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Thursday, December 1, 2011

To See, You Must Believe!

I had planned to set out before the crack of dawn to watch the sun rise over Loch Ness.  

I woke to the sound of rain on the window.  So much for that idea!  It’s not like the loch was a short stroll away.    So I had my yummy ‘full Scottish breakfast’ that included the BEST porridge I had on the whole trip.  We were just finishing when Dave arrived to pick us up, and off we went in the drizzlely morning.

There is something about dreich (wet, gloomy) days and ruined castles that just seem to ‘fit’.  It seemed like the perfect day to glimpse the Loch Ness monster beyond the castle tower.

The umbrella weather really cut the number of people who braved leaving the warm and dry visitor center to visit the ruins of Urquhart (urk’ at) Castle.  A lot of the time we practically had it to ourselves… amazing since this is one of the highly visited tourist sites!  

That’s me under the umbrella.  Guess what?  They are useless when you are trying to climb a tight spiral staircase that is open to the weather!

The castle was used as a garrison during the uprising of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and was sieged by the Jacobite forces.  They held on until after the Jacobites were defeated in the area.  When the garrison left, they blew up the castle to prevent it from being used by enemies ever again.

Much of the castle was salvaged by locals for use in their own homes. 

It must have been very beautiful…

Most of the “Nessie” sightings are from areas near the castle.  But I didn’t see her/him looking this direction…

Nothing this way either.  Just a little sailboat bouncing along on the windy day.

Maybe if I hid in a ruined window I could catch a glimpse.  

Nope…. Smooth water (relatively speaking!).

Perhaps down among the trees since the sun was starting to peek out…  

Nope.  Not there either.

Then Dave told us he knew a quiet area farther away where we could go right down to the water.  Maybe if we were quiet, we might be able to see one.

NESSIE!!!!!!  

We only saw her for a moment before she leapt back into the cold waves.  I was able to get just this one shot! 

We finished our trip with a visit to the Loch Ness Exhibition Center.  Of course it’s a bit ‘cheesy’… that’s what this is all about… FUN!! 

We very much enjoyed walking thru the exhibits in different rooms, telling of history, lore, and exploration of the great Loch.

I ended the visit with some serious monster hunting!  I just had to bring home a Nessie for Little Bird and Little Hoss.  And some books about Nessie for the babies and me…   

And some Nessie cards…  

And a ceramic Nessie for a terrarium…  

And a Nessie flag for my office…   

And a cute little Nessie for me... 

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