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Wednesday August 24, 2011, Day 18

Searching for Nessie

overcast 66 °F
View Ireland/Scotland 2011 on stevencavalli07's travel map.

Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands extending for approximately 23 miles southwest of Inverness. Its surface is 52 ft above sea level. Loch Ness is best known for the alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as "Nessie". It is one of a series of interconnected, murky bodies of water in Scotland; its water visibility is exceptionally low due to a high peat content in the surrounding soil.

Loch Ness is the second largest Scottish loch by surface area at 21.8 sq mi after Loch Lomond, but due to its great depth, it is the largest by volume. Its deepest point is 755 ft., deeper than the height of London's BT Tower and deeper than any other loch except Loch Morar. It contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined,and is the largest body of water on the Great Glen Fault, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south.

So, after breakfast, off we went in search of Nessie. We actually caught her in one of the photos. We started at the Loch Ness Visitor's Centre for a 45 minute, 5 room, video presentation of the history of the Loch Ness monster and were left to our own conclusions at the end...really...45 minutes of suspense when all you have to do is look at the photographs that have been taken over the years to know that Nessie is/was real.

After a drive around parts of the Loch we took a 2 hour boat trip via Jacobite tours to Urquhart Castle...or what remains of the castle. Urquhart Castle sits beside Loch Ness between Fort William and Inverness. It is close to the village of Drumnadrochit. Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. It is also near this castle that the majority of Nessie sightings occur, so it was a must stop in our quest to see Nessie. It is not known precisely when the castle was built, but records show the existence of a castle on this site from the early 13th century.

The castle is a major tourist attraction in this area and virtually every language I can identify was heard during this visit. On the boat trip back to the hotel, we ordered a couple bottles of Sheepshaggers Lager...really, that's the name...don't miss the photograph of the label...the look on the lamb's face says it all.

Looking for a little variety, we made a dinner reservation at the Loch Ness INN in Drumnadrochit, a town about five minutes north of our hotel. Margaret's dinner was quite good although she was a little surprised when she ordered prawns and a large plate of the suckers, shells, eyes and all, arrived with appropriate tools. I made a bad choice and won't go into it.

Cabbed back to the hotel...had our first rain for a while in Scotland...and retired with a movie the name of which escapes me.

Posted by stevencavalli07 02:22 Archived in Scotland

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