We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Scotland is a nifty, rugged place to visit if you don't need luxury hotels, if you like cool rainy weather, and if fine dining is not important to you (generally-speaking, always order the fish). People like to visit the Highlands, though, and it is inexpensive travel.
It's July in Scotland, and people wear fleece, down jackets, Barbour-type jackets, wool hats, etc. just to walk around town.
We flew into Inverness via Amsterdam, and had a day or so, on both ends of our Hebrides trip, in Inverness. It's the commercial center of the Highlands with a population around 50,000. It is slightly touristy - really more of a take-off point for the hinterlands - and pleasant, but there really isn't much there for a tourist.
The River Ness runs through it, from Loch Ness to the North Sea. Salmon and Sea Trout in that river.
More Inverness below the fold -
Our nice hotel on the riverbank. Not Fawlty Towers
Do they really serve haggis all that often or is it more of a cliche? I like it, but I wonder if they'd secretly chuckle at me when I ordered it. Did you ask anyone what they thought of that McDonald's?
We spent two weeks in Scotland two years ago this summer. Two days of that were in Inverness. I remember it exactly as you describe. It was our least favorite stop of the trip, though we were in the area to visit Culloden, which was wonderful.
Never stay in cities in Scotland, they are either dull like Inverness or tourist traps like Edinburgh. Get out into the country, stay in B&Bs and take the food as you find it. Don't eat bar food, ever as it's pretty much always terrible. Fish and Chips are usually good and we like Shepard's pie. many of the more remote B&Bs serve dinner as well as breakfast which can be the high point of the day. Sitting around a large table with people from all over is the best fun there is and staying in far off villages where a barking dog is the loudest sound is wonderful.
My son and d-i-l married outside of Dunkeld. Scotland near the River Tay, and so I had the opportunity to take the train up to the Highlands and Inverness during a planning trip to Scotland. Loved the magnificent train ride up and liked Inverness for a day which was enough. I found it to be a harsh, gray place. Hired a driver to take me to Loch Ness to see the lake and some of the castles etc in the area. Overall, Dunkeld and surroundings was my favorite place in Scotland.
YIKES! It is now 40 years ago that me and two of my buddies from the Berlin Brigade to a backpacking excursion to England (lots of walkabout but little actual backpacking since we were primarily in London), Wales (walked the Roman Road the best we could track it), and Scotland (hiked the circumference of Lock Ness). Aside from London we camped in tents we were packing. Ate almost exclusively what we'd hauled with us which was primarily granola (the advantages of being young and poor).
The Wales and Scotland segments were rugged, but IMHO absolutely beautiful, terrain. While we arrived at Inverness we stay there and headed immediately out to hike. We finished our tour back in Inverness where we rented rooms, scrubbed most of a week of filth off, and went to dinner.
I can't possibly remember the hotel but it may as well have been the Four Seasons. We had dinner in a Chinese restaurant which was definitely upscale form the typical US store front types. To this day it was the finest Chinese dinner I've ever had. Of course, that may have been the situation rather the quality of the cuisine. I shed a solid 10 lbs that trip.
Which is all to say that I have to disagree with your comment about accommodations and food in Inverness. I do recognize that my experience is dated and the situation perhaps a bit unusual and may have biased my reviewing judgement.
Never did see Nessie but then again, that wasn't the point or our focus.