Loch Ness, Scotland

Okay, okay, let’s continue with Scotland, shall we?


We had to quickly leave Inverness after having our hotdogs because we had another place to visit. It was getting late, we had another place to visit, and then another long drive to our hostel for the night.

This place that we had to visit, is arguably the most famous place that Scotland has to offer. It is tied to a mythical creature with a cute name. Yes, we had to visit the Loch Ness.

You might be surprised, but many people seem to think that Loch Ness is the name of the monster. Actually, Loch Ness is the name of the lake. Loch means lake, so Loch Ness means Lake Ness. The mythical monster that is supposed to reside inside this lake is called the Loch Ness monster, or more affectionately known as Nessie.

We actually caught a glimpse of this Loch Ness the night before when we drove past another ruined castle when there was still a bit of light. I thought it was a very pretty view…

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We also had our first encounter with Nessie. It appears that in modern days, Nessie has found the capability to leave the lake. She was invading the petrol station in Inverness that we happened to refuel in…

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Anyway, that was the night before. The next day, we left Inverness to get to this place called the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre. As this is not a castle, our Explorer Pass was useless here, and we had to pay £4 per person (2007 price) for admission.

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I think maybe we were really tired from the sleeping in car ordeal, but I thought the exhibition centre was really crap. I mean, for £4, we were ushered into some sort of a mini theater to watch a documentary that tells us about the history of Loch Ness and Nessie. I don’t know about others, but I have read a lot about them before, and the show did not tell me anything new, so it was really really boring to me. I forgot if the show was 15 minutes or 30 minutes long.

And it was dark in there, made me even sleepier than ever

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I think the most interesting thing we got to do at this Loch Ness Exhibition Centre was to take pictures with a replica of Nessie in a small pond outside the building. You do not need to pay that £4 to access this pond by the way…

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We did not overspend our time here and quickly left. Remember that ruin of a castle in the first picture? We thought it might be a good idea to visit that castle instead because the castle is by the lake. Who knows maybe we might get lucky and spot Nessie, right?

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This castle is called the Urquhart Castle. It is built by the ancient Scots to defend against the frequent attacks by the Loch Ness monster, until one day, a gallant hero, Sir Urquhart the Magnanimous fought the monster in an epic battle for three weeks which ended in both of them drowning in the lake. Both Sir Urquhart and the Loch Ness monster were never seen again.

And, I’m just kidding. This isn’t even the official myth of Nessie. I just made the story up on a whim. The Urquhart Castle is in ruins because it is a strategic castle that controls the access to the Highlands area, so the Scots and English soldiers fought many fierce battles for control over this castle over a few hundred years. When the wars ended, the castle became useless and was left to turn into the ruin that it is today.

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Today, the Urquhart Castle is the most visited castle in Scotland. Most visitors come here to admire the castle and learn more about the history of the wars between the Scots and the English people… NOT. Who are we kidding here? Most visitors come here because this castle offers one of the best vantage point to view the Loch Ness. Everybody wants to get a shot at trying to see if we might somehow get lucky and become an overnight rock star by being the first person to spot Nessie out of sudden.

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I’m going to let you in on a secret. I think I really did spot Nessie’s head bobbing out of the lake for 2 seconds! You see the picture above, with that ripple in the middle of the lake? That was Nessie taking a peep at us and then going back down immediately! True story! 😉

Anyway, from Urquhart Castle, it was another 5 hours drive to get to our hostel for the night. Well, 6 hours, because we made another stop at Fort William on our way there. Fort William is another city famous among visitors to Scotland. It is the city that people set up base in if they want to climb the Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. It was unfortunate that we could not spend more time here, we simply could not squeeze this city into our itinerary. We ended up only spending about an hour strolling along the High Street.

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I think this is another nice, quiet and peaceful city which I could probably live in if I want to, some day…

We left Fort William after that quick stroll, and finally arrived shortly before midnight, at our hostel, in Glasgow…

Glasgow, that’s the final leg of our Scotland road trip…

[to be continued]

 

16 Comments

  1. The Nessie legend is certainly mysterious, but I’m inclined to think that she exists. Also inclined to think that she is a friendly monster…though no where near as chirpy and smiley as Barney the Dinosaur.

    Exhibition centres are usually hit and miss – a lot of the history and facts can be looked up online these days. Museums, however, you might get to see things from the past with your very own eyes.

  2. What a Nessie story! I believe they exists and the recent China’s TV news have shown these similar monsters being detected swimming in their deep Gorges Rivers.

    The first photo is very beautiful with the contrasting shades of blue and green! Why you had toothaches & never smiled in most of your photos?

    • If they really exist, then they must be highly intelligent beings, maybe higher than humans, since they have the capability to remain hidden from us for so long.

      I’m a person of less words and smiles in real life, it is just how it is…

  3. Who is not mesmerised by the mystical Loch Ness monster, right? The last photos on High Street…is that a tourist shopping spot? I don’t see any cars and it looks so clean and nice.

    • That’s High Street. In UK, most cities have their own High Street, which is a shopping street. That picture is Fort William’s High Street.

  4. When I was small, I was fascinated with the Loch Ness Monster 😀 I used to read whatever material I could on this subject. Well, you’ve been there and spotted the bobbing head (hah..hah…hah…) and I think the view is really beautiful. I must go to Scotland one day and I’m looking forwards to your post on Glasgow.

    • It will come up tonight. But I think my Glasgow post is quite boring wor… maybe you will be disappointed…

  5. actually the first photo you took at night look more beautiful than those you took (with the lake) during the day!! hehe, Nessie really peeped the group of you?? maybe you were too noisy and irritated her (BTW is Nessie a he or a she), hehe!! xD

  6. Wah, I also wana visit this place.. Siapa tak pernah dengar Loch Ness kan? Bigfoot, that Sasquatch (?? spelling) and Loch Ness go together, always see it in Discovery Channel one last time..

    • Heh.. I actually don’t remember Sasquatch. Next time your kids bring you go when they earn millions 😉 .

  7. Wah, you are so lucky to spot the head. For the hope of spotting Nessie, I spent a bit more and stayed at the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel and because of that I did not pay the entrance fees to visit any of the two Nessie Exhibitions. You do know that there are two exhibitions right? I think you went to the newer one. There is an older one. I did not go into any.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/10459920

    “Operators of the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre were suing the owners of the Original Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre for £1.3m.
    The sites are 100 yards apart in Drumnadrochit near Loch Ness.
    They are now to be known as the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and Nessieland Castle Monster Centre.”

    At least you visited the castle ruin, Fort William which both also I did not visit. Now on to Glasgow!

    • What? No! I didn’t know about Nessieland… But then, I guess… not that much of a regret. They’re probably the same to me…

      It was so nice for you to stay in a hotel in Drumnadrochit. Maybe Nessie visited you while you were asleep! 😛

  8. I always wanted to visit Scotland but never had the chance thus far. I don’t even know whether I’d visit Loch Ness as there are so many other sites to visit 🙂
    (I will definitely visit a distillery!)

    • Well, yeah. The reason people go to the Loch Ness is because of Nessie. If you are not interested with Nessie then the Loch Ness is basically just… a lake. And there are bigger and better lakes in Scotland.

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