The Road to Inverness
We weren't sure if we were going to spend the money to go up to the Highlands because travel is much more expensive if you don't plan in advance in Europe. The closer you get to the date, the more expensive tickets become. I'm glad that we decided to go because it was an experience we could never forget. We took a Megabus from Edinburgh to Inverness around noon. It was a 3 1/2 hour ride through the Highlands on the A9 which is considered the most picturesque A route in all the UK. It was too hard to get a good photo in a bus moving 100kmh so they all turned out blurry which is okay because they wouldn't have done the scenery any justice. Riding through the Highlands provided the most beautiful scenery that my eyes have ever set upon! Everything was so green and pastoral. Sheep were grazing along the side of the road in pastures and the further we climbed through the mountains, the higher the peaks became. Some were even holding leftover snow from the winter on the shady side of the hills. I took the time to continue reading the Divergent Series on my iPad while Alex began reading Game of Thrones. We passed countless lochs and castles before finally arriving in Inverness around 4 p.m. Grant, Kenneth's brother, picked us up from the Inverness station and drove us to Tain where he and his wife Terri live. They showed us around their lush gardens and we watched them hand-roll cigarettes. We drank some white wine outside and were introduced to their two Boykin Spaniels. Terri prepared a really incredible home-cooked meal for us. I have a lot to aspire to in the kitchen evidently. We shared fresh salmon, a zucchini quiche, potatoes, and salad. It stayed light outside until nearly midnight and even then it was never really pitch black. We took a walk around town at 9 p.m. and it was still light out like it was only the afternoon. You could see straight across the Dornoch Firth! Tain was a tiny little town. Its population is about the same as the high school locally. It really just seemed like we were in a big neighborhood, not a city. It does, however, home to one of the most famous distilleries, Glenmorangie. Grant told us he actually painted some of the artwork for their Christmas cards one year! We were lucky enough to get to stay in Grant's painting studio during our short trip to visit. We finally went to bed so we could enjoy a day of exploring.