Published: July 1st 2009June 23rd 2009
It was already light at 4:30 in the morning, making it a bit hard to sleep. By the time we got up, the sun was high in the sky and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day. The hostel provides breakfast, and sitting in the huge dining room looking out over the Loch felt like a morning at the cottage.
After breakfast I went on the internet for a few minutes and was able to book a hotel for our final night in Edinburgh meaning we have no more nights to book - everything up to our return to Toronto is now booked.
We set off in the car heading for Urquhart Castle, which is just about 10 km North of here. At the castle, we bought a family pass and spent some time in viewing a miniature version of the castle as it would have looked, before it was time to enter their theatre for an overview movie.
The short film was quite good. It gave the history of the castle and incidently, a great deal of Scottish history. The castle, which is now in ruins, was deliberately destroyed by the Jacobites so that is
would not fall into the hands of the English. Many kegs of gunpowder wiped out centuries of history in a few short seconds.
At the end of the film, the screen goes up and curtains draw back to reveal the ruins of the castle. The effect is quite dramatic.
Despite the state of the walls, much of the castle remain intact and it only takes a bit of imagination to fill in the missing parts. One tower in particular, which rises to a fantastic view of the lake, was quite captivating.
After exploring the castle ground for close to an hour, we went back into the visitor center where we had lunch. After lunch, we got back in the car and spotted the sign for “The Lock Ness Monster Visitor Centre”. There are two Lock Ness visitor centres and one is supposed to be far better than the other. On inspection, this looked like the right one so we bought tickets.
A very narrow hallway was lined with displays which explained in words and photos some of the history of the Loch Monster sighting, leading back to St. Columbo in the 6th century. After the narrow
hallway of displays, we entered the theatre and watched a somewhat cheesy film about the monster.
Exiting the movie theatre, we entered the gift shop which was enormous - much larger than the display area and full of pretty tacky souvenirs. I realized at this point that this must have been the wrong Lock Ness Centre. It was ok, in that it gave some history and details, but what we had thought we were getting.
After leaving the centre, we spotted the sign for the other centre further down the road, but by now we weren't about to take another tour. Instead we bought some groceries for dinner and headed back to our Loch side hostel.
Back at the hostel, we got Benjamin to do some more school work. He is almost done, but we want him to finish up. Joshua, who had less work, was done last week.
While cooking dinner in the kitchen, I got talking to a Scottish guy who has married and American and is now back visiting with their family. They have just returned from Carbisdale Castle where we are heading for tomorrow night. They said that it was great and
highly recommended it, which is good news.
With the sun still up late into the evening, I took Joshua down to the shores of the Lock and got a photo of him with the hostels Nessy cut out. He will now join their hall of fame photos.
There are more photos below