31 July 2018
Join us on a 800 miles (1300 km) roadtrip in the Scottish hightlands with a short story about the places we drive through and the castles we visit.
After a night at the hotel The Place, we picked up the rental car from Avis: a VW 2018 Golf with registration number GM67 JKE.
Today we drive from Edinburgh to Kyle of Lochalsh (gaelic: Caol Loch Aillse) with around 700 inhabitants.
And here we spend the night at Kyle Hotel.
Our first stop is Sterling Castle, 41 miles (66 km) from Edinburgh.
Sterling Castle is located on the summit of an around 350 million years old former volcano, surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. The fortress is national monument managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Most buildings are from the 15th and 16th century. But some structures are from the 14th century, while the outer defence walls are from early 18th centure.
In 1304, King Edvard I besieged and defeated the Scottish rebels who had fortified themselves in Sterling Castle, one of Scotland's most important fortresses. After defeating William Wallace's army forces in Falkirk in 1298, it took 6 years for the English king again to have full control over Scotland.
The last fortification that the Scots was Stirling Castle. Armed with 12 siege machines, the English people began the siege of the fortress in April 1304.
Scotland (in Gaelic: Alba) is a self-governing nation and one of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom og Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Apart from the main land, Scotland consists of more than 790 islands. The kingdom of Scotland was an independent country until 1st May 1707 when the parliament union included Scotland in the kingdom of England to the kingdom og Great Britain. Scotland is still costituated as an independent state although the country has been ruled from London for more than 300 years, but has always had its own management. Following a referendum, the Scottish Parliament (gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was refounded in 1999. Scotland's government held a referendum on Scottish independence on 18th September 2014. The result was: Scotland shall still be a part og Great Britain - 45% for secession and 55% against.
It is believed that the first human beings of hunters and collectors came to Scotland 11000 years ago as the ice retreated.
A gaelic people from Ireland, the Scots, immigrated or invaded the country later named after them. "Scot" comes from Latin and referred to Scotland from the last half of the 10th century.
The flag og Scotland (Scottish gaelic: bratach na h-Alba) is a white St Andrew's Cross and a blue field and is claimed to be one of the oldest national flags still in use. But this is not confirmed. The legend dates the flag back to the 10th century. The oldest preserved flag is from 1503 and has a white cross on a red field. The background colour was changed to blue around 1540.
The population of Scotland: around 5.4 million.
(gælisk: An Gearasdan)
We have now arrived in Fort William, the second largest town in the Highlands of Scotland with around 10,000 inhabitants. Only Inverness is larger. The Gaelic name is An Gerasdan, from English garrison. 7.33% of the population speak Gaelic.
The earliest recorded settlement here in Fort William is a wooden fort from 1654 as a base for English troops. The highest mountain on the British Isles is here: Ben Nevis 1344 meters (4409 ft).
We have now drives 24 more miles (38 km), and have arrived at Invergarry Castle.
The first castle was built early in the 17th century, and was destroyed after a few years, and rebuilt in 1665. It was burned down in 1716, rebuilt in 1731 and finally destroyed in 1750.
Restauration work for stabilization was completed in 2009.
Kyle of Lochalsh
We have now reached today's destination: Kyle of Lochalsh (Gaelic: Caol Loch Aillse) with 700 inhabitants. We are now around 80 miles (130 km) from Inverness. But we will drive around 430 miles (700 km) before ending up in Inverness. Tonight er are staying at Kyle Hotel.