16.10.2011 - 16.10.2011 13 °C
I woke up early this morning but spent my morning watching some sport on tv. F1 was on first thing followed by Wallabies vs All Blacks in the Semi Final of the World Cup. I was lucky at brekky that there was a kiwi also watching the game so we had a great breakfast sledging each other! Unfortunately the Aussies lost (but in all fairness played so poorly they didn’t deserve to win anyhow!)
After my very enjoyable breakfast I went downstairs and took an hour long boat trip on Loch Ness hunting the monster! As it turned out I did more photo shooting of the Loch and its surrounds than I did Nessie spotting but I did go inside now and again to the cabin to take a look at the sonar readings…. You never know when she might pop up! It’s actually a partly sunny day today (although quite windy) so it was really nice to be out on the Loch in a boat (even if I still had my scarf and gloves on!). The highlight of the Loch trip was stopping at the base of Urqhart Castle and just soaking up the view. Ruined castle on a promontory with a dark green mountain behind and blue water in front, just gorgeous!
At the conclusion of my boat trip I took to the car and drove around to see Urqhart Castle. It has been in ruins since the Jacobite revolution in the 1700s. The promontory has been home to rulers since well before the introduction of Christianity. It is thought that Saint Columba himself travelled to Urqhart to save a Pictish Chieftan who was dying (he was unable to save him but this is the first story relating to Urqhart). The castle was owned and conquered by many of the Highland Clans until it was eventually blown up by the owners during the Jacobite revolution. Today the ruins are just beautiful. Especially on a sunny day like to day, you can really appreciate the green grass with the sandstone and the blue of the Loch in the background. Really gorgeous. (I think I’m starting to appreciate the sunshine more and more!)
I rounded out my day by visiting the Loch Ness Monster centre on the banks of Loch Ness. Yep I had to get my monster fix! The centre’s set up is interesting. Basically, the owners have tried to collect quite a bit of information from many different sources and present them to try and give you a balanced (I would say biased though) view of whether the monster is real or not. I was surprised to discover that the whole Loch has been charted using sonar, to the point where the Loch was ‘swept’ by tens of boats at the same time to ensure that there couldn’t be any anomalies in the data. From a scientific point of view there is no case for a monster…… From an eye witness point of view, it exists….. For those of you reading this blog, come to the centre and make up your own mind I won’t try to sway you either way. Regardless of whether Nessie exists or not, Loch Ness is a natural wonder and well worth a visit.