A Day to Meet Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster

We got up at 7:30. We looked out the window and it was still raining. The clothes, despite having been all night in the radiators were still wet. Today we did not include any breakfast so we made the backpacks and after leaving them in the car and checking out we went to find a place to have some breakfast.

We found a bakery in the square where we took coffee, buns and juices and had a good Scottish breakfast at the bus stop to have enough strength. Today's itinerary in the car consisted of going from Inverness to Crianlarich through Loch Ness and Glen Coe and visiting a couple of other points on the Isle of Skye and after visiting Eilean Donan we meet with Loch Ness.

To explore Loch Ness, we had doubts whether to go from the east or west bank. As we read, the road on the east side was more leafy in terms of vegetation, with the possibility of seeing Foyers, where there is a small waterfall. And on the west bank we go closer to the lake and there's Urquhart Castle, a ruined castle right on the shore of Loch Ness.

Finally, after many doubts, we opted for the west, as we were excited to see the castle. The road that borders the lake has many trees and sometimes they closed up, looking like we were driving in a tunnel. Before leaving Portree we approached a kind of viewpoint that overlooked the port to see that typical image of Portree with its colorful houses. We left Portree behind Broadford. After 20 minutes we arrived at the Sligachan Old Bridge where we made our first stop of the day.

From here, we take the A863 road inland, which we have to follow to reach the Fairy Pools. It takes less than 30 minutes from the bridge to the parking lot of the Fairy Pools. To get there we pass 2 crosses. In the left direction is a distillery and the second also on the left where our destination is marked. The last stretch of road is narrow and with many holes.

The day was still very cloudy although at that time it was not raining. So we thought there were almost no people, but the parking was almost full even cars parked in the roadside ditch. We go to the end where the strong slope of the mountain begins and went to the end of what is the "walk".

The place is truly worth it with the small waterfalls, the purity of the water, and the surroundings. This place on a sunny day has to be spectacular. In our case we had a very bad day, but hey, we could not do anything to change it, so we also enjoyed it within what fits.

Back in the car we headed towards the exit of the Isle of Skye. The Kyle of Lochalsh bridge is the main entrance and exit to the island. In spite of the amount of ferries that there can be from different points of the coast towards Skye, the great majority of people that visit the island do it entering from this bridge. Shortly after leaving Skye we find another point of interest. It is the castle of Eilean Donan.

This castle is in perfect condition (logically very restored). It deserves a stop along the way either to photograph the castle and its surroundings or to visit it from the inside as it is very well mounted. It has a large parking lot and in the visitor center there is a restaurant and a shop.

The interior of the castle is very well mounted. There are also guides in different places of the castle. In our case the tide was low and I think the exterior image loses some spectacularity but still remains a very nice place. For the hour that was at the end of the visit, we decided to eat at the Visitor Center restaurant, which was self-service style. We returned to our car and set course for our next destination to the town of Fort Augustus.

From the Eilean Donan castle there is exactly one hour to this town and the journey is really recommended because of the landscapes it has. In our case, how could it be otherwise. We toured much of the route with rain, but as I said on previous occasions, this road with a blue day has to be a real gift for the eyes.

We arrived at the small town of Invermoriston with a road to the left towards Inverness and to the right towards Fort Augustus. Despite planning to stay overnight in Inverness, we decided to go to Fort Augustus since it is the place where the world-famous Loch Ness begins.

Soon after leaving the crossing there we reach one of the most famous lakes in the world. Let's see if we can meet Nessie. I saw it the other day and it was a great match. Well, if I am honest, this lake does not impress, because in Scotland we have seen more lakes before reaching this and they are much more spectacular.

This lake has an elongated shape and extends across the Great Glen geological fault, which crosses this area of ​​the Scottish Highlands. Loch Ness is a lake of very dark water. It is very narrow being able to observe almost constantly the other shore crossing the lake from north to south.

We arrived at Fort Augustus and after refueling at a gas station we went to see the number one attraction of this town. It is the system for opening the doors of the Caledonia canal. The canal has a series of gates which are gradually opened to reach or leave by boat from Loch Ness. Here is also a sculpture of Nessie which is almost covered with people to become the little picture. Here we saw the locks of the canal.

As we felt that the town did not have much else either, we continued our way. A few kilometers later we stopped at the edge of the road because we saw a forest with a very beautiful lake. To say that in Scotland, in most of the roads there are frequent places to stop, so when we saw a landscape that we liked, we stopped to see it. We liked in particular the Loch Oich, and in the grove there were remains of bonfires, of people who had gone to eat there. We thought it was a good place to eat our provisions.

We passed through Fort William, but we did not stop because we had read that the town was not very beautiful and, in fact, what we went through with the car was not worth it. Soon after we did stop the car on the road, on the shores of another lake, and we were struck by the smell of the sea. And it is that Lake Linnhe begins at Fort William and ends at the sea.

Our next stop was Glen Coe. The first thing we found was a very nice little marina. We were thinking of entering an interpretation center about the Glencoe massacre, but it was not indicated from the road and we passed by. Wherever we went was in the Glen Coe visitor center, where they tell us about the geological importance of the mountains, and access to an impressive viewpoint where you can contemplate the mountains.

From there, there are some trails to walk around the area. We made the shortest one, which took about 20 minutes, because the weather was very bad, drizzling, and we were late. From there we left for Crianlarich, crossing the Glen Coe Glen. Halfway it started to rain and it did not stop until well into the night.

On the way to Inverness we find another place that marked the history of Scotland where the Battle of Culloden took place, one of the many between English and Jacobite, finally won by the English, and was from then when many of the Scottish customs were banned, like their feudal customs or other more representative ones, like the bagpipes or the kilts.

We set course North, towards the town of Invernnes, but before we make a stop at another point of interest in the Urquhart castle. This castle is on the west bank of Loch Ness almost halfway between Fort Augustus and Inverness. The castle is practically in ruins, although it deserves a stop as it is a worthwhile place.

In our case we arrived a little late, and it had already closed, only that not all the people had left, so we decided to do something to enter. At the end of the parking lot was the beginning of what looked like an entrance but with a closed door which could be opened. So despite the fact that one of my colleagues said that he was trying, we went ahead. We came to another kind of door or barrier which was closed and locked so we tried to enter another way.

We saw that there was no way to enter unless we jumped the door that I just mentioned. As we returned to it we saw that another group of people came to that door as they had seen us enter. As we approached the door my colleague came back with a serious voice and addressed the others saying it's open and jumped the door. I followed him and then my other colleague and was followed by the other group of kids. The truth is that it was a funny moment.

The pity was that as we arrived at the entrance, a guard came saying it's closed, it's closed, and we had to turn around, but at least we could be in the garden outside the castle. As we enter, there is a shop and a small exhibition, where there is a model of the castle and they explain the organization of the place in the Middle Ages. There is also a small video, quite visual, where they tell us the history of the Urquhart castle.

The first thing we find is a trebuchet, a kind of catapult that was used in the Middle Ages as a siege technique. There is a very nice guide that tells us specific stories of the castle. From here we left for Inverness to arrive before nightfall. We arrived at Invernees, the capital of the Highlands. Our hotel was which, we had taken only accommodation in a room and right there we had the option to take breakfast.

After preparing a little in the hotel we go for a tour of the center and after a beer and dinner, of course, with live music, we ended the day.

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  • Faseela
    Faseela November 20, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    well described

  • Jeevan
    Jeevan November 22, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    I like this phone and my bro has Iphone 4. Good to know the update on this.

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