From our tour of the northern Highlands distilleries we arrive at Scotland’s quintessential cliche place: Loch Ness.
Of course we keep an eye out for the terrible monster of the lake and surprisingly it doesn’t want to be seen. We even put our bananas in the water, but we can’t attract Nessie with that either.
As Loch Ness joins other lochs which together form a long canal linking the east and west coasts of Scotland, it is also unlikely that Nessie would have settled for the small loch and is certainly on the run Tourists and zoologists fled far into the ocean.
We are noticeably back in civilization. Traffic has increased significantly. Especially around Loch Ness we encounter both heavy rush hour traffic and a large number of tourists, who also stop in the middle of the road to take photos of the very unspectacular lake.
Fort Augustus is located at the south-west end of Loch Ness. The small town, which grew around a fort built during the Jacobite uprisings, is primarily known today for its five-tier lock system. It allows boats to continue on the Caledonian Canal to Fort William.
The northernmost city in the United Kingdom is Inverness. Here, where the new 19th century Inverness Castle stands today, King MacBeth reigned. In the centuries that followed, Inverness remained an important place in Scottish history. This is how the Jacobite rebellion of 1746 ended at the gates of the city with the Battle of Culloden.
We stroll through the city at dusk and stop at the “Hootananny“. The pub is bursting at the seams that night and we just manage to get three seats plus a beer before the live music starts.
Urquhart Caste is perched on the edge of Loch Ness. There is still wild speculation about what is hidden in the up to 230m deep waters. Urquhart Castle ruins are one of the largest in Scotland and a real tourist magnet due to its spectacular location.
Urquhart has been in ruins for almost 400 years, so today’s ruins only give a vague picture of its former glory. We haven’t had enough of the ruins yet and will visit those of Fort George and Elgin next. – Chris & Alex