Ever since I have come to Europe I have learnt to greatly appreciate and love walking. I love to visit cities and towns in different European countries and I always make a point to walk around and ‘take in’ the environment.
I walk to see the local people, roads, landscapes, parks, and how the buildings change in the different parts of the city. Walking has let me to discover little cafes, restaurants or graffiti that could have been easily missed when one quickly drives by. I try to take walking tours whenever I can and so far I have met and talked with people from all over the world and I have exchanged thoughts about the place and our home cities. For me walking and seeing what is around me gives me a sense of connection and makes me less afraid of being in a new place.
The magical quality of the region is captured beautifully in Outlander, which is what’s inspiring so many tourists to visit. A compact, cosmopolitan city with a lot of heart, and all the wonders of the Highlands at its doorstep - that makes it as one of the finest combination of a lot of factors for the wanderers to go around the city and explore it in their own ways. Inverness is an exceptional place, the 'in' place to be where there's a real buzz to life. Remarkably, one of the few places in the world where I could take a short walk starting from the city centre and feel as though I was right in the middle of the countryside. Here I take you to the River Ness and Ness Island in Scotland.
As one starts from Inverness city centre, it is like a circuit walk that spreads for a span approximately 2 hours along the banks of the River Ness. It is a beautiful sight for the keen nature lovers and fauna admirers. Seals and seabirds can be spotted between the two road bridges that run through the city. The birds piped oddly, some of the winds were caressing the higher foliage, turning it across the way, mildly onto the path of my exploration along the river bank. Along the river, you can walk across the footbridges to explore both sides of the riverbank. The great swelling and evolving waves of affection came upon me. For as long as I can remember, I was never happier, never quite as much myself, as I was there; sitting on the edge of the stream, winding my memories and making ways around the stream.
There is time to appreciate the architecture, to watch the river, to revel in the nooks and hidden bits of green. It is possible to walk the pavements at whatever pace desired without the impediment of other people and without breathing in the choking pollution. Connecting to the footbridges further upstream is a small, beautiful collection of islands called Ness Islands. One can go on a nature walk up the hills on the western shore. There is a nice trail leading up with several viewpoints, and while you might not have enough time to make it all the way to the top, this is a great budget option for a dry day.
It is recommended walking upstream alongside one side of the River Ness to Ness Islands and returning downstream the other bank, as this is a great way that allows one to have two totally separate views of some magnificent architecture of the city and its buildings. Here, crossing the suspension bridge for some peace and relaxation on the Ness Islands is a blissful and wonderly experience of lifetime.
There are other options available where one can make choices according to one's travels planning and experiences one wants to flourish oneself with, like one can go for a cruise around the Loch ness or can explore the ruined corners of the Urquhart Castle, or spend time on the boat rides, where the tickets are to be managed. The walk on the sides on the Ness rives is perhaps the most amazing and beautiful thing that has happened to me during my stay in Scotland. The Ness Islands are planted with mature scots pine, fir, beech and sycamore amongst other fauna and they are linked to the river banks and each other by elegant Victorian footbridges. The islands make a spectacular arrangement and appealing traveling destination, as it is one of the most beautiful riverside settings.
The best part from the circular walk has been that the strolls can be made longer or shorter depending upon the time availability with the individual, as there are numerous bridges that one can take on to explore, and return to the opposite side to the starting point. Here one can also extend the walk along the Great Glen Way or the Caledonian Canal.
Adding to this whole experience at Inverness is the Greig Street Suspension Bridge, which was built in 1881 for £1400. Its construction has been credited to the engineer C R Manners, and the local Rose Street Foundry, that spans 61.3m, and the side spans are each 20.4m, where the piers below tower level are cast iron. The bridge is a key Inverness landmark, both an important pedestrian route, and part of a riverside promenade which offers views of local buildings, and of the hills beyond.
The inverness castle to the backdrop completes the painting that one often craves for. Yes, indeed the whole set up looks like a painting.
And to be honest of my time in Inverness, I am quite proud of myself because it has a proof of this majestic place in Scotland.