful. Full of knowledge, interesting and fun to talk to. Fiona cooked us up big Scottish breakfasts each morning, always beginning with porridge and fruit and yogurt. Then it was usually some kind of eggs dish, whether an omelet or fried eggs, whatever we wanted, she'd make - it was great! (I was too chicken to try the haggis, though.)
The nice thing about Evergreen was it had a great central location to the places I wanted to visit. I had an agenda as far as Outlander locations: Culloden, Clava Cairns, Cawdor Castle and Inverness itself. All of these places were located on the same side of the Loch as we were, so it was really an easy drive to get to our first stop in the morning: Culloden Battlefield.
Culloden is the site of the last great battle between Scotland and England. The battle took place on April 16 of 1745 in which 1,250 Scottish Jacobites were killed. It was a slaughter and changed the Scots forever. Today there is a really well done visitor center that describes all the events leading up to Culloden with Bonnie Prince Charlie and a very good "battle immersion film" that really gives you an idea of what it must have been like to have been right there on that day. Beside the visitor center is Culloden itself. The actual battlefield has been restored to how they believe it must have looked on that day. When you go out walking to the field, there are many clan stones, signifying the clan that died there that day.
|notice the heather someone put there in front|
When I first saw the Fraser marker, I noticed there was a woman standing before it, taking a picture of it. I knew what she was doing there. I walked up to her and said aloud, "Outlander?" She turned to me and laughed, "Yes, Outlander!" A kindred spirit. She was German and a fan like me. We talked a bit about the books and eventually went our separate ways, we were both there for the same reason.
|Cairn across from the Fraser stone|
|Inscription on the large cairn|
|Old Leanach cottage|
I took some shots of the views of the countryside while I was standing on Culloden Moor. It's very moving to think this is where the battle took place amidst this beautiful countryside. The purple heather was everywhere in the Highlands!
Clava Cairns was our next stop, plus it's right next to Culloden. These are ancient cairns that are thousands of years old, but my particular interest in them was that there are standing stones as well. There's even a cleft in one of them, I had to get a gratuitous shot!
|Julie having her "Claire" moment!|
There is a definite chilliness about the place, a little eerie, so we didn't stay long, I just wanted to have my Claire moment. It was back in the car and on the road for more sightseeing!
Next stop: a cruise on Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle...