Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Inverness on a Saturday Afternoon

Looking over the River Ness.

We decided to drive into Inverness on a Saturday afternoon.  At first we thought we would take the train, but after looking at the map, drive we did.  Traffic wasn't too heavy and we found our parking area with no problem.  Yea!

The walk along the River Ness is quite lovely.

 Walking along the River Ness is really the way to see Inverness.  There are many old buildings, the river is peaceful, and there is always something to see.  A statue of the Three Virtues, once in a church, is now in a small park. Across the river are many delightful old buildings.
Faith, Hope and Charity who are now in a park instead of on top of a church.

Spanish Tapa Bar, Ole!
 The Inverness Castle is on top of the hill above the river.  It was built in the Victorian era and now houses government offices.  So, it seemed a bit odd when we discovered the statue in front of the building is of Flora MacDonald, the woman credited with saving the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie when he was fleeing from the English after his defeat at Culloden.

The statue in front of Inverness Castle is Flora MacDonald, who saved Bonnie Prince Charlie from the English.   The engraving reads:  "a name that will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour."
The Inverness Museum is just below the castle.
 The Inverness Museum is free.  It has a small, but well done collection ranging from natural history to art.  The thing I found the most interesting was a wall where one could push a button next to a saying and hear the words in Gaelic.  I played with that for a while.

Pictish Bull

Pictish Wolf
It wouldn't be a Scottish museum without Pictish stones.  Here we were allowed to make rubbings of the stones from wood blocks with the carvings ingraved on them. Bill and I each made one.  When a couple of other adults realized what we were doing, they came over to rub one too.

The first edition of the Gaelic Bible printed in 1690.
 Out of the museum and on to the High Street, we found a whisky shop selling every kind of whisky you might want.  It was also playing a live concert recording of Johnny Cash, with several guest stars.  Not what we were expecting to hear in Inverness!
While being refurbished, the Town Hall is covered over in sheeting printed to look like a curtain pulling back to reveal what the finished building will be.

Abertarff House, built in 1593, is the oldest secular building in Inverness. It was the town home of the Frasers of Lovat.  Belonging to the NTS, it isn't opened to the public.
 We wandered on down Church St and tucked in behind the buildings was Old High St Stephens and it's graveyard.  I love finding places like this.  There were several people walking among the stones and one young woman with her dog, having lunch.  A peaceful place to spend some time.
Church of Scotland, Old High St. Stephens

The graveyard had many old tombstones.
 The folks from Newtonhill, Rae and Marty, told us to find Hootananny's because they had live Highland music.  The gentleman at the museum told us how to find them, at the corner of Church and Fraser St.  We arrived just in time; there is a Saturday afternoon Caleigh.  In we went, I had a Black Island Ale and Bill a coke. (Remember, Scotland has a zero tolerance for drunk driving!)

Best Highland Music In Inverness.
 The music was fun!  One young couple from Canada requested "Loch Lomond" and when asked why, said it was their honeymoon.  Now that got the crowd going!  When the band started playing, and older couple went to the newlyweds, took them out on the dance floor and showed them how to dance.  It was wonderful!


August Schedule of Bands.
 We enjoyed the music, the dancing, the people watching and the singing along. Some of the songs I even knew the words to!  Thanks for the excellent suggestion, Rae and Marty!
The Victorian Market
It was starting to rain as we made our way from Hootananny's to the Victorian Market.  It's a building built in the late 1800's with wonderful iron work holding up the roof.  The rain had gotten heavier as we made it back to our car to drive home.  All in all, a fun Saturday afternoon in Inverness!

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