We had a bit of an early start today. Down for breakfast at 0730. Continental brekkie today. The start of our Loch Ness tour was at 0915, and we were going to taxi in so we didn’t have to find parking (and I wouldn’t lose us on the way back again!!). We boarded the bus and had to wait for some Americans who were there and decided to taxi back to their hotel to get some cash. After about half an hour, the coach left without them and we went to our first stop a bit south of Inverness for a photo stop looking up the River Ness. The Americans showed up here in a taxi. They were so annoying.
From here, we had the start of our introduction to the Loch Ness Monster facts and fallacies, which was extremely interesting. They showed us all the famous photos and the explanations for each. Then the tour guide started on what mysteries there were and the unanswered questions, along with all the research and studies done in the area, finishing with what he thinks is the solution to it all, which I tended to believe myself. Basically, there is something here, but monster wouldn’t be the description. All the monster stuff came about with all the press in the 1940’s.
Our next stop was at Drumnadrochit (Don’t ask me to pronounce it) where we had a bit of a stretch before going on our cruise over to Urquhart Castle. Loch Ness was explained a it further to us on the cruise. Some things learned included; the loch is 230m deep near the castle (deeper than almost every ocean bed), and it holds more water alone than the rest of Britain combined. The castle itself was a real ruin. In a bigger state of disrepair than I imagined. The photos that we have seen had shown it in a much better light, but for some people, it would have been all they imagined.
From the cruise, we went to see the Corrimony Cairn. A group of stone circles. This was quite interesting, as it was built before written record and nobody knows the real purpose of these. It has twelve stones erected in a circle and in the middle, a mound of stones with a tunnel running right through. The centre though, was opened up. It looks to me that it is used for cremating people, but that is only my opinion.
After seeing the Cairn, we went back to Drumnadrochit to see the Loch Ness 2000 presentation, which was quite interesting. Much of the material though, was already mentioned to us by the tour guide.
Next, was a trip to Glen Affric, which is the last original forest in Scotland. The rest has been cut down at some stage in the last 1500 years. It looked so serene and peaceful there.We had a walk around the river, across a few rapids and up to where you could feed the birds, which was interesting. One unwelcome guest was the Highland Midgies. They were kind of like tiny mosquito’s and were around everywhere. Apparently they are attracted to carbon dioxide, so after a good walk and being a bit out of breath, they came to you quickly.
From our walk, we slowly headed back to Inverness, getting a bit of a history lesson from the tour guide. He let us know about how much untruths there were in the Braveheart story and Macbeth, how Robert the Bruce was such a Scottish hero, even though he was portrayed as a traitor and a coward. How untrue that was from the Braveheart movie. We also got a good lesson in the kings of Scotland (I can recite the first 7 kings now). Also how the Scottish kings were elected at the start and not a family line until later on.
Once back at Inverness, we found a taxi and made our way back to the hotel for the night as the day was very long and we were buggered.
I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone coming to Inverness. It is a very reasonable price, and quite personal service with excellent information. For any others interested, the web site for the tours is www.DiscoverLochNess.com
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