Hello from Loch Ness (compiled from emails sent Oct 11-13, 2004, but really mostly from my head)

Well , after my few days of moseying around Edinburgh, I decided to
venture out on my first little trip, test the waters with my toes. I
decided on a one day coach tour to Loch Ness,

Let's bus a move. Haha. Or is that bust a move?

which included a one hour boat cruise on Loch Ness itself.

The boat I cruised Loch Ness on

After an hour of travelling northwest from Edinburgh, I got my first
taste of the Scottish highlands. Captivated. Amazed. Absolute
wonderment. Every piece of landscape, every hill, every valley (glen)
and lake (loch) looked like it was begging to be the prime subject of
an oil painting canvas.

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

As with Stratford-Upon-Avon, you can tell Nessie brings in the tourists
to Scotland, especially the little town of Fort Augustus where the boat tour took place.

The locks on Loch Ness

Fort Augustus Abbey

Nessie stuff all over!

nessie garden sculpture

Nessie Beer

Nessie Models for Sale .

Again, nothing out of the ordinary was seen (or maybe there was?)

WTF is that?

It was neat to actually be there and see the Loch. Usually, most of
the monster sightings occur on the north side of the Loch, we were on
the south. The boat itself was super cool..with two displays in
front showing sonar 2D sonar/radar readings, current depth, etc.

Onboard the boat

Interesting cuisine there, though. Haggis and black pudding for anyone?
really isn’t as bad as people say, I tried a little this trip, and ate
it 3 meals one day when I visited again in February 2005).

Note: Black and white pudding are essentially congealed pigs blood with food coloring. Nummy!

I’ll leave you with a little bit of fun I’ll call my Scottish pronunciation guide. 

  1. Roll all your R’s. Heck, roll any letter you can. Roll them
    like you’re never rolled a letter in your life! FOR GOD’S SAKE,
  2. Words that have ‘ow’ in them that are pronounced as ‘ow’ like cow are spoken as
    oo. So – "how now brown cow" spoken by a scotsman sounds like "hoo noo
    broon coo". This also partially applies for the sounds like ‘oh’ like
    in bone. you’ll offer hear scots say they are "chilled to the boon".
  3. Diminutive, small, young, tiny – replace them all with the word ‘wee’.
  4. No one says yes, yessir, you betcha. Replace all affirmative replies with ‘Aye’
  5. Any words with ch in them are harshly pronounced. Think of a german saying ‘Ach!’ in frustration.

Editor’s Note: This is one of those
tours I had to do just to say I was there, for bragging rights. How
many of you can say you’ve been on a boat on Loch Ness hunting for
Nessie? Yeah..that’s immature of me. But the neat thing was that this
trip introduced me to the Scottish Higlands, which still to this day
my mind with their beauty. It gets even better with my next entry,
which will detail my tour to the Isle of Skye, in Northwestern Scotland.