Posts in Scotland
Ibis Edinburgh Centre, Royal Mile, Scotland: hotel review

I visited Edinburgh, Scotland in the summer and booked my stay through AccorHotels.com at the Ibis Edinburgh Centre, Royal Mile. Even though I booked three weeks in advance, I got a rate of 133 GBP per night, which I thought was very expensive for an Ibis. But I guess since it was summer and peak time for tourists to visit Scotland, I did not have much of a choice. At least, the location was good and I had read some great reviews on TripAdvisor about this property, so I went ahead and made the booking.

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Urquhart Castle, Lochness, Scotland: my day trip there

Urquhart Castle is a ruinated 13th century castle in the Scottish Highlands located on the banks of the Loch Ness, the largest (by volume) lake in the British Isles. It is one of the most picturesque landmarks in Scotland lying close to the village of Drumnadrochit and easily approachable by road from Inverness. The castle, situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness, is one of the largest in Scotland in area. It was raided through the centuries and was completely abandoned in the 17th century. In the 20th century, it was placed in state care and opened to the public and is now one of the most-visited castles in Scotland.

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Bus ride from Inverness to the Urquhart Castle in Loch Ness: Exploring Scottish Highlands

Even though I had only one and a half day in Inverness, I could not leave without a visit to the Urquhart Castle in Loch Ness. There is a regular shuttle service that runs between Inverness and Loch Ness, and it is a good idea to get your bus tickets in advance. In case you can't get your ticket in advance, you will have to wait in line to get on the bus, and if the bus gets full, you will need to wait for the next bus - this is exactly what happened to me. However, I did not mind it so much because it gave me enough time for a quick visit to the nearby Victoria Market, which was recommended to me by the Mercure hotel staff where I was staying. Also, I was able to take time and relax on a nice cup of coffee before getting on the bus.

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Victoria Market, Inverness, Scotland

Hi friends, if you have been following my blog, here is another post on Inverness. Victoria Market is a charming shopping mall in Inverness that dates back to the 1890s. The original market was destroyed by fire in 1889 and rebuilt over the next two years. Here you will find shops selling souvenirs, jewellery, kilts, flowers as well as fish and meat. This market makes an ideal spot to enjoy a cup of coffee at one of its cute little cafes, especially when it is raining outside. In the short time I had at Inverness, I made sure to visit the market as it was strongly recommended to me by the Mercure hotel staff where I was staying. Here are some pictures of the market.

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Inverness, Scotland : 5 things to do in one day!

I was in Inverness, Scotland only for two nights earlier this summer and even though it was a very short stay, I was able to do quite a few things there! Arriving at the Mercure Inverness hotel in the late afternoon, I enjoyed magnificent views of the old town of Inverness from my room window. Then I decided to take a walk around the old town, till it began to rain and I had to run back to the hotel, ending my day with a nice cup of hot chocolate in bed, while enjoying the breathtaking views of the city from my room window.

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Edinburgh to Inverness, Scotland : Scottish Highlands

I am back with my pictures of the Scottish Highlands taken from my Nikon D810, while I was traveling by train from Edinburgh to Inverness, Scotland. The highlands dotted with castles, cattle, picket fences, wild flowers and cloudy, blue skies are breathtakingly beautiful. If you haven't already been there, I highly recommend Scotland as your next holiday destination. People are friendly, the vibration is lovely and there is beauty all around - even though the Scottish accent is hard to get at first!

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Edinburgh to Inverness, Scotland: North Sea

Hi folks! This is the first part of the picture tour that I shot with my Nikon D810, on train from Edinburgh to Inverness in Scotland. However, I have to confess that no photos can do justice to the beauty of Scotland - from seas and rivers, to the Scottish highlands, each view is breathtakingly lovely. Hopefully, I will be able to return there soon! From Inverness, I traveled first class on Virgin Trains East Coast to London Kings Cross, a total travel time of around 8 hours. This was an experience in itself and for those of you who missed this post, you will find it here.

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Edinburgh Waverley in images

Edinburgh Waverley railway station, often simply referred to as Waverley, or as Edinburgh, is the main railway station in the Scottish capital Edinburgh. For those of you who want to have an idea how this railway station looks like, here are some pictures I clicked, when I was there last time. Before boarding the train, you need to double-check what platform your train is arriving and I figured out that they don't have this information on the TV screens, sometimes not even up to 15 minutes before the train arrives; then you need to rush with your bags and have your tickets ready to be validated at the entry point of the platform otherwise the gate may not open for you!

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Morning Coffee at Starbucks, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Old Town, Scotland

I visited Starbucks, Royal Mile, twice when I was in Edinburgh, once in the evening and another time very early in the morning. While it was super-duper crowded in the evening, morning was almost empty and I was able to snap some real nice pictures for my blog! Located in the center of the Edinburgh Old Town and housed in a lovely, old building, the first floor seating area affords great views of the Edinburgh Old Town. Coffee was good and I especially enjoyed the old-world charm of this ancient building matched with the interiors of the cafe. I have a small story to tell that accompanied my morning coffee at this very enchanting Starbucks cafe!

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Edinburgh, Scotland: Old Town, Royal Mile & Princes Street

It had always been my dream to visit Scotland, fancying it to be a land of warriors and knights in shining armour, who rode their horses through mountain wildernesses interspersed with valleys and lakes. Even though I did not meet any knights there, I was completely bewitched by Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Edinburgh was also the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century that transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Later, a friend remarked to me how she felt that Scotland was haunted and wanted to know my own feelings on the subject.

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First Class on Virgin Trains East Coast from Inverness, Scotland to London Kings Cross

Scotland by rail is an experience to make and I strongly recommend traveling First Class on Virgin Trains East Coast from London to Scotland or back, to get the best out of your visit to the U.K. I traveled First Class from Inverness, which is a city on Scotland's northeast coast, to London King's Cross on Virgin Trains East Coast and had a journey to remember. From the moment I boarded the train in Inverness and till the time we arrived in London, a journey of almost 8 hours, I enjoyed every moment of the comfort and luxury the first class had to offer. The thing to do is to plan your journey in advance and get really cool deals on ticket prices - you will be surprised how little you have to pay for the extra first class comfort!

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Mercure Inverness hotel, Inverness, Scotland: hotel review

I stayed at the Mercure Inverness hotel from the 27th-29th of July, 2016 and booking on accorhotels.com, paid 327 GBP (170 GBP + 157 GBP) excluding breakfast for the two nights I was there. Despite the Accor Hotels member's discount and considering that Mercure Inverness is only a 3 star hotel, I found the price per night very expensive but that's what happens when you visit a top tourist destination in Scotland during holiday season and book last moment. Traveling by Scot Rail from Edinburgh Waverley, it took me approximately 3 1/2 hours to arrive at Inverness. The ticket cost me only 16.20 GBP as it was an advanced single valid only for the train I was traveling on. Even though Mercure hotel is only a 6 minute walk from the Inverness train station, thanks to my heavy suitcase, I was forced to take a cab.

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