Today was the first of our long drives (mainly because it has been hard to find accommodation) whilst we were only going to Strathpeffer we went the long way through the Cairngorms National Park, Banff, Inverness and finally Strathpeffer.
The Cairngorms seem to encompass all those scenic river shots you see on TV etc of Scotland, all that was missing were the salmon and trout fishermen flicking flys everywhere. Having said that the barrenness of the hills give you a fair indication of what the place would like like in the winter. Also started to notice that Scotland seems to have the laziest sheep around, always lying down eating. The roads are pretty narrow and some of the old stone bridges certainly challenge RV and caravaners, see the photos as there was no way the RV and guys with the caravan were going to get over hump in that bridge (the road did have a warning on it).
A quick stop in Banff for lunch and then on to Strathpeffer via Eglin, Nairn and Inverness. Strathpeffer is a funny place, it used to be a Victorian holiday/spa retreat and whilst the room we had in the hotel wasn't quite that old it certainly dated from the fifties or sixties!!! The other downside was that it was a Shearings hotel meaning that coach loads of UK and European OAPs were there (and local entertainment to match their ages). Whilst the decor in the hotel lobby was undoubtedly trying to be Scottish it just gave me that 1930s Bavarian beer hall feeling and I expected to look around and see loads of brown shirts and beer steins.
Anyhow the beer and fish and chips were fine, couldn't say the same for the cheesy entertainment though (Andy Stewart would have been turning in his grave) The other downside was that the rain had arrived.