My Heart’s in the Highlands #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travel buttonMy heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Robert Burns wrote that song back in 1789, and now that I’ve been to the Highlands, I understand what he meant. Not that I’m interested in chasing the deer, but I left a piece of my heart in the Highlands last July. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Robert Burns is Scotland’s national poet, best known for writing Auld Lang Syne, sung around the world every New Year’s Eve. Burns was born on Jan. 25, 1759 and Scots will be celebrating his birthday this week with Burns Day Dinners and appropriate toasts accompanied by Scotch whisky.

Our day in the Highlands was one of my favorite port stops on the cruise of the British Isles. We docked at Invergordon, not far from Inverness, capital of the Highlands. This photo was taken from our cabin’s balcony as we neared port. The oil storage tanks aren’t very scenic, but North Sea oil has been very important to Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Invergordon1-400x300After visiting the battlefield at Culloden Moor, we had lunch and drove towards Loch Ness, passing through Inverness.

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle

Since we didn’t stop in Inverness, I’m supplementing my photos with this one from Deposit Photos, which shows just how pretty this small city is.

Inverness, Scotland

Scotland – Inverness

I snapped this photo from the bus. What a lovely place to live.


We didn’t see any deer, but we did see lots of sheep. Again, this image is from Deposit Photos.


Glen Shee, Highlands, Scotland

When the time came to leave Invergordon, a local band piped us on our way. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Pipe Band

What’s your favorite place on earth? Where have you left a piece of your heart?

Cruising Loch Ness #Scotland #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travel button

It has been a couple of months since I did a Travel Tuesday post, but I’m finally picking up where I left off in Scotland; this week Loch Ness!

Loch Ness

First glimpse of Loch Ness

We got our first glimpses of Loch Ness from the bus. As you can see from the photo, the weather was quite overcast and threatening, though it never did rain while we were there. Our first stop was Urqhaurt Castle, which I’ll write about another Tuesday. I have too many pictures to fit them all in one post.

Loch Ness

Another view of the loch

Loch Ness is quite large, extending twenty-three miles. As the bus wound its way around the loch, we craned our necks and enjoyed the different views. It really is beautiful country.

Ducks in Loch Ness

After our exploration of Urquhart Castle, we moved to the little dock to await our sightseeing boat. At the water’s edge, we spotted this mother duck and her little ones. Pretty soon mama and two of the ducklings had waddled out of the water to see what the tourists were up to. We knew what the little beggars wanted–food. Some of the people in our group had bought packets of chips which the little ducks were happy to chow down on. Everyone got a kick out of them. So cute.

Loch Ness ducks

Feeding time

The sightseeing boats weren’t the only vessels out on the water. We spotted this sailboat not far from shore.

Sailboat on Loch Ness

In case you’ve ever wondered how chilly it can get in Scotland in July… yes, those are ear muffs she’s wearing! I was huddled into the hood of my jacket, too.

ear muffs

ear muffs in July

By the time out boat arrived, I was chilled and happy to sit inside where it was warm, so I’m afraid I don’t have any more pictures of the loch. Lots of people were also happy to sit inside the boat with a cup of hot coffee, tea or cocoa, though the hardy ones stood outside for better views and photographs. The next day I came down with bronchitis. Bummer. For some reason being out on the water when I’m not at my healthiest brings on a bad cold or bronchitis overnight. My friend Janet Cornelow, who was with me in New Orleans on our ill-fated cruise on the Mississippi in 2010, said it has something to do with the barometric pressure on the water. I don’t know but I’m filing this under “things to remember”.

sightseeing boat

More from Scotland next week.