South of Inverness lies Loch Ness, famous for the still-not-confirmed “monster” called Nessie. We didn’t see her either. About halfway down the west coast of Loch Ness lie the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Urquhart was a very strategically important fortress; located as it was on a rocky promontory jutting into the deep waters of Loch Ness. The castle changed hands several times over its 1,000 year history and when the last soldiers marched away in 1692 they blew up part of the castle as they left. The ruins are extensive as the castle was added to and re-fortified many times. Our visit to Scotland coincided with baby bird season and there was another nest at Urquhart. The castle is a living history site where they have costumed staff doing demonstrations of weapons and tactics and explained the general living conditions of the period. The white ribbon – cockade – on his hat would let people know he was a supporter of Bonny Prince Charlie, the exiled heir to the Scottish throne; whose attempt to regain his place resulted in the disastrous Battle of Culloden that was a crushing defeat for the Scottish Clans. We left Urquhart just after 1 pm and returned to our hotel in Inverness for a restful afternoon and evening. Every once in awhile a person needs a bit of down time on lengthy trips like these.The gorse was blooming on many of the hillsides.