A Day (or two) In Inverness Scotland of OUTLANDER Fame (As in Jamie and Claire were here) (And Poor Frank)  

Posted by Heidi

Inverness. Scotland. (I clarify because there is an Inverness, California which is not far from where I live. It's a lovely place, too.)  It's been three years since I visited with my daughter and I am finally blogging about it. (Do not let this color your opinion as to it's charms--I highly recommend it even if I waited 36 months to tell you so.) 
We were nearing the end of our second back-to-back coach tour (the first was to England--scroll down for numerous blog posts about said trip) when we arrived here, Inverness, Gateway to the Highlands and City of Colossal Interest to hundreds of thousands of Jamie/Claire/Outlander fans.

Some of the gorgeous scenery between Glamis Castle (see last post) and Inverness.

Treasures spotted through the coach window.

The River Ness.

Inverness Palace--directly across the river from our hotel.

Truly a charming hotel (despite the orange traffic cones).

The Inverness Palace Hotel is a Victorian-era building, whereas the one next door is a wee bit older, but we were glad to have the mod cons (modern conveniences, not to be confused with rom com, pithy for romantic comedy).  Once we settled in, we headed out immediately to see the sights. 

The glassed-in railing to the right of the church spire borders the outside seating area of a restaurant. To sit and eat and admire that view would be such a treat (why didn't we?) (I can't remember.) 

There were the usual churches (this one is on Church Lane) and other beauties, but the downtown area of Inverness is not as large as one might suppose. It has a small town feel about it, the sort where the residents all know exactly who are the tourists and who are not. 

As we continued around the (very large) block, we eventually arrived at Leaky's, the world's biggest used book store, one which I had been looking forward to exploring from top to bottom.

Bits of poetry are stamped into the sidewalks all around town--this one appeared just outside of Leaky's.

Books! Maps! Prints! Oh my!

So. Many. Books.

See those books in the gallery at the top right of the photo? There was no visible way to get to them. I still feel cheated. (CHEATED, I say!) (I could have asked for help but the one employee I saw had his nose in a book and I felt strangely intimidated to disturb him.)

All these books to choose from and guess what I bought? A print. (But it came from a book once upon a time.)

One of the problems with so many old books is so much old dust. After fifteen minutes in there, I couldn't stop coughing, so I had to wait for my daughter outside. Is this in any way her fault? I suppose not, especially since she treated me to the entire trip.  

A wee (when in Rome) bit down the street, there was a gate between two sections of darling houses. We went through and discovered the graveyard at Old High St. Stephan's. I have two things to say about that. 1) One has to admire a church with such an original name (I love Ireland, but ALL of the churches are named after Mary. All. Of. Them.) 2) This is the first time that it has occured to me that this church is the same one I could have gazed at from the outdoor restaurant. (Three years grants a ton of perspective.)

The church was secondarily named "The Old High Church". I suppose to prevent one from confusing it with the new one. (This one is clearly OLD.)

This is certainly not news to those who have read my other travel blog posts, but I ADORE green and mellow stone together, which makes cemeteries and graveyards favorites of mine.

 Gray and white and green. It's so Joanna Gaines.

I also love shapely tombstones. They have architectural interest.

This one is very interesting with the crossed swords and the, the the, the THING, the military hat (wait a minute, it will come to me) (a furious google search later . . still nothing) THAT hat!

Somebody lives here. What a treat!

You might think this is just another shot of the cemetery. Indeed, it IS, but there is something more. Can you make out the name on the tombstone at the bottom left?

Here ya go. It's not full on James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, but it's close. Halfway. (Er, two fifths of the way there!) 

And here's a Jane and a John Fraser. Do you think there's any chance that Diana Gabaldon did NOT visit this cemetery sometime before or during the writing of Outlander? (I think not.) (I walked where Diana walked!) 

And this IS just another photo of a cemetery. (Pretty tombstone!)

This blue! I have been trying to replicate it at home. I can't seem to get it right.

There is a story about this tombstone: A few years ago when I was looking at this photo, I noticed the word "Cafferes" and information about an attack at Cape of Good Hope on Christmas day. Now, THAT's a story! So, I researched, and as it turns out, the father of one of the characters in my new release, The Scandal in Honor, was there. In fact, the skirmishes with the Kaffirs (as we spell it now) figure largely in the mystery that temporarily stumps my sleuth, Julian "Trev" Silvester. (Please note that The Scandal in Honor is number two of a three book series. It is more enjoyable to read The Devil in Beauty first! You can find both books HERE.

I had to enlarge this photo (seriously way more than this!) to ensure that we were not being stalked by a man in a black inverness (as they call them in Scotland...or a raglan or ulster in Ireland, also known as an overcoat or top coat in England...) but it's just a very interesting tombstone. 

In this picture: the quilt store that photo-bombed my shot, but that I didn't actually see, and which I would have loved to go into. 

More cement poetry. 

 More fascinating architecture.

The view down the street from our hotel across the River Ness. (Not to be confused with Loch Ness.) 

The way some clever person draped this renovation project tickled me.

It's all in the details. 

A stone corbel that I would have loved to take home in my suitcase but which probably is much larger than it appears.

 More delicious gray and green.

A view of the palace in town. 

His and hers bikes, though I suppose it is not longer PC to say so.

White deliciousness. Like cake icing (or frosting or whatever).

Inverness is a friendly, small-feeling town. 

The oldest pub in the Highlands. We stood at the door and looked in, but we were too chicken to go inside. (Why? That's what I keep asking myself. But, truly, these places are very small and very noisy and there are SO many people crammed inside and it's dark and just  . . .kind of intimidating.) The music, however, was smashing. 

If you go to Scotland and have a desire to see a lot of kilted men and the knees that go with it, you MUST come here. These were, hands down, the best knees we saw in all of the country.

The best English country shutters I have seen in three countries (including England). So yummy!

Goodnight Inverness!

This photo implies that my next post will be about the Clava Cairns, a pivotal local in the Outlander saga. I was sick the day our tour went there--and here is my daughter wondering what it is all about (she has not read the books). I should have been there to fill her in! I also missed the trip to Culloden which was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Scotland! No, there will be no more of this. Next will be the Isle of Skye or Stirling Castle. Or both. (Time will tell.)