We awoke to a calm and mild morning in Fort Augustus, and some of us enjoyed a stroll in the gentle sunshine before breakfast. The ducks quacked happily as they waddled down the path and into the water on our left, gliding effortlessly along the canal; rabbits hopped across the nearby fields on our right.
The rest of us eased into the day over coffee and croissants in the restaurant. By around 7:45 a.m. Lord of the Glens had started to cruise toward our final stop of the trip: Inverness.
Blue skies and sunshine ensured that it was a beautiful journey. Many of us gathered on the deck to take photos of the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle, the site where Saint Columba allegedly first saw a great creature in the water. As we crossed Loch Ness, we kept our eyes peeled for the elusive Loch Ness Monster, but alas, she must have been sleeping today.
For the afternoon we visited the historic battlegrounds of Culloden. It was here that on April 16th, 1746, forces under the command of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, fought and won against the Jacobite forces fighting on behalf of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to restore the Stuarts to the throne. The visitor center provided an excellent overview of Jacobite history, and we spent time trying to soak it all in. The site was atmospheric and poignant, and many of us took time to explore the battlegrounds in silent reflection.
We then visited Clava Cairns, which dates to the early Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC) and consists of three burial chambers and their surrounding stones. This was particularly exciting for the “Outlander” fans onboard, as the ancient burial site inspired the time-travel TV hit.
Once back on board, we joined the Captain and crew in the lounge to celebrate our trip, followed by our final meal with a “wee” Scottish twist.