Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Home Through the Highlands - Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
- St. Augustine -

Monday was "going home day." So sad. Although I was excited to see the drive since it was dark when we drove to Ardoch Bothy, I was so sad to leave. Steve kept saying, "I don't want to go." I agreed. But alas, the real world calls. Of course, that didn't mean we couldn't stop by a few places on the way home. Loch Ness anybody? Uh.. yeah. You can't just drive within 10 miles of it and not stop for a visit. We popped in Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness first. Steve decided to just get us a Historic Scotland membership since we've been visiting and will continue to visit so many sites. Urquhart Castle has been one of the best so far. We went into a small room to watch a video on the history of the castle, and at the end they pulled back a curtain that revealed the entire property. It was amazing! So when you visit the castle, walk straight to the visitor center, and once you get inside go to the movie. Don't try to sneak a peak at the castle because it will totally ruin the unveiling! Oh.. uh.. spoiler alert... pictures. :o)

This is what it looked like before they blew it up.

That's Loch Ness in the back.

Pretty smart, eh? Who knew gutters have been used for so long?

I'm sitting in the chicken coop. :o)
We had so much fun walking around the ruins. Steve and I love that kind of stuff. We have good imaginations. After walking around for a while, we left for lunch. We ate at a little cafe in town. It was terrible. Steve's burger was microwaved. Yep. Gross. My coffee was good, so as far as I was concerned, all was right in the world. So what was next?
Oh yes we did, and it was fun! We went from room to room listening to testimonies, reports, and results from scientists. I learned a lot about the loch (lake)! Apparently there are not enough fish in the lake to support a monster. Sorry Nessie hunters. Although Steve still believes. He's even convinced that there must be a place somewhere that sells "Nessie Nuggets." I told him, "That's disgusting. I'm not eating anything called 'Nessie Nuggets' because I don't want to think about what the nuggets are."   haha

Anyway, back on the road. We had to stop a couple of more times for a look at things.
Urquhart Castle is on the low tip of that closest hill near the loch. You just can't really see it in the shadow of the picture.
We walked down from a viewpoint to the edge of Loch Ness. You can see from this angle how the glacier cut the gorge right between the mountains!
Steve likes to take these kinds of pictures. He said this was really cool.
On the way home we passed several signs for distilleries and castles. We will definitely have to take a trip up the A96 to visit those places. Well, we've reached the end, and my heart aches for the simple, relaxing, beauty and fun experienced on this trip.

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