Trains are really awesome. No, we mean it. It’s amazing how you can get anywhere you want over here via trains! This morning we hoped on the train in Edinburgh and 3 hours later emerged in Inverness. Too cool!
Our hostel was only 2 blocks from the train station. When we got there the guy seemed to be having trouble finding our booking. Then he pulled something up on his computer and told us our reservation had been for the night before and they had actually been waiting for us to show up last night. Kristin was having none of that as she had triple checked her dates before she had booked anything. She was able to provide a copy of her original confirmation clearly stating that she was booking 2 beds, arriving on August 25th and leaving August 26th. With this proof the man had no choice to admit it was their fault. But the problem was there was only one bed left in the entire hostel for tonight… In the end they refunded us our deposit and found us two beds at another hostel just 5 or 6 blocks away. Our new hostel is nice and was the same price so we’re happy.
We took a bus from Inverness to Loch Ness. We both agreed that this is not a road we would want to drive! It’s not just the driving on the other side of the road, although that wouldn’t help, it was that this road was so twisty & turny with no shoulders and the narrowest lanes we’d ever seen. Very frightening!
As side note, Justine kind of laughed at Kristin when she said her family would want pictures of our food, but Kelsey’s comment has proved it. So Justine took the task seriously…she took a picture of her snack on the bus:
We arrived in the small town of Drumnadrochit (try pronouncing that word!) and took a walk down to the ruins. The ruins of Urquhart Castle sits beside Loch Ness. This castle, originally build in the 1200’s was destroyed during the one of the Scottish Wars of Independence. It was rebuilt only to be blown up during the Jacobite Rebellions in the 1600’s. Kingsmwere very into “if I cant have it no one can” so they would destroy andy castle they couldnt man. Remaining today are the ruins from this time. Really neat, and unlike the other castles we’ve been to before, this castle is like a giant playground. You are allowed to climb the towers and the walls explore how you’d like. We found people lazing on the grass or playing cards propped up against an ancient delapitated wall.The castle provided us with great views of the lake. We can definitely see why they built a castle here all those years ago. We would totally live in this spot!
The Loch is pretty impressive. It’s nestled into the Scottish highlands where you’d least likely expect a giant lake. Loch Ness is the largest lake in the United Kingdom. We were told that you could fit every person in the world within the lake three times. Its also absolutely Gorgeous (and yes thats with a capital G). The surrounding area is so green and lush and the water is glassy calm…it deems repeating: Gorgeous! Of course the lake is most famous for the Loch Ness Monster, hidden amongst it depths. Unfortunately, but not unexpected, we did not spot Nessie. But as Alexa likes to tell us: just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Further proof of her nonexistence (sorry Lex) came with our trip to the Loch Ness Experience Center. This Center wanted us to be Naturalists, Detectives, Judges and Jury on the existence of this legendary creature. The experience was set up through a series of videos taking you through the history of the lake and the early stories of Nessie up to the present day and the research being conducted on the lake. It was very educational (maybe bit too much like a biology class Justine has taken before) and very interesting. Above anything, the videos took all of the proof of Nessie’s existence and disproved it. However, our parting words left things up in the air. Nessie may exist or may just be a mirror of our imagination…
Once back in Inverness we set out in search of supper. We passed a group of Highland dancers on the street raising money for their dance school. We want to see Brooklyn doing that in Leduc. First we tried a place we had found in the Inverness Food & Drink Brochure (Justine likes to pick up tourist brochures) but it didn’t seem to exist anymore. We could see the restaurants that should have been on either side, but there was nothing in the middle! In the end we found a pub. Although before we could enter we noticed a band of bagpipers walking down the street followed by a procession of people in what looked like convocation gowns. We would have thought it a graduation except they were all at least 40 years old…we’ll just have to look for it in the paper tomorrow… And we know Kelsey is waiting on baited breath for the food picture, so here’s our supper:
Fish & Chips…classic! And we made sure to get the pints in there too for Bradley…we are having a pint from to time to time!
And now an update of Justine’s injury:
We bought some frozen vegetables last night and I iced my foot and ankle for a few hours. Last night I put my backpack at the foot of my bed and tried to elevate it all night, I think I accomplished this fairly well. This morning we had a 3 hour train ride and I had my foot propped up only bag which was on the seat beside me the entire time. I’m sure it looked quite odd for everyone else on the train. I haven’t done too much walking today so it hasn’t hurt to much yet. Hopefully that’s a good sign! I’ll take more drugs and repeat everything I did last night again tonight!
– Justine is obsessed with her compass app
What we Learned Today:
– You can fit every person in the world in Loch Ness 3 times!
Highlights of the Day:
1. The views from Urquhart Castle…it was seriously so so so pretty!