Loch Ness

Inverness Travel Blog

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Look Ma I'm driving!

What a way to spend a birthday!  I'm up in Inverness now, drove up here yesterday.  For those that don't know Inverness is in Northern Scotland, and is along Loch Ness.  So lets bring you up to date, yesterday we left Edinburgh and drove the 3 hours it takes to get to Inverness.  Driving wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, it took a little work to get out of town and navigate all the roundabouts, but as long as you remember to always look right, you shoule be fine.  No one died and the car is still in one piece.  Arrived at our hostel a little after 2pm and hung out the rest of the day.

Our hostel room
  We had 2 roommates, Helen and Charlie both from Scotland, they seem nice. 

Woke up around 7 this morning, it was still raining out, but that didn't stop us from going exploring.  Drove to Drumnadrochit, about a 1/2 hour south of Inverness, where Urquhart Castle is and the most Nessie sightings have occured.  We spent the morning exploring the castle ruins, stepping back into history.  Most of the castle was destroyed in the 1600's by the Grant clan who wanted to keep it out of their enemies hands.  It was really interesting and very very wet.  We haven't been dry all day. 

After touring the castle, we wanted to learn about Nessie.  We went to the Loch Ness Visitor center and watched a movie about the Loch and the different sightings.

Trying to figure out the bedsheet sac
  We then signed up for a boat tour that would be after lunch.  It was an hour long tour on the Nessie Hunter, its skipper was a retired coast guard SAR on Loch Ness and he was actually in the movie we had watched earlier.  The boat was equiped with sonar imaging to show us the layout and depth of the loch.  The Loch is 3 times as deep as the north sea, about 850 feet.  Its sides are about 60 degrees so it gets really deep really fast, but it's bottom is flat.  Nothing lives or grows that deep, so the bottom is barren.  The water is black due to all the pete in the water, making visibility impossible below 3 meters.  Our skipper has seen the creature at least 4 times in his 40 some years on the loch and has the pictures to prove it.  He did a really nice job talking to us and displacing a lot of the myths about the loch.
Outside Urquhart Castle
  The skipper sounded exactly like Sean Connery, and even looked like him from Red October.  This was about the only time it didn't rain.

Walked around the small town a bit more, doing some shopping and then headed back to our car, only to find a crowd gathered around it.  Turns out a car parked above us had rolled backwards and hit another car before coming to a rest on our left rear bumper!  No one was in the runaway car, but the brake was set.  It was a real mess, we couldn't find the driver to the runaway car to move it right away.  Anyhoo, long story short, our left rear bumper was bent and scratched and up against the rear tire so we called the rental company to tell them what happened and then the roadside assistance who would send someone out to look at it and let us know if it was driveable, in the next 2 hours!  By this time it was 5pm, we were cold and tired and really wanted to go back to the hostel, but we decided to go have dinner instead at a little cafe down the street.

Inside what is left of the keep
  The good news is that we paid the extra bit for a no deductible, so it wont cost us a thing!  A Scot named Scott came and looked over our car, popped out our fender and called us good to go.  He was super nice and had a little thing for Erika, I think it was because she talked cars with him.  Anyhoo, he gave us some suggestions for what to do tomorrow and said goodbye. 

Back at the hostel now, sitting in the very crowded commons lounge watching some comedy.  Erika just brought in a small cake covered in candles and almost set off the fire alarms! Meet our new roommates, a couple of girls from Denmark.  Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow, heading back to Edinburgh, probably stopping at Sterling Castle.  Anyhoo, I'll keep you posted!

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Look Ma Im driving!
Look Ma I'm driving!
Our hostel room
Our hostel room
Trying to figure out the bedsheet …
Trying to figure out the bedsheet…
Outside Urquhart Castle
Outside Urquhart Castle
Inside what is left of the keep
Inside what is left of the keep
On the tower in Urquhart
On the tower in Urquhart
The Scottish flag over Urquhart Ca…
The Scottish flag over Urquhart C…
Are you Nessie?
Are you Nessie?
Urquhart Castle from the boat
Urquhart Castle from the boat
Urquhart Castle from the loch
Urquhart Castle from the loch
Look!!! Nessie!!!
Look!!! Nessie!!!
Told ya!
Told ya!
Our fender bender
Our fender bender
Our rescuer, a Scot named Scott
Our rescuer, a Scot named Scott
Erika bought me a cake for my birt…
Erika bought me a cake for my bir…
Inverness
photo by: vances