Happened May 3rd 2010, writing on May 5th 2010
So on Monday I took the train from Stirling in straight shot to Inverness and arrived about 1:30 for a one night stay. I was damn determined as well to make it out to see Loch Ness a bit before having to go onto my next spot. Oh and I did it! I went from dumping off my stuff at the hostel to the TIC where a somewhat rude lady gave me quick answers to my quick questions and more or less booted me out the dorr causing some chaos and confusion on my end. Granted this is the ONLY person in Scotland that I have run into that was “rude” or pushy so I don’t dwell on it. So anyway off I went in a hurry to the bus station to catch the next bus in 15 minutes. Which luckily I found and did and I was off to see the famous Loch Ness and maybe just maybe spot Nessy. Well luckily on the bus I sat next to a nice 17 year old girl from near “John-O Groats” which is much more north and closer to where I am at this point. We had a nice chat on where I was from and what I was up to and once again in the hundreds of times in my life this has happened she thought I was only about 15 or 16. None the less we had a good talk and I then arrived at my stop of Urquhart Castle and was totally stunned at how absolutely amazing it would be to get to live in this spot! Even if you were a servant or something on the lower scale it would be so beautiful who would care? Well I suppose it would be freezing cold about 80% of the time but you can’t win them all. Now ladies and gents a “loch” is in fact a lake and in “Loch Ness’s” case it is a very large long and cold lake but the way it is carved into the mountains is what makes it a rare and beautiful sight.
The castle is of course basically in ruins and many of you I’m sure have seen photos of it and it was destroyed in the Jacobite rebellion so that the Jacobite’s couldn’t get any use out of it. Thus it’s in bad shape but still a cool bit to stroll around and the museum inside has some pretty neet things on what they have found at the sight such as a “teapot” or rather water jug from the 14th century all done with such care it really only looks about 100 years old. They also had on display a 4,500 year old figure of the “Westray Wife” a small female appearing figurine made by early inhabitants of the Orkney Islands. Now for being so old it still had many of it’s details such as clothing designs, eyes, eyebrows and a finely carved head. It was really pretty neet to see something so old and in such good shape being preserved and shown.
Just a side note for some, now many people hear and dread being considered an ugly American tourist and I myself was worried about that stigma as well. However, through all the traveling I have done in the last 4 weeks or so I have not seen a single one until I was at Loch Ness! There was this coupld just going on and on about crappy it was that the castle was in ruins and that it was just so cold and how could the tour company pull this and blah blah blah. It was just really sad, I mean if you didn’t know what was planned find out and then decide if it’s worth the effort. If you don’t like cold don’t come to Scotland in their early spring and even in summer it could be cold and rainy. Does nobody research anything? I mean it would be like going to Africa and not thinking it would get about 60 degrees in the dead of their summer especially close to the equator. I mean come on look at the map, how far north is Scotland? Okay and isn’t the British Isles notorious for cold and rainy weather and possibly all year round? So yea my bit on ugly tourists, I wish they would simply stay home and no they don’t just exist in Europe I’ve seen a handful working in Manitou Springs. Such as the incident of a man yelling at me about “Please do not touch” signs on our pricey Orthoceras plates. Would you really like to just pay $60 on what you clumsily broke and didn’t want in the first place? Or simply look and ask for help if you really wanted to buy it or look at it better? Anyway carrying on about my day.
Being the day before I had my horrible bus mishap I decided today was in fact going to be different! I checked my time table the lady at the TIC gave me and checked what was posted on the bus stop. So I assumed that everything would basically be the same. NOT! I guess it may be Scotland buses but on this day they were not running according to schedule and I assumed okay bank holiday I’ll simply have to wait. Well I talked to 3 bus drivers that had no clue why the buses that were supposed to have come had not and I talked to the kind man at the castle gift shop who tried his hardest to help me but had no clue. I even attempted to call the bus service hotline but it wouldn’t go through because I wasn’t on a land line. Now I wasn’t the only one stuck due to this lack of planning on the bus companies’ end, an elderly gentleman and his grandson were waiting as well. Oh and it wasn’t very warm now I felt pretty good because I had worn many layers. But the poor older man didn’t look very warm and actually quite in pain having to wait so long. Finally we asked a final bus driver what the deal was, and he had no idea but his route was of such that he was coming back in about 45 minutes. So to kill the time I called my mom and dad to say hello and tell them where I was! It was a nice chat and I actually had to hang up on my mom to get on the bus and back to Inverness.
After arriving in Inverness I went and bought some eggs, gluten free bread and a bottle of wine and made myself a dinner of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, apples and white wine from Germany. I was then so exhausted I crashed after checking a few minor computer things.
Coming up my day of travel to Orkney
Peace and Love,