Scotland 101 ~ Part III

Kathy here….
Tarts, I must apologize for being so slow to get to this part of the day trip.  As you will recall from part one we left Glasgow, had coffee and a marvelous scone on Loch Lomond.  From there we traveled through Rannoch Moor and in to Glencoe.  In Part two we left Glencoe and traveled north to Fort William, saw the Ben Nevis Range, the Great Glen and the Commando Memorial.

We have now reached Loch Ness!  Back at our lunch stop our tour guide gave us the choice of taking a long ride on Loch Ness from which we would be able to see Urquhart Castle.  Our other choice was a short boat ride and to climb around the castle.  This is the one time I wish I had not listen to the tour guide because he recommended the longer boat ride.  As soon as we saw the castle we knew we had made a mistake.  Even overrun with tourist we would have enjoyed the exploration. 

These pictures do not show how great this castle is.  This is what you see from the car park.  We got just a minute or two to snap these photos as the folks who were staying got their instructions.  Then we were whisked away.  We were taken further along the coastline to meet the boat.

This coastline is narrow.  When we arrived at the boat we parked at the gift store and walked through a tunnel under the road to get to the dock.

Our boat as you can see was of good size.  It allowed us to move around.  We could be out on the top deck or down on the aft deck.  We could go inside to warm up or purchase a snack.

Here is a picture showing the steepness of the terrain. 

As we motored along Loch Ness we were treated to beautiful scenery.  The approach to Urquhart castle was breathtaking.

The boat captain gave us a good water tour of the castle.

You can really see how neat it would be to climb all over this castle.

This is the view from the boat landing where we picked up those smart enough to tour the castle.

Once we took on the new passengers, we shoved of and head back to were we started.  We had seagulls flying along with the boat.  Some of the passengers would hold out a cracker and the on of the gulls would fly up even with us.  The passenger would let go of the cracker and the gull would snatch it.  It was quite an entertaining trip.  We also kept an eye out for Nessie.

Is it Nessie?

No, Nessie did not show up while we were on the boat but we still watched,

and watched

and watched!

And then there she was, Nessie!

After leaving the boat and visiting with Nessie we walked back through the tunnel under the road and up to the parking lot.  We had about a half and hour in the gift shop before we once again boarded the bus.

If you would like to read some more about Urquhart Castle you can click here.

I have one more installment for this trip.  I will be posting it soon.

33 Comments

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33 responses to “Scotland 101 ~ Part III

  1. CateS

    On the bright side, you now HAVE to return to stay at the castle!

  2. Kathy, I remember visiting Urquhart back in the days before Historic Scotland put in the huge Visitor Centre and all the ramps and walkways and guard-rails. Honestly, I much preferred it then as it was magnificent in ruin and atmospherically even more awesome than now, touristy as it’s become. Of course, it is easier (and safer) now for everyone to explore. That’s surely a good thing. But I am very, very glad to have seen it before it was ‘done up’ for tourists. (same with Stonehenge)

  3. Oh neat, Kathy. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. Darn, I’ve got to win the lottery or the PCH sweeps so I can afford a visit to the British Isles myself! Since I don’t write Scots books but ‘westerns’ I cannot write it off as a business expense I guess :-( so will just have to do it vicariously!

    • Deirdre, I have to win the lottery myself to go back. Do a series on a Scot who comes west and founds a dynasty. To understand him you need to at least have flashbacks to Scotland. Research needed! :)

      • Love it; you are a genius. My late hubby was almost one–he was told his birth mother was fresh off the boat but never knew for sure. And I am working on a book inspired by that but very fictionalized!! It’s a ‘big’ saga type novel and slow going! But I still have to pay the air fare etc up front –sigh!!

  4. Mary Morgan

    Good Morning…
    Urquhart Castle is one of my favorites! Thanks for the tour.

  5. Tarts, I will be in and out today as we are dealing with the remnants of Issac and I have lots of errands to do. This is my day off and it is always demanded upon. Next week will see the final installment of this trip. It is already written and scheduled.

  6. Dalila G.

    WoW!!
    What fantastic shots, thank you for sharing!
    With you around I sure do ‘travel’ a lot!!

  7. Cathy P

    Thanks so much for sharing Kathy! I love the pictures and your stories, and feel like I am there with you.

  8. Lexi

    I love the mini vacations you take us on with your posts. And then, bam! There is Nessie! Love it!

  9. Ivy

    I sooo wanna make it there one day…

  10. As always, I love your pictures. You know me, the biggest arm chair traveler, LOL! I would have loved to visit there. Oh, how my soul aches!

  11. Aurora Mata

    I’ve explored Urquhart Castle, but I would also have liked to have taken the boat ride. The English did a real number on destroying the castle. Even so, the ruins are impressive, and if like my daughter, one climbs to the highest point, one can take magnificent photos! But, oh, Kathy, that walk BACK UP to the coffee and gift shop, nearly did me in! LOL

    • I’ll be sending you something special very soon. :)

      • Aurora Mata

        Ohhh, I LOVE special anything!
        BTW, I’ve become friends on FB w/ a young Scotswoman(that’s relative… I’m much younger than she is).I bought her drawing of the Golden Eagle… She lives in Ailness. We’re trying to make plans to meet/travel when I HOPEFULLY revisit Alba in 2013??? But I’ve got to get these feet and my back moving better. Can’t walk far without a walker.

  12. Still laughing at the pic of Nessie lol.

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