The weblog of a traveller

   Oct 28

Loch Ness

breathtaking. It’s “only” a lake, but if you appreciate nature as much as I do, do put it on your list. The Scottish wilderness is much like the Norwegian but rougher, more beaten. The ruin on the shore is a beauty; I will not expand on that as I find myself gauging clichés.

Speaks for itself.

We were as lucky as to find the loch with rain lashing sideways – not only because we got the area largely to ourselves with other tourists hustling in the cafe; the gray disturbed water with foam tops added to the special feeling, the rainstorm emphasizing the mightiness. Who knows what lives down there!

In a sheltered spot, I was lost in meditation for I don’t know how long, feeling the intensity and absorbing the greatness of the surroundings. Holy cow, did I feel invincible!

Not quite as appealing was the attitude of some of the staff at the visitor centre, a slick modern building that is the only entrance to the ruins, and where the only way is through the souvenir shop. Even though all 4 had just bought something in the cafe, a woman started yelling at us without warning for opening a packed lunch. She spoke to us as though we were three years old, and when we asked where we could eat our food she pointed out in the storm. She can’t have seen the ‘hospitality assured’ sign right by the table.

Also, as I expressed my interest in a beautiful replica tapestry, she told me the price with a noticeable emphasis, as though thinking I didn’t have the money. It’s very possible I looked like I didn’t, after all we were backpacking. How could she know the backpacker had an art budget? It’s very fascinating how different one is treated based on appearance.

The whole visitor centre schmentre was a sad story if you ask me; a slick modern building through which everyone was herded, mostly consisting of the huge souvenir shop. We all know tourists are to be vacuumed for money, but please make it a bit more subtle? If you plan to go to the ruins of Urquhart, I’ll advise you to come by boat so you land directly on the shore and don’t have your experience ruined (pun intended) by the commerce.

No monsters, other than this guy.

Hedge Nessie

Hedge Nessie

Advised that “With a spoon” was the place to eat, we had dinner at Witherspoon. Amazing place, I’m sorry we couldn’t spend the night there but some in the party were feeling unwell.

Actually I thought I wouldn’t get to Loch Ness this year, as I missed the organized tour. My emerging inner claustrophobic had interventions. (150 people on an all-day coach tour, yikes!) Hadn’t it been for Caroline, at whose cafe table I dumped down a week ago as all tables were taken (the wonderful random meetings!) I probably never would have gotten to it. Thank you hunny!

Everything looks brighter when seen through a brick wall.

Everything looks brighter when seen through a brick wall.

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