Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Loch Ness

After all this time spent in Scotland, it was about time I visited Loch Ness. This is day two of my weekend trip to Inverness and Loch Ness. See part one here.

We left the hostel by 9 am. 20 minutes later we stopped at the shores of Loch Ness.
Loch Ness is neither the largest, longest or deepest Loch in Scotland. But it is both big, long and deep, and thus it is the largest by volume. Loch Ness contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales put together.
After a stop by the shores we drove on to tiny Drumnadroicht village where the Loch Ness Centre and Loch Ness gift shops are located. I also got my first glimpse of actual Nessie! 
In one of the gift shops there was a weird mirror-thing on the floor. Right beside all the plush toys. I bought a super cute Nessie plush.

The next stop on our journey was Urquhart Castle. This is one of the largest castles in Scotland. The ruins we see today are from between the 13th to the 16th century, but as most castles it is built upon earlier fortifications. One of the many information plaques dotted around the castle grounds had the sort of information I like, drawings of the evolution of Urquhart castle.

Today the castle looks like this:
Urquhart Castle sits on the shore of Loch Ness. The weather was pleasant and the view quite nice.
I also saw a duck couple waddling along one of the paths on the castle grounds. Look at these photogenic bastards.

We stopped in Fort Augustus for lunch. It is a village on the south west tip of Loch Ness, and it sports a series of water locks that help connect the Caledonian Canal between Inverness and Fort William on the West Cost.
Fort Augustus had a beautiful Nessie statue.
I  found myself a comfy place to eat, the Lock Inn, which had an actual fireplace. And books.

After Fort Augustus we had a short stop beside Speanbridge to se the Commando Memorial. This is a monument dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces, and it was raised during the Second World War. The monument is located here because the men used to train in the area.

The last stop of the day was our usual place in Glencoe. I always think I don't need to take more pictures of the same mountains, but the weather is always different so I end up taking pictures anyway.
The trip home from Glencoe was also very pretty, so I finish this post with some pictures taken out the bus window.

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