Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

24th September 2013

Highland Thing

Ian and I probably didn’t see the best side of Inverness. We didn’t arrive until after 5pm, just as the town was winding down for the day. Also, it was still chucking it down with rain, so we eschewed dampness in favour of our comfy hotel room.

The railway station is quite nice, though – a good mix of old and new. The modern concourse is adorned with relics from the Highland Railway past, including a crest honouring the company’s directors.

Inverness Station Directors

Inverness Station Inverness Station

The Princess Royal unveiled this boulder to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Highland Main Line. Good for her. If you have a large, heavy, useless lump lying around… get her to unveil a rock.

Highland Main Line Boulder

Yes, Inverness station was very good. Not sure ScotRail need my seal of approval for their stations, but they’re getting it anyway. Here’s a photo of me outside the station. Not sure if it was a good idea to wear my Danger Mouse T-Shirt (with its proud Union Jack emblem) this far north of the border, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Robert at Inverness

After checking into our hotel, I’m afraid I made a fatal error by flopping straight onto the bed in my room. Once I was in a supine position, my body – exhausted from the whistle-stop tour of Skye earlier that day – rebelled and refused to move for nearly an hour. It was close to 7 o’clock before we set out again in search of nourishment.

We found a restaurant – Girvans – in the town centre. We arrived just after 7.30pm. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal but I did wonder why the place was nearly empty and the staff were standing around.

It was only as we left, just before nine, that we spotted the sign: “Last orders: 8pm.”

Oh dear. Sorry, guys. I hope you weren’t too late getting home.

We headed back to the hotel. In a fit of decadence, we had checked into the Royal Highland Hotel. At £100 for one night, it was hardly cheap, but it was rather luxurious, and had the added advantage of being right next to the station.

The next morning we had breakfast in a room full of chandeliers, as you do. There are plenty of reminders of the hotel’s railway past, notably in the dining room’s stained glass windows:

Royal Highland Hotel Restaurant Highland Railway Stained Glass

Breakfast was a “help yourself” buffet – challenge accepted! I filled my plate with every delicious morsel available (EXCEPT EVIL BAKED BEANS, OBVS). Excellently, haggis was available and I put a nice big slice of it on my plate. Then I headed over to my favourite feature of hotels – the “toast conveyor belt”. I love these; I can put my bread in and pretend I’m the supervisor of a tiny factory… that makes toast.

Highland Hotel Breakfast

I gleefully returned to my table where, once again, vegetarian Ian was forced to watch as I shoved a massive sausage in my mouth.

But you know what? I overreached. As I progressed, my eating became slower and slower as I started to feel very full. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was forced to leave one rasher of bacon and a black pudding behind. The shame.

I filled up on toast at the start. That was my mistake. DAMN YOU CONVEYOR BELT!

That’s about it for Inverness. We didn’t see many of the sights, and not even a hint of Loch Ness. I would like to come back one day and see more of the town. Until then, here’s some music…

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One Response
  1. Comment by Scottieboy
    24th September 2013 at 10:04 pm

    The toast conveyor belts are evil. They make bread just warm and you have to queue. Far better to fill up on juicy protein filled bacon and sausage.