Friday, 7 June 2013

Driving to Castletown

Today we drove to the north coast of Scotland over the ski fields. We saw our first glimpses of snow. We can’t believe how step the roads are here up to a 25 degree slope which is not something we have in Australia.

We arrived at Inverness and crossed the inlet.

Looking over North Kessock at Inverness

Looking at Dingwall

We stopped to see Dunrobin Castle on the way, it is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Dunrobin Castle is also one of Britain's oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and later, the Dukes of Sutherland. The Castle, which resembles a French chateâu with its towering conical spires, has seen the architectural influences of Sir Charles Barry, who designed London’s Houses of Parliament, and Scotland’s own Sir Robert Lorimer. The Castle was used as a naval hospital during the First World War and as a boys’ boarding school from 1965 to 1972. The gardens were laid out in 1850 by the architect Sir Charles Barry, who was responsible for the Victorian extension to the Castle and who designed the Houses of Parliament. Inspiration came from the Palace of Versailles in Paris, and they have changed little in the 150 years since they were planted, although new plants are constantly being introduced. Sir Charles Barry’s layout of the formal gardens below the Castle, with their arrangement into two parterres both laid out around circular pools with fountains were inspired by the gardens of Versailles.

Arriving at the castle

We saw the falconry show featuring golden eagles and peregrine falcons, both resident birds in the Scottish Highlands also in the show was a South American Chilean Blue Eagle and European Eagle owl.

Castle Museum

We have now arrived at Castletown ready to catch the ferry to the Orkney Islands tomorrow morning.

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