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Highland Hideout 2 – Looking for Nessie and Ben Nevis

Monday 24th October

What a hectic day this was! The sun glowed a sort of dim red across the landscape; we had to keep making stops along the A9 to allow my friend Catherine’s dad, a bumbling photographer, to take some shots. In the mornings the mist covers the tops like cotton candy. It’s really much nicer than how I just portrayed it.

Early morning views. Spectacular.

IMG_20161024_081745.jpgAnyways, we travelled to the Loch Ness, passing Inverness along the way (not much to see unfortunately). By then the sun was out and the weather was considerably better than yesterday, since it was both not raining or very windy. It was still cold, but what can you expect? At one of the stops there’s a steep flight of stairs that leads to the stony shoreside, where you can take some stunning photos of the woody mountains and clear lake. If there isn’t much of a breeze you can also get the reflections of the treetops in. Lovely.

Landscape shot of the Loch. Brilliant day!

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Urquhart Castle lies on the side of the Loch. After buying tickets from a very amenable cashier we went to the ruins, situated on what perhaps used to be an island if the moat was still filled in. Down by the shore, where they have the ferry trips that run across the lake, a couple of ducks bobbled up and down in the shallow water. They were rather plump-you really wonder how they’re still floating.

 

Most of Urquhart is gone, but a few of the parapets and foundations of old rooms remain standing. This castle survived through thick and thin, and it’s one surviving tower is still pretty high up and provides some great views. Note to self: more cheesy group shots were taken here by Catherine’s dad, who we shall refer to as L from now on (since his Chinese name is Li Yin).

Old trebuchet

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Lunched at the cafe here: I had the cream of cauliflower soup and bacon and rather chunky cheese bagel along with some large potato wedges. A loooot of starch. Unfortunately the salad was unavailable. A pity.

Clam chowder soup with three mighty hunks of bread.

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Travelled for some hour and a half more, visiting the Commandos Memorial en route, before reaching Fort William, and the famous Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the U.K. However, it was nearing 4 by the time we got there, and the cable cars took 15 mins one way, so we rushed to the first part on the clunky rides and walked through the gravelly ski paths to the nice, jutting out viewpoint. From there we could see the Loch (not sure which one though), Fort William and the neighbouring landscape. Using my fantastic Huawei P9 (not sponsored, just admired) I managed to get some photos of the beautiful autumn environment. With the sunset coming in, it’s a great place to get a last photo before leaving. Just be careful you don’t slip.

View from the top…

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~MW

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