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Published: July 15th 2017
Is Nestle derived from "Ness SEE"?!?!??
It's lochhhhh not lock, okay?
I got a tour by bus to the loch. Our driver was hilarious and had the same bass tone as Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. We drove past sheep and hairy cows.
Have we discussed the teddy bear of the Highlands? These Highland cows ("heery cooz") have ginger locks (not lochs) that cover their eyes in ragged mops and I just want to hug them to death. You would too.
We boarded a ferry, where a tiny cafe served snacks and drinks, including hot chocolate with whisky! The driver said you'd be guaranteed to see Nessie after a couple of those, and that, in fact, he suspected similar drinks might be involved when anyone spots her.
The boat guide provided a wee bit of Highland history, about the Jacobite uprising to return James to the throne. He also sang to us! One song was about a girl left behind by her soldier. The day was clear and the green shone as if it had captured the sunlight.
The green hills hold Scotland's sun. If you look deeply into the brush and allow your eyes to follow the
dancing patterns of leaves, you'll see the golds and yellows embedded within. On sunny days this verdant land is vibrant like a brilliant jewel, while under gray clouds, the grasses fairly glow from within.
The pines were imported a couple hundred years ago. Douglas Firs are from the states. They're grown especially for Scotland's lumber industry.
We reached Urquart Castle at the end of the water tour. The ruins we saw date between the 1200s and 1500s, although the castle was build where a medieval fortress once stood. Like many auld structures, this castle suffered destruction under the fight for power between theEnglish and Scottish.
I always try to feel the past. I mean, I sit there and try to *feel* it, to imagine life so long ago before ferries and cars and selfies. It doesn't really work but it is a relaxing exercise.
The drive back included a story of a recent Christmas hurricane that pulled huge trees out of the ground. Dinner was unexceptional beef pie and peas. I've actually been reluctant to order it since.
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