nobleplatypus: (daisies yay)
[personal profile] nobleplatypus
There will be quite a few parts to this because, as it turns out, I TOOK A MILLION BILLION PHOTOS. We'll have to take this one event at a time. :P And, fair warning, I am a forgetful little thing who left her camera in the B&B for two days, so some of these events are going to have significantly shittier pictures than others, as my iPhone camera has limits (and wasn't helped by the near-constant wind buffeting me about, natch).

Without further ado, we'll go with Event One and Event Two: the train ride from Edinburgh to Inverness, and Loch Ness.

The train ride from Edinburgh to Inverness was full of some of the most spectacularly gorgeous scenery I have ever seen. I missed photographing most of it, because there was usually only a brief window of opportunity to snap a pic before the view was blocked by trees, and the ride itself was too long for me to spend it all with my camera at the ready. Also, I was tremendously exhausted and didn't have the energy to do much more than gape. Still, here's what I got:

Edinburgh to Inverness 01

Edinburgh to Inverness 02

Edinburgh to Inverness 03

Edinburgh to Inverness 04

All that purple stuff on the hill is heather. I derived a somewhat ridiculous amount of pleasure at seeing heather and gorse for the first time after reading about it in many of my favorite books. The same went for rabbit warrens.

After reaching Inverness, we met our host of the Glendale B&B, who had kindly offered to pick us up. It was a very short ride, but we were so effing tired at that point that we appreciated the hell out of it. We remained awake long enough to shower, but ended up scrapping our vague plans to go out in search of dinner and instead went to bed at around 7 PM.

We woke up early the next morning (go figure) and, feeling ambitious (not to mention hungry due to the previous evening's lack of dinner), both ordered a full Scottish fry-up for breakfast. It was delicious, and I felt rather guilty for my inability to clean my plate. Still, given that I usually skip breakfast entirely, the fact that I put away as much as I did was pretty impressive.

As we were finishing up, [livejournal.com profile] goddessofchaos arrived! She had kindly and generously offered to drive Kacie and me around and show us the sights, and we had a lot planned for the day--so much so that you're only getting the first part of it, here. We hastily finished our breakfast, got our stuff together, and piled into the car. Destination: Loch Ness.

This is Loch Ness, by the way:

Loch Ness

Petrie Treestar at Loch Ness

This little fellow is Petrie Treestar. Last year, when Kacie went off to Italy, I bought her this little bird and asked her to take him along and photograph him, like a little roaming gnome. I cackled with delight when I found out she had brought him to Scotland.

The town of Drumnadrochit has, among other things, a giant, doofy Nessie statue. We posed with it.

Kacie and Doofy Nessie

Kacie (holding Petrie)

Me and Doofy Nessie

Me (also holding Petrie)

Doofy Nessie

DEEEEERRRRRRRRRP.

Loch Ness Center

We also went to the above Loch Ness Visitor Center, where we shuffled through a series of rooms and were bombarded with information and scary mannequins (the latter would become an unfortunate theme of our trip). The presentation was pretty hilarious, as it amounted to: "Could there be a creature living in the loch? Some people claim to have seen something, but your eyes can play tricks on you. Also, all those famous photos you've seen are faked, doctored, or misinterpreted. Also, it's scientifically impossible. But hey, YOU BE THE JUDGE."

After that, we headed to Urquhart Castle.

Loch and Dock

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle Tower

View from Urquhart

Climbing up the tower was exciting, as there were quite a few other tourists about, and the only way up or down was a very narrow spiral staircase with a rope handrail. It was possible to pass someone attempting to travel in the opposite direction, but not without thinking, "oh crap oh crap one of us is going to die." Nice views from the top, though.

Big Lake

Big Gorgeous Lake

I HAVE SEEN THE BEAST

OH EM GEE IT'S NESSIE. Just kidding. I should probably have doctored the photo to make it look less like a boat wake before I made a fuss.

Shine On Loch Ness

Mossy Wall

Mossy Everything

There is moss on EVERYTHING in Scotland, by the way. SO. MUCH. MOSS.

Absence of Tourists

After leaving the castle, we headed to nearby Fort Augustus for lunch and wandering about.

Loch from Fort Augustus

Wait a minute... what the...

It has the head of a horse

A strange beast! It appears to have the head of a horse!

It must be a kelpie!

KELPIE.

Actually, it was a girl riding a pony in the lake. No, I don't know why. Frankly, the Loch doesn't look like the sort of place in which you'd wash anything; it's rather peaty. And the poor pony was too small for the girl to be riding, anyway. Also spotted were some children wading with their socks on. I just... *sigh*

Maybe she was Nessie-fishing, and the pony was bait.

We headed back towards Inverness, this time on the other side of the Loch, where the roads are narrower. If you've never been to the more rural parts of the UK, let me tell you, the roads are RIDICULOUS. They're so narrow that two cars can barely pass one another, and there are no shoulders to speak of. Every hundred feet or so, there'd be a "passing place" where the road widened slightly, so if you encountered someone traveling towards you, you had to get to a passing place and pull over as far as you could to allow the other person to squeak by. I am so glad it was [livejournal.com profile] goddessofchaos behind the wheel and not me!

I want to believe

I took this one from the car. I was excited because I had never seen lenticular clouds in real life before.

Here ends Picspam the First!
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