Leaving Durness really made me a bit sad, because I had such lovely hosts and such wonderful time on the beach and all around. I will definitely try to return some day and then stay for a few more days probably.
I headed on east along the northern coast and it was such a lovely drive. My first stop and walk around happened to be just outside of Durness at the ruins of Ceannabeinne village. Like hundreds of other Highland villages the tenants living there were evicted from their homesteads because the land owner had other plans for his property. The people of Ceannabeinne fought back for a while, which led to the Durness Riots, but in the end they had to leave their homesteads after all.
About one third of the way around Loch Eriboll the Danish ceramic artist Lotte Glob has her croft and studio. If my lovely host in Durness hadn’t told me about her and urged me to visit, I probably would have driven past and would have missed such an interesting place. It’s a studio and shop and sculpture garden and there is so much to see. Absolutely wonderful. And Lotte’s home, which has the form of a railway wagon looked pretty cool too.
The rest of the drive on to Thurso was interesting in parts but in the end also a bit tedious, I admit. The road leaves the coast and takes you over hills and through fields and heather, there wasn’t that much new to look at. But it was ok for the 2 hours or so. I had made good time and thus continued past Thurso towards Castle of Mey, which was Queen Mum’s residence in Scotland. I wouldn’t have known this if my mom hadn’t told me about it. I wouldn’t go so far as call my mum a fan of the British Royals, but she’s followed their stories on the news and such all her life. We’ve watched Royal Weddings and Funerals and the Jubilee Celebration together. Castle Mey was lovely, especially because of all the guides who were stationed all around the building and told interesting, quirky lovely stories about Queen Mum.
On my way back to Thurso I’ve stopped at Dunnet Head as well. I didn’t drive up all the way up north without something to show for it, right ;-)?
The next day took me from Thurso back to Inverness along the east coast of the Highlands, which is beautiful as well, but I admit I somehow enjoyed the rugged west coast a bit more. It was still a lovely drive down south. I stopped at Dunrobin Castle (another one to check off my list *g*) and spend quite some time strolling around the lovely small town of Dornoch, with it’s beautiful cathedral and even more so marvellous beach, which streches on for miles it seemed. It felt a bit weird to return to the “big city” of Inverness after that ;-)