Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Scotland Report: Installment II 

Before I go into our day at Loch Ness, I want to share a little running joke that kept us smiling for many of the 700+ miles we covered last week.

Daddy had sat next to a Scotsman on the plane up from Germany and had mentioned something about a "lake." "Ees naw ah lake, ees ah LOCH," the Scotsman declared adamantly. That became our standard line.

When somebody later mused, "I wonder what body of water that is," somebody else would pipe up: "Ees naw ah body, ees ah booty!"

Mention the cat back home, and somebody was sure to correct you: "Ees naw ah Eddie, ees ah Oodie!"

OK, on to Loch Ness!

The drive from Fort William to the little town of Drumnadrochit was mercifully short compared to the trek the previous day, no more than 2 hours door to door. The weather, on the other hand, was a perfect replica of the day before: rainy, rainy, rainy, and cold.

Our B&B in Drum, Springburn, was run by 2 middle-aged ladies named Dot and Sheila. Our rooms (88 pounds total--$160) weren't ready when we arrived, but they were happy to let us leave our bags there. They even gave us loaner umbrellas from their porch to keep us dry on the short hike down to the monster exhibition.

The exhibit itself was quite well done, but we spent the most time in the gift shop at the end of the presentation. I managed to corner the market in stuffed Nessies, and the kids enjoyed posing with this giant monster (for the record, I didn't buy the hats):

I take my political humor where I find it, so imagine my delight upon seeing this sketch hanging on the wall of the gift shop:

Food at the exhibit cafe was pretty pricey, so we headed for the Drum Takeaway, which is located adjacent to the local grocery store, for lunch. If you're ever looking for (relatively) cheap food in Scotland, look for a takeaway. They're good sources for fish and chips, burgers, and all sort of kebabs. Dad and Annabelle found their lunch at the grocery store, but Mike and I got delicious kebabs for a total of 6 pounds (which is almost $11 and, now that I convert it, not as cheap as I thought--still, it was much cheaper than the alternatives). Here's the lovely Drum Takeaway:

After lunch we drove a couple miles down the lake--whoops! excuse me, I mean "loch"--to the remains of Urquhart Castle. I would love to post my photos of the castle here, but I've been trying for hours and Blogger appears to be having some technical difficulties with photo uploading this evening. So I'm going to go ahead and call it a night and post what I've already written. I promise to take care of the castle tomorrow, so check back then.

In the meantime, why don't you go monster hunting yourself?


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