Saturday, November 22, 2014

Scotland: Loch Ness

We drove up to Fort William on a Monday and on the Tuesday headed north to Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, Urquhart Castle, and the Loch Ness Lodge Hotel.

Fortunately, we began the day with a good Scottish cooked breakfast at the B&B.

Our first stop was Fort Augustus, at the base of the Loch. From here a series of locks leads boats to the south.

While waiting for our boat ride on the Loch we sat in the town centre and ate our pack lunch.

It consisted of cheese, meats, rolls, and crisps (potato chips).

There was also a little time for looking about the little town.

Then we boarded our launch and headed for the Loch.

 Lots of fun for Laura!

When we reached the Loch suddenly there was an amazingly bright rainbow just to our left!

Quick! A family photo!

And just for some perspective, here we are on a family boat ride on Loch Ness eleven years previous!
Andrew seems to have the same expression!

Looking back to Fort Augustus from where we were you could see what the weather had suddenly become!

And looking north towards the direction of Inverness you can see at least four different "layers" of the hills coming down to the water's edge. These "layers" never cease to amaze me as they are so beautiful in person and seem quite characteristic of Scottish landscape.

Look at the color of the water! So black and dark. It is the peat in the deep, deep waters that make the color this way, not to mention the sky!

We did have one Nessie sighting after all!

And the weather got a bit cooler.

But before long we were chugging back into Fort Augustus.

And I couldn't resist stopping to buy some local strawberries. Apparently, this grower is one of those supplying Marks and Spencers.

They did not disappoint. Some of the best berries I've had!

And another sprig of heather tucked into a vehicle. :)

Mostly the family disliked having to pose for pictures. But they didn't mind funny shots as much.

 Back in the car at Fort Augustus we headed north to Urquhart Castle.

The weather couldn't have been better!

The castle ruins date from the 13th-16th centuries but even before that there were ruins on this site.

Here James is trying out the sleeping accommodations.

The castle was like a giant playground and the kids were free to roam wherever they liked.

Everywhere you looked it was beautiful!

And the imagination begins to play with what life must have been like here centuries ago.

Daddy and Laura peek out of a window.

Here is a view from up above:

The two buddies:

Another place to get cozy:

The views were just perfect for photos:

 Eventually we had to say goodbye to the castle.

We headed up the road to the little village of Drumnadrochit -- how is that for a name! It kind of rolls of the tip of your tongue.

I wanted to visit the Loch Ness Lodge Hotel once more. We had come on a wintery day right after Christmas eleven years previous and enjoyed one of the most delightful hours of afternoon tea I can remember.

Fortunately the hotel was still there and they were open for beverages.

I stole a few shots of the dining room -- notice they use a lot of plaid.

The children all chose ginger beer or other soft drinks.

But it was tea for me!

 Just outside the dining room is a little library -- one wall covered in wooden bookcases and books, another with a fireplace and another with a big bay window. Plaid fabric is used everywhere. This is where I wanted to return. I made it!

Here is a picture of Michael eleven years previously, taking his afternoon tea.

 And here we are -- the four who made it back for a second visit!

The day was nearly over by the time we began the journey back to Fort William for the night.

But the beauty was not over -- so many lovely places to see.

And always sheep too!

Goodbye to Fort William for now......


Reneelynn said...

Totally enjoyed that! :)

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I knew Nessie was real, hehehe! Loved the photos. Beautiful.

elizabeth said...

how lovely! such beautiful places! and yay for tea!!!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing day! Was it just one day? If so you really did have "all the seasons in one day" as they say happens in Scotland. The rainbow is spectacular. I'm doing a little giveaway on my blog if you're interested - come by and leave a comment!

reader19 said...

Wow, wow, wow! Such beauty in the landscape there--breathtaking! Thanks for sharing the photo's with us!