Lazy day enjoying the city
Sunday 15 April 2012 - rest day in Inverness
I woke up, grateful that today I have no tours booked. Firstly, there is the small matter of laundry. I'm out of clean jeans and pants, so off I go to the laundrette. Next order of things is to wander around here in Inverness and the update the blog. I'm tired. The excitement of the tours and the fact that you are going all day takes it's toll.
After a leisurely breakfast and a chat to the Glasgow ladies that have been here regularly for the past few years, I wander down Ness road with my load of laundry. The walk is beautiful and so many people walk here along the riverfront. There are a few pedestrian swing bridges over the river but you can also walk across on the road bridges. The mountains are always visible, weather permitting and it's almost impossible to not feel relaxed as you walk along the waterfront.
There are a number of hotels and restaurants along the river walk and I decided that I would eat out tonight. I've found food to be very cheap, with most lunches costing me under £10. It is okay to leave a tip, so I've been tipping everyone. It's a bit of a novelty for us Australians, but I like to leave one when the service has been good.
The river is lovely to watch because it runs so very fast. It doesn't take me long to walk to the laundrette because I'm enjoying myself so much. The man in the laundrette was most helpful and I wandered off to Tesco's across the road to try to buy a new camera.
My camera had been playing up for a while. It has grit in it somewhere stopping it from opening the lens properly. It finally gave up the ghost but I manually opened it and got the last few photos I wanted from the tour yesterday.
It is very hard to take photos. There is so much to see and such beautiful scenery that before you know it you have hundreds of photos. I think it will take weeks to sort through them all, name them, and then put them in a slideshow or clip to watch.
I strongly suggest that you always take a small notebook with you when you travel. I've taken heaps of short notes on what the tour guides have said, place names and more importantly, the odd picture number to keep me abreast of just where the picture is taken. There isn't time to list every photo, so just jot down a photo number and where it is taken so you can remember. Believe me, there is so much to see you won't even remember the next day, let alone when you return home from your holiday.
The Tesco didn't sell cameras, only the bigger stores did, so I made up my mind to buy one on the next day in town.
I returned to the hotel along the opposite bank, past the old cathedral and the new theatre and cinema centre. The new buildings don't have any impact on the old look of the city. I noted that new and old buildings don't have eaves or verandahs here.
All the housing units are built exactly the same, out of granite. It's something I found all over Britain so far, whole towns and villages that have houses all the same.
Even when they build new houses, they seem to keep in character with those already around them. It looks very asthetically pleasing to the eye.
My hopes of having all my blog up to date and uploaded were dashed when I arrived back at the hotel and crashed out on the bed. I slept like a log and enjoyed my relaxing afternoon. It was the first 'nanna nap' I've had here, so I've done pretty well.
Because my hotel room overlooks a small park and the waterfront, I have been able to watch the people walking their dogs. There is definitely a big need for some dog training here. Most dogs drag their handlers around, desperate to get to the next scent. Having said that, I've also seen some very well trained dogs, mostly because they are allowed to be taken pretty much everywhere. I've seen them on the buses, in the post office and other shops.
Having rested well, I rugged up and sought out a restaurant for the night meal. I chose Reflexions on the waterfront. The decor was modern and nice with a huge glassed in area to look over the water.
I ordered Roast beef and yorkshire pudding with carrots, parsnips and turnips in herbs. All this was washed down with a 10 year old Macallam single malt whisky,
Whisky in Scotland is spelt without an e after the k. Irish whiskey is spelt with the e. The whisky was hot, so smoothand cleared the sinuses on the way down. That wonderful warm whisky fire started straight away and warmed my insides as only fine whisky can do. The price was very reasonable at $4.95 per glass.
The Glenfiddich I had when I arrived didn't even come close to the taste of this fine wee dram.
The view from the restaurant was wonderful, with the cathedral across the river. You don't even have to squint your eyes to imagine what Inverness looked like in the 18th and 19th century. It has always been a lovely city I'm sure.
The people here are very friendly. They are all up for a chat about where I'm from and about their city.
The river runs fast enough to have small areas of rapids in the odd spot. The water is very black and silky, made that way by the high peat content. No wonder Scotland has some of the great poets. It's an inspiring place. I'm happy to just walk around and soak up the atmosphere.
I went to bed happy, but still tired and a bit headachy. My dry cough that had been annoying me for the past couple of days was getting slightly worse. I took some tablets before going to sleep to stave off anything that might be brewing.