Heading Out to Sea

Our day began with a tension-inducing drive out to Cromarty for a boat ride on the Moray Firth. We were driving along okay, staring in wonder at the large bus ahead of us navigating the narrow streets of Fortrose, when our GPS detoured us around the town and up into the hills. I like to think we are not the type of people who would drive off a cliff because our GPS told us there was a road there. Instead, I think we were both just so relieved to get out of the narrow streets of the town that we went with it.

Our relief was short-lived, though, as we realized this was a windy, hilly, single-lane road through sheep pastures. Noting the significant number of manure piles on the pavement, I suggested that Steve better watch out in case there were any animals in the road.

We did get some rather stunning views of Chanonry Point up there, though.

Chanonry Point, Black Isle

Chanonry Point, Black Isle

We were running behind to get to the boat trip, so the drive was perhaps a bit quicker than either of us were comfortable with, but Steve handled the car and the road well, and we both breathed another sigh of relief as we turned back onto the main drag.

Finally in Cromarty, we got geared up for our dolphin watching trip with Ecoventures. Steve eyed the small, inflatable pontoon boat with some trepidation, but boarded it, placing his faith in the Bonine he had taken earlier.

Anne & Steve on Ecoventures boat

You’ll notice there are no photos of dolphins on our dolphin watching trip. We were not fortunate enough to find dolphins, or any other wildlife other than a few sea birds.

But it was a beautiful, sunny day on the firth, Steve didn’t get seasick, and we got to see the headlands up close, so I can’t really complain, although Steve, apparently, did get a bit cold at some points. . .

Steve all wrapped up on Ecoventures boat

It would have been nice to see dolphins, but it was quite enjoyable anyway.

Headlands of Moray Firth

Headlands of Moray Firth

Leaving Cromarty, we made our way to Rosemarkie to visit the Groam House Museum with their collection of Pictish stone carvings. It was a very small, but well-done collection. The volunteer docent was also very nice and, upon hearing that Steve was a Shaw, shared a bit of her local knowledge of the clan, along with the correct pronunciation of Tordarroch (emphasis on the second syllable; I think I’d been saying it like it was Klingon).

Afterwards, we walked along Fairy Glen of Rosemarkie, enjoying the lovely waterfalls along the way.

Fairy Glen trail

Anne on Fairy Glen trail

Steve & Anne on Fairy Glen trail

waterfall on Fairy Glen trail

Our final stop saw us back in Fortrose to visit the ruins of Fortrose Cathedral.

Fortrose Cathedral

Fortrose Cathedral

Back at the inn, and feeling exhausted, we decided to take a little nap before dinner. The morning boat ride, with the sun and wind, combined with the accumulation of the previous days’ activities, set me off on a path of drowsiness that just couldn’t be put off any longer. We did manage to rouse ourselves for dinner, but we were both a little zombified. Frankly, I was still half asleep through dinner. We had been unable to get into our first choice restaurant for dinner – we had wanted to go to Hootananny, which Steve felt a kinship with due to the southern hootenanny connection and which I was interested in primarily for the nightly live music.

We ate across the street instead, but were able to get a table afterwards at Hootananny for a drink. We tried desperately to make it until the music was set to start, but both decided we were about to fall asleep at the table and had better toddle off to bed. We did make a reservation for dinner tomorrow night. Hopefully we’ll feel more rested then.

We did stop on the walk back to the B&B to take a few pictures of Inverness Castle.

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle