Where in the world do you start trying to post about the sights, experiences, and fun had in a two and a half day, nearly 500 mile car trip with your husband and brother? I've been contemplating it and haven't come up with any good ideas yet. Guess I'll just have to type and see what I come up with.
The weather was typical Scottish weather, mostly grey, off and on rain, with bits of sun peaking out at random times as we drove towards Inverness and then south to Loch Ness and our hostel on Thursday. If I could guess the number of times we said on this trip, "Oh, it's raining again." (15 minutes later) "Oh, yah! The sun!" (15 minutes) "Oh, there's the rain/snow again" (15 minutes) "Oh, how happy, the sun!" etc, etc, etc it would number in the hundreds....no joke.
Inverness is known at "The Capital of the Highlands" because it is the biggest major city in the North and East of Scotland. It was a lovely scene to drive into the city and see the "firth" (bay) leading into the city. Once in the city we just drove randomly until we came to a bridge, looked down and saw a river with a nice patch of green to stroll on, and decided we'd go there to stretch our legs. After the biting wind did us in, we jumped back in the car journeyed on southward to Loch Ness. We came to Urquhart Castle right on Loch Ness just outside of Drumnadrochit (we are still trying to figure out exactly how this is pronounced!). Since the clouds broke in a large circle right over us, we decided to go ahead and pay the fee and go check out the ruins for ourselves up close.
Just as we were finishing up our self-guided tour of the ruins dark grey clouds threatened to dump their rain on us, so we quickly headed for the car. We had about an hour and a half until we could check into our hostel so we took advantage of it being "tea time" and visited a local cafe in Drumnadrochit. Finally we decided to go and find our home away from home for the next two nights, Loch Ness Scottish Youth Hostel. Neither Mark nor I had stayed in a hostel before so we weren't quite sure what to expect. It reminded me of camp. Smelled like camp, especially. You know, that musty, "campy" smell? This hostel was chosen because of their superb price on a 3 person room. The boys took the bunk bed and I got the single bed. It was a tight fit with luggage and lots of warm clothes and food, but it really did work out well.
When we called to ask about what bedding was provided and they said "pillow, sheets, two duvets" we should have been clued in that maybe there wasn't heat in the room and it might be a tad chilly! Ha! It maybe wouldn't have been so bad in there hadn't been the stiff wind and snow. We all survived, though, and chalked it up to the whole hostel experience!
One of 4 or 5 rainbows we saw on Thursday. This one is just outside of the annex where our room was located at the hostel. That's Loch Ness. It was so windy there were white caps on the lake and we were lulled to sleep with the waves crashing on the shore (all of about 15 feet outside the window).
So that is a brief summary of our first day's travels. May you sleep tight and dream of Nessie knocking at your window as I did....or was it a dream?