2010-05-06 -- Inverness

Our first non-flying day! OK, technically, the second, but after four straight days of flying -- new hotels, unpacking, repacking, unloading, reloading, grabbing breakfast as fast as possible (for those of us that are not morning people), taxi rides to the airport, waiting for fuel, shuffling papers (fortunately, the Air Journey crew is doing a great job at minimizing this one), putting on and taking off exposure suits, and on and on and on -- it is great to be able to do none of that for a few days.

Sadly, a small miscomminucation resulted in our planned tour of a distillery, a battlefield and Loch Ness being delayed by three hours (and so, since we can't leave Monday due to ash, we just get to do more touring). Instead, we hired a few cars and visited Cawdor Castle, the Balnuaran of Clava, (unofficial sites? one, two, and wikipedia) and Culloden Battlefield (wikipedia).

Dinner was spectacular. We ate at the Chez Roux restaurant in the Rocpool Reserve (not to be confused with the nearby Rocpool restaurant).

And, best of all, I finally found the speck of dust that has been plauging earlier pictures. The photos from dinner are blotch free!


Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/14.1, ISO 400
Cawdor Castle. The shield says "Be Mind Full". Certainly was a nice day, just a bit chilly in the wind.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 65.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/14.1, ISO 400
The entrance, with a normal lens.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L at 24.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/14.1, ISO 400
The entrance, with a tilt/shift lens, in the shift mode. Note how the vertical lines are now...vertical? The lens is fixed at 24mm, so I couldn't frame it the same as before, and I'm not editing pictures until I get back.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The "Tower Room", on the first floor of the old tower. The description (a whole page worth, which described nearly everything in the room, focusing on wall coverings mostly) mentioned that this was the only entrance in the original castle, with a trap door to get rid of unwanted "tourists".



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
A little dark, so I could get good depth of field.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/5 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The old kitchen. The collection of pots, pans and miscellaneous household instruments could have provided hours of photographic fun...except for the ropes.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
I did have a little fun with the collection of irons of various sizes. I'd crop this if I were editing.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
The flowers nicely hide a sign for the gift shop. Too bad it was only May.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
The ground cover under the red tree was a nice touch. A lot of low-light plants instead of dirt. Eventually, I'll get an HDR version of this posted.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Behind the (closed) garden maze, a hedge garden. Possibly my favorite picture of the day.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Jeffrey photographing Ma and Pa (I think) at Balnuaran of Clava, and generally getting in the way of my picture (next).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Balnuaran of Clava. This originally had a roof. It was a pile of rocks with a hollow center, covered by a single slab. Function unknown (though I didn't read the pages I linked above, and they might claim a use).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
The inside stone work at Balnuaran of Clava. Not nearly as sophisticated as, say, the stone work on Rapa Nui, but this is also significantly older (~3000 BCE).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
The guard at Culloden Battlefield. Also the history lecturer.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/5 sec, f/16.0, ISO 1600
According to the sign, these were swords from the dead troops, which were (said to be) "made into a railing at Twickenham House, a wealthy address in Richmond, London. Their bladed were mutilated: cut short and their tips broken off." I liked both the story and the fence.

Shortly after taking the picture, I noticed the sign that said no photos in the museum. Sorry.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400
A cottage on the Culloden Battlefield. I couldn't parse the story, neither could I figure out if this is an original structure or a reproduction. Another future HDR and panoramic image.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400
Up the street from Inverness Cathedral, typical Inverness for this area.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400
Across the street from Inverness Cathedral, more typical Inverness for this area.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400
Jeffrey photographing Renee in front of a cherry tree at Inverness Cathedral, Dad wandering around.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 47.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Gruyère Soufflé. Oh my. The cheese was thin and soup like but rich with gruyère goodness, while the soufflé was light and fluffy.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/10 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
This is the "meat special", which I'm afraid I won't be doing justice in the description. It was pork stuffed with....something, serverd over beans and drizzed with sauce. the potatoes were bite sized, slightly fried (a little crispy on the outside) and smooth (wish I could cook them like this).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/10 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
I skipped dessert, but Dad got the Strawberry short cake.



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