After a three week seminar in Leipzig, I headed across the North Sea up to Scotland. I was joined by my friend Frances in Edinburgh and we headed further north to Inverness.
Inverness, best known for Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie, is a small city (it’s official - they’ve reached city status with 58,000 inhabitants!) with lots of offer. Flowing through the city is the River Ness. In fact, Inverness’ name comes from old Gaelic, meaning at the mouth of the river Ness.
Inverness is a very walkable city and walk we did. Our first full day we set out to explore. We headed first down the river away from the city center to the Ness Island. This island in the middle of the river is accessible from both sides by bridges. The island is lined with walking trails, fairy lights and full of natural beauty. A bit of rain didn’t keep us from enjoying the island.
Speaking of bridges, Inverness has a number of them criss crossing the river. The most favorite bridge is the bouncy bridge. While it has an official name, it’s locally known as the bouncy bridge. As our Loch Ness tour guide would later tell us, this bridge allows one to feel the effects of whiskey for free! It’s fun to walk across. Luckily for us, it was the bridge we had to take to reach our B&B.
Inverness has a castle on a hill overlooking the river. In order to enter the castle, one must be quite naughty and sent to trial. Today it is a working courthouse. We were not naughty enough to enter and thus only spent time walking the grounds.
Inverness is truly a 9 - 5 town. After 5pm most establishments close and the town seems vacant. However the truth is that nearly all of the 58,000 people have packed themselves into Hootenannys Pub. (Okay perhaps that number is exaggerated, but it is quite packed!). Known for it’s live Scottish music, it is the place to be. In the center of the pub is a large oval table, reserved for any musicians who wish to play. The only caveat is that they must play traditional Scottish music. Our first night there, we heard a guitarist and a violinist. The second night included an accordian player, flutist and guitarist. The atmosphere was great as was my shandy!