Sunday, May 18, 2014

Inverness: Day 1 (AKA Day 12)

Today was a long, long day of traveling. 
I checked out of the Arran House Hotel this morning and headed for King's Cross station to take an East Coast train directly to Inverness. These trains are really top of the line, with air conditioning, very comfortable seats and a good amount of leg room. 
It was interesting to note the changes in scenery. Here we were getting close to the first station, York.
Similar scenery to when we traveled to Bath and Stonehenge.
Lovely countryside. 
A bit of the coastline!
My poor iPad was doing its best to focus on something while we rushed by. 
You can see how gorgeous the day was, too. Bright and sunny.
Although the water looks inviting, I doubt it is very warm. Or warm at all. 

We were getting close to pulling into a station right there, though I don't remember which one.
Now was when the scenery started to change a bit.

It got a bit darker, more like you'd imagine the British countryside to be. 
Even lovelier, to me. You can just imagine one of the Bronte sisters running around on those fields. 
We also started seeing more trees than we'd seen up to now. 
Lots and lots of them.
And more hills, too. 
Definitely a big difference between the near-London coutryside. This is my kind of view. 
Dark and gloomy, with lots of crows flying around. 
Getting close to another station. This was a small town, but picturesque. I wish I'd taken a picture with the name of the station so I could remember which one it was. 

That tone of green is incredible. 
More mountains and hills. 
We were getting into Highland territory by now. You can see that the terrain is rockier, grayer. 
The grass was full of brown patches, too. 
Contrast the green of just a few pictures above with this one. 
There were a few farms around here, but mostly it was deserted. 
Even the sky lost some of its blue hue.
Sheep and baby sheep! No, those are not their technical names, but that's what I thought when I saw them. Just before this picture, I saw a huge hawk chasing a wild rabbit. The rabbit got away, which is good for him and not so good for the hawk.

Look at how strange those hills are. They look marbled. 
A bit intimidating, if I'm honest.
I mean, you really would not want to get lost up there. 
Those are huge patches of moss growing on the mountain. 
Thos white ones are either snow or patches of water. I couldn't tell from the train. Probably snow. 
There were some horses around here which looked pretty wild. We went by so fast that I didn't get a picture. 
A small rivulet of water. 
Even more peculiar mountains. 
Then the landscpe changed again.
And we got a lake!
It's incredible how the landscape can change so dramatically in a matter of six or seven hours.
We were about an hour away from Inverness by now.
The mountains got even more dramatic. Opera-singer mountains. 
More intimidation. 
Getting closer.
And green again, with a bit of water in the back.
We got too Inverness right on time, at 8:05. Since the sun doesn't set until 9:40 or so, it was still very bright outside. I was exhausted, though, so I checked into the hotel, where I got a pretty nice room.
And then I went to get something to eat. I didn't take many pictures of Inverness yet, but since I have all day tomorrow and half a day on Tuesday, I'll get plenty. The city is gorgeous, though, and there were people walking around everywhere. 
It has a much slower pace than London, of course, and I plan to get a lot of writing done.

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