Hellooooooo!!! Wow, it has been an amazing couple of days in Scotland. Above is a picture of Duncan, our lovely tour guide, and I at Loch Lubneig. I booked a tour through MacBackpackers tour group a few weeks back because the thought of having to find my own way through the highlands seemed exhausting.
Well first of all: next time I come to Scotland I want to be in shape so I can take advantage of the amazing kayaking, cycling, hiking and surfing they have in the country. Secondly, I now know that it is actually really easy to get around Scotland on your own!
But, the tour was awesome, and I was able to see and learn a lot about Scotland and it’s history that I otherwise wouldn’t have known.
Day One: Sun, rainbows and hills
First we visited the Hermitage and the Black Linn Falls (pictured above). It has the largest Douglas Firs in Scotland but they are not native to Scotland. They were planted with the intention of using them to build naval ships but by the time they reached proper size they were using other materials. So now it is a protected forest.
As you may be able to see in the background, we were in a hilly area. It was awesome! Rolling green hills, sheep grazing, highland bag-pipe music playing in the background: it was everything Scotland promised to be.
Then we stopped for lunch by a Loch (lake), but I can’t remember the name.
Now it was time for the very famous Loch Ness! As you can see, it was getting later, the lighting wasn’t amazing and yes, it was cold. BUT it was still amazing to be there. And, believe it or not, Josh (a fellow tourist) took a dive into the Loch! He said it was cold. Duh!
Even more amazing was Steve Feltham’s trailer! Steve is a full-time monster hunter. No joke. Read his story here.
Loch Ness would just be another lake if it weren’t for people like Steve, still believing in the story of Nessie.
Fact: the first sighting was before written history!
Fact: Loch Ness has a maximum depth of 226.96 meters!
Fact: the lake contains more water than all the lakes in Britain and Wales combined!
So, could a monster live in the depths of Loch Ness?
Day Two: Nessie sightings, Hairy Coos and beautiful photos
I found Nessie! She’s not very big, or much of a monster, but I found her! For 5 pounds you can find her too! Steve makes these by hand and sells them around the Loch. He wasn’t home (darn, I’ve heard he’s a pleasure to chat with) but our hostel was selling them. It was the perfect souvenir to bring home from Scotland.
Ever heard of the Highland Cow? Also known as a Harry Coo.
Next we visited the Commando Memorial. where I was able to get a lot of really pretty photos. The Commando’s were a special task force during WW2, and they were trained here in the highlands. They also specialized in high-risk missions and were responsible for saving many men behind enemy lines.
Photos with my iPhone wouldn’t do the landscape justice. Although smaller, the mountainous areas remind me of the Rockies in Canada. The main difference is how green and lush it is as you drive through them. Beautiful. Breathtaking. We ended our day at the Wallace Monument and then back to Edinburgh.
Thank-you Duncan for an amazing couple days.