|Nigg headland from Cromarty|
A couple of weeks ago the children had two days off school. We had some friends up coming to visit on the Friday but I wanted to do something special on the Thursday. We took a trip on the Cromarty Queen – a wee ferry which runs from Cromarty, on the Black Isle, to Nigg on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth. The route is the old King’s Ferry and runs through the summer until the end of September so we only had a few days to spare for this year.
It was such a windy day that I phoned in advance to check it was running – ‘yes’ for cars but ‘no’ for foot passengers, in case they had to shut the service later in the day and the pedestrians became stranded on the wrong side! The ferry is tiny, it only holds a handful of cars, and each is turned on an on-deck turntable so that they can drive on and off the same end. I have to say it is a little nerve-wracking to drive down the little concrete pier onto a gently moving ramp while the ferry revs it’s engine to stay in the same place!
The location is rather incongruous. Cromarty is a beautiful fishing village, with a very long history thanks to the natural harbour (first appearing in historical records in the 1200s as a royal burgh). Nigg, on the other hand, is an industrial hub with an oil rig rerurbishing yard, renewable energy and one of the largest dry docks in Europe.
|Waiting for the ferry at Cromarty, looking across to Nigg|
|Cromarty, from Nigg|