Friday, May 19, 2006

I saw the Loch Ness monster...

On the window of our tour boat! We went on a Loch Ness cruise last night and the owner of the boat is absolutely convinved there are... not just one monster in the Loch - but over 20! He had all this scientific equipment and sonar and ultrasound machines and we didn't see anything.... But he did have some home movies handy of when he saw them. It was entertaining non-the-less and we did get pictures of the Loch Ness Monster sticker on the window - because after all - he did guarantee that would see Nessie - so he had to some through!

This is our fifth day of our six day Highland tour. So far we have seen Skye, Inverness, Sterling, Port Williams, and many other smal Scottish towns and villages and castles. The Isle of Skye was wonderful. We had great views of the Old Man of Storr and plenty of sheep and coos to watch out the window. The weather here in Scotland is very strange. One minute the sun is shining and the sky is as blue as you've ever seen it. Not five minutes later the clouds could be rolling in and the rain comes down in buckets. One almost all of the daily hikes - we have experienced both extremes. We hiked up a HUGE mountain to see the Old Man of Storr - I made it most of the way :) We also hiked halfway to england and back to see some caves on the side of a cliff. I didn't go in the caves since you had to slither on your belly like a snake to get inside! But the views were gorgeous and we followed a stream and waterfalls the whole way. If anything - I'll definitely be in better shape after this trip!!
We had a nice wee stroll through the Caledonian forest - one of the last remaining original forests in Scotland. It seems one of the ways Scxotish people fund their retirement is to buy some land in the Highlands - plant trees on it and then cut them all down for lumber in about 30 years. This has been going on so long - that there are little plots of trees here and there - but not much else. So you drive along and see rolling hills, rolling hills, small plot of trees, rolling hills, rolling hilss, small plot of dug up tree roots... etc. The worste part is that they don't bother to do anything with the land after they harvest the trees. The stumps and roots and cut off branches are still laying around.

One particularly nice view was at a gorge near Inverness. We hiked down to this suspension bridge and had a jolly time jumping up and down on the bridge - (holy heights!) and after experiencing what can only be described a near death experience - we made it across to view the gorge and waterfall below. One guy on a tour threw a rock down and we counted nearly 5 seconds before it hit the bottom!

Those Scots are extremely proud of their country and hate teh |English almost as much as they love thier own country. SO - of course we heard countless stories about how the |English suck and saw the battle grounds of almost every battle between the Highlanders and the english. We heard about poor Braveheart and all the poor highland men who believed in Bonnie Prince Charlie - only to be slaughtered by the brits.

We ended up in Loch ness last night and today we will be going who knows where to see more highlights of Scotland. more to come soon!

1 comment:

Nic said...

20 Nessies?? I always knew the existed! My husband is Irish, so I know exactly what it's like hanging around someone like your new Scottish friends.