The Hunt For Nessi

Inverness Travel Blog

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Inverness & Loch Ness : 10/27-10/28/07

The train ride up from Edinburgh was amazing! With every passing mile the forests became thicker and greener. The dark clouds looming over the tracks ahead did not look good. The train pulled into Inverness and I stepped out into a nice rain storm. I got to the hostel right before it really started to come down. I am staying in a nice hostel with a lot of “character.” I settled in and broke out my rain gear to get ready to head down to the local Tesco for some food. The rain stopped as soon as I headed out the door! The Inverness castle is right by the hostel; it is not much of a sight to see. The true attraction of this city is the River Ness and the great footbridges and walk ways that run along the river. I would explore all these the next day. There is something about traveling a good portion of the day that just flat out tuckers me out. Put me in a train for a few hours or on a tour bus and WHAM, I am ready for a nap!  After having some dinner I sat in the common room for a bit reading before retiring to my room to watch an episode of Dexter on my laptop. This is the first time on a trip I have had movies and such loaded on my laptop. It is strange after watching a movie I get done and it’s like; “Oh I’m in SCOTLAND !”  The first night in Inverness I shared the room with a couple of Germans.

 

Sunday morning I woke up to a beautifully sunny day; perfect weather for a cruise on Loch Ness and looking for Nessie. I joined a tour that took us out for a cruise on Loch Ness down to Urquhart Castle . Being a native of Salt Lake City it was quite amazing to sit back and take it in that I was actually out on Loch Ness. Growing up I remember hearing and reading all about the Loch Ness Monster(Nessie). I would have never thought that some day I would be in Scotland cruising down Loch Ness! The water is very dark and almost green from all the vegetation. If there is something in the waters these would be the waters to hide in. Urquhart Castle is the one you see in the famous Nessie picture with the castle in the background. The castle has a very long history and was one of the most important castles in Scotland right behind the likes of the Edinburgh Castle . Today it is nothing but preserved ruins with one good tower left that you can climb up to a breathtaking view of the Loch . The tour then proceeded to a very fascinating exhibit on the Loch Ness Monster. It was created by one of the lead researches on the Loch . This exhibit takes a very scientific approach in telling about the history of the Loch and talking about Nessie and the many sightings. Our tour guide has lived in the area all his life(60+years) and on a few occasions seen things in the Loch that he to this day can not explain. If you ever find yourself in Scotland and up by Loch Ness this tour is well worth a half a day of your time. The boat ride on Loch Ness alone was worth the price! Arriving back in Inverness I set out for a nice long walk along the River Ness. I crossed the many footbridges and headed out on some of the small islands that have footpaths along them. This must be the place to go for ones evening constitutional. Everyone and their dogs were out having a stroll along the river.

Just as I was heading back to my hostel the rain began to come down; again I was lucky enough to get back before the worse of it hit. I discovered that I had two new roommates; more Germans to replace the ones that had left that day. This would end up being quite the night, one that about ended up with a few Germans joining Nessie down in the River Ness. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of staying in a hostel it’s quite difficult to grasp exactly what it’s like trying to sleep in one. The typical nights stay in a hostel goes a little something like this. Fall into bed, wake up to people coming in around 1:00 in the morning, try to fall back asleep, listen to a lovely two hour nasal symphony, find earplugs and put them in and finally fall back asleep, only to be woken by yet another person fumbling around in the dark. Not all nights are like this but the ones that stay in your memory are.  Now saying all this the night I was about to experience in Inverness will stay with and make me laugh for the rest of my days. It started out as the typical night in a hostel. Drunken roommate number one coming in and fumbling around in the dark until he finally fell into his bed. Soon drunken roommate number two would come in, but this time there was a pair of shoes in the middle of the floor. Down goes roommate two. About this time I decide the earplugs were going in. Right when I was beginning to fall asleep one of them gets up to try to go out the room to use the bathroom. He fumbles with the door for a good 2-3 minutes before I have to turn my flashlight on and show him that he has to unlock the door around eyelevel. Just as I was lying back down there came a rap rap raping at the door. He forgot his key! I got up and let the poor bastard back in. Wouldn’t you know it, half an hour later roommate two is fumbling around with the door. I break out the flashlight yet again and show him how to unlock the door. About twenty minutes later there came another rap rap raping at the door. This time I just rolled over, since I had my earplugs in I could barley hear his pleas to his friend to come open the door. He must have been out of the room for a good hour before he finally figured out to go wake the night receptionist. No sooner did he get back in the room and fall asleep, roommate number one got up. This is the one I first showed how to use the door, again he fumbled around with the door. I just watched this all unfold laughing to myself. He then walked over to the window and fumbled around with that; I thought this could be interesting to see him take a head dive out the second story window. He ran back to the door and messed with it some more, before walking to the garbage can in the corner. I knew what was coming next so I jumped up flung the door open and yelled at him to get the hell out of the room. When I heard the merciful rap rap rapping at the door I just laughed out loud and rolled over. I knew that I would be waking early to catch a train and I was going to make sure these roommates heard me getting ready in the morning. That is the one sweet revenge I savor; waking early and letting those who came in late and made such a ruckus hear you waking up and getting ready. My revenge would be short lived, they woke shortly after I did and began talking to one another…CURSES!!! As I said, that night would go down as one of the more memorable hostel nights.

 

On to Stirling I go; I will be staying there for one night before I head to Glasgow then off to Belfast .  

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Inverness
photo by: vances