A day full of contrasts as we drove south from Invergordon to Elgin, again a beautiful coastline, but dotted with off-shore oil & gas rigs. We would have loved to have seen the coastline prior to the North Sea oil & gas finds, but appreciate it also greatly supports the locally economy (clearly evident).
Photo of the day
The local birdlife taking advantage of the freshly mown fields near Boath Doocot.
A typical sight along this coastline, oil and gas rigs, set against the rolling Scottish coastline and countryside.
Storehouse of Foulis
Synchronising watches old school style at the busy Storehouse of Foulis. A local museum, shop and restaurant (busy for breakfast).
The Cromarty Lighthouse, no longer working, and now used by the University of Aberdean as a field station for the University’s School of Biological Science.
And as we walked around the quaint little streets of Cromarty, we came across this bush full of life with tens of butterflies…
…and busy bees.
Hugh Miller’s Cottage, the birthplace of the Scott famous for his early geology, writing and social justice. The cottage, museum and garden is maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. It was very quiet, we seemed to be the only visitors this morning.
Pottering around the Cromarty streets.
The view over Cromarty Firth, again such a contrast from the idyllic Cromarty.
How cool is this?! Never seen one of these before, an egg vending machine on road side. Looked a bit like Febo – the Dutch will understand ;-).
Pop your money in, and pick-up some fresh eggs.
Heading over to the Moray Firth, and crossing yet another golf course, we arrived at Chanonry Point. Seemed to be super busy for a lighthouse. Then we realised that everyone was waiting to spot Bottlenose Dolphins, and sure enough they turned-up, check-out the video at the bottom of the blog. One of the best viewing places in the world!
The remains of Fortrose Cathedral, at its peak, twenty-one Canons and five vicars served here.
The chapter house at Fortrose Cathedral, the only section that was still in one piece.
Inverness was a bit of a surprise to us, on the map it looks so remote, but when we arrived we could have been in any decent sized bustling British market town. Julian got a haircut, then we had a quick look at the castle. We stocked up on socks (35 days on the road requires a lot of socks!) and sunglasses for Julian, replacing a pair lost somewhere in the highlands (yay – no more squinting in selfies). We contemplated heading inland to go Loch Ness Monster spotting, but then decided to not get distracted and keep to the coastline…
A drawbridge at the huge Fort George. Unfortunately we arrived just before closing, and as it is still a working army base they were strict on closing times, so we made do with our own tour around the perimeter grounds.
So many walls!
Looking back over the Morray Firth to the crowds gathered at Chanory Point, on the lookout for Bottlenose Dolphins.
To be honest, not the most interesting thing, but along our route to Elgin so we made a quick stop. A dove house atop a 12th century castle (now just a mound).
But great views over the fields south of Nairn.