Here's Kate with details of Day 2 in the Scottish Highlands...
The second day started with a coach transfer to Inverness. We passed the Commando Memorial, a bronze sculpture of three soldiers from the Second World War where we stopped for a while, took pictures and enjoyed panoramic views of the mountains Ben Nevis and Aonach Mór.
After arriving in Inverness, we met with Visit Scotland representatives and our local guide to start the 2-day adventure in Inverness! We had a special sightseeing tour with the red city bus around Inverness and then headed to the outskirts of the city for a light lunch and a showround of the New Drumossie Hotel.
New Drumossie Hotel has been recently refurbished and is especially suitable for big conferences with lower budget whose organizers prefer to keep their delegates close to their hotel rooms. Although the rooms are of rather lower four-star standard, the meeting facilities are of very good quality and practical design with capacities from 12 up to 500 people. On top of that, the restaurant has been awarded 2 AA Rosettes.
The next stop was at the Castle Stuart Golf Course, an 18-hole golf course overlooking the Moray Firth, which hosts the Barclays Scottish Open this summer. The golf club building has a very futuristic flair which together with the green fields and sea evokes a feeling of being in a different world. It was very refreshing to stand in the endless green, breathing the sea air in.
It was time to pump some extra adrenaline to our blood stream in the afternoon. Visit Scotland took us out for a shorter version of laserstrike to the woods on Black Isle. Not knowing what to expect, we were all quite nervous about the upcoming game, especially the ladies in our group. But all tension disapppeared when we put the dark green uniforms on and received our guns. Both teams played in a defensive way in the first game but it got quite tough afterwards! Having unlimited amounts of shots, we were soon enough running around, shooting wildly at anything that moved. It was so much fun! Everyone loved it! The laserstrike was probably one the best experience from the trip for me, especially because or team won!
Pleasantly tired after the game, we went back on the coach again to go see the last venue before the evening programme – the Achnagairn house, a white luxury mansion with 24 individually designed bedrooms. The mansion has a stunning grand ballroom that can be used for gala dinners and stylish ceilidh parties for up to 160 guests. Our group enjoyed a traditional scottish afternoon tea in the lovely drawing room before leaving for Kingsclub Hotel & Spa where we stayed overnight.
After checking into the four-star Kingsclub, part of the Kingsmills hotel in Inverness, I simply sank on the comfy king-size bed and realized how busy the day was and that there was still a busy surprise evening in the city centre of Inverness ahead of us!
So we had a short pre-dinner tour of the Kingsmills and Kingsclub hotels and then we took our umbrellas (bless the Scottish rain!) and departed for a dine around. Visit Scotland arranged a three-course dinner in three different restaurants on the river Ness for us.
The dine around started in the Columba Hotel with a short tour of the hotel and tasty fried haggis snack as a starter. The main course was served in the stylish Glen Mhor hotel on the other side of the river. Glen Mhor is a lovely hotel with modern design and a very comfy vintage bar where you can sit on old sofas of different shapes and colours while enjoying local beers or whiskies and listening to live music. The sea-food main course options were simply delicious! Furthermore, I was absolutely amazed by little buttons on pillows in the guest rooms!
The sweet dessert was served in the Glen Morriston hotel. We were all full from the previous delicious courses already but our stomachs were challenged once more with SIX different desserts! My favourite one was definitely mango rice pudding – a lightly sweet healthier dessert option.
We could barely walk after the crazy food marathon but that didn´t stop our guide from taking us to Eden Court for a late surprise coffee (much needed!) and a showround. Eden Court is the biggest theatre, entertainment and conference venue in the Northern Highlands. It was late when we arrived, but it was worth it. Additionaly , we had a chance to see the refurbished old part of the complex – the beautiful Bishop´s Chapel, before taking a taxi back to the Kingsclub to finally get some well-deserved sleep.
Coming up later this week - Kate shares the details of her final day - Highlights on Loch Ness!