It had to happen. I had to move on. And hope that the rest of my grand tour (my Last Hurrah as I'd come to think of it) would be as good as it had been so far.
I know some people meet others when they go on a tour who become firm friends. I still felt at the end of my week long tour that I'd been with strangers. However, before I left Dublin I had an amazing half hour in a coffee bar at the airport with three Dubliners. If just one of them had been on the bus we'd be friends forever. Some people you click with, others you don't.
Anyway, it was wonderful to arrive in The Scottish Highlands, in Inverness, and be met by a friend, my old blogging mate, Graham, GB, Eagleton Notes. Haven't seen him since March, 2014 when we took our last road trip around the north. The north where I live and now I was here to see the north where he lives. Thinking about our friendship the first thing that comes to mind is it's comfortable like an old shoe. How unflattering does that sound? But just today I took a pair of old favourite, comfy shoes to the cobbler for repair and he pointed to the rubbish bin, saying they were beyond hope and suggested I splash out on a new pair. I didn't want a new pair, I wanted the tried and true. I don't know where I'm going with this - so I'll just say I was looking forward to the next week with Graham in his home territory.
Our first stop was at Fort George, "mightiest artillery fortification in Britain", built in 1746 and still a working fort. I've never visited a fort before, never even stopped to imagine what one would be like. I thought it was rather beautiful in its regimental austerity.
I hope its current occupants enjoy a few more comforts than their predecessors.
But I wouldn't be too sure, they don't make many concessions for comfort in the visitor's theatre. I spotted the heaters on the walls or I would have said there are no concessions.
But these bonnie chaps look to be in pretty good nick so I guess they are well fed.
I liked the Church of Scotland Chapel
and the bagpipe playing angel. (You know you are in Scotland when ...)
I've never seen a pulpit like this. I don't know if you'd say it was one pulpit on three levels or three pulpits. One, probably as they were all joined together. The minister preaches from the top level, the bible reader stands in the middle, and the person who leads the singing stands on the lowest level.
Graham lines up his target. Sorry, subject.
Mucking around with his camera instead of looking out for the enemy
My introduction to the haar as it drifts into the harbour from the sea.
To see Graham's post about Fort George, go here.