LOCH NESS & DAD STORIES
Today we left our Californian travelling companion, Brian, in Oban and headed north. It was time to do some laundry and while we couldn’t find a laundromat in Oban itself, there was a self-service laundry kiosk just out of town at a service station. We took the opportunity to use this unique laundry and fill up the car at the same time before continuing.
On the way Dad informed me that he had never been to Loch Ness before and this was the furthest north he had ever travelled in Scotland, which is exciting. We planned a stop in Fort William because that seemed to be the thing people do but it was just one of those tourist towns that act as a hub for people travelling elsewhere. We could have checked out Ben Nevis distillery but figured our time was best spent at Loch Ness and continued through Fort William. We did stop briefly at the commando memorial just outside of Spean Bridge which has an excellent view of Ben Nevis.
We arrived in Drumnadrochit around lunchtime, where we would be staying the night at the Fiddler’s. The Fiddler’s includes a restaurant, well-stocked whisky bar and B&B accommodation, so it was perfect.
Drumnadrochit is somewhat of a Loch Ness Monster town with boat tours and attractions dedicated to Loch Ness’ most famous legend.
It’s a little big back from the water but within walking distance. We hopped on a boat tour that could be booked at the gift shop next to the Fiddler’s and set out camera in hand to find the elusive Nessie and make millions off the photographs. You can see the shocking results in the photo above.
There are a few options for cruising on Loch Ness, but we went with Gordon of Castle Cruises, who appeared to be a one-man-show. He picks you up in a mini-van from the Drumnadrochit information centre and pilots the boat out past Urquhart Castle, or as Gordon described it, ‘The most expensive pile of rocks you can visit in Scotland.’ The trip lasted about and hour and Gordon regales you with tales of tales of the Loch practically the whole time. Highly recommended and only a few pounds more than visiting the Urquhart ‘rocks’ and you get a better view from the water anyway.
We finished the night with a few whiskies and Dad shared some cracking stories from his Merchant Navy days. My favourite was when he and a few of his sailor mates were docked in Sydney Harbour in the 1950’s, took a dingy and painted a Micky Mouse outline on a rival company’s ship in the dead of the night. Apparently, their midnight mischief made it into a local Sydney newspaper with photos, so I will have to track that down to confirm its legitimacy but it’s a great story.
Tomorrow, we continue north to Tain and the Glenmorangie distillery.