Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Scotland Adventures... #4

When we arrived to Urquhart Castle, it was raining.  We'd been lucky to see Eilean Donan with no rain, since we saw those clouds roll in and it started raining soon after we'd gotten back on the road to head back.  It was a debate whether or not we wanted to brave the rain.  I told the guy I was with that I wasn't going to melt if I got a little wet, so we decided to brave the rain.

You have to pay then go down some stairs in a shop that is mostly under the parking lot.  That's definitely a way to make sure everyone pays.  There was a quick video we watched before heading out.  We'd hoped the rain would stop quickly, but it hadn't by the time we were ready to go out, so I bought a very Scottish, plaid, £7 umbrella (since I didn't have a jacket (I was wearing double layers)) and decided to make the best of it.

The rain was definitely coming down.

With the umbrella..  :)

I'm sure that this would make a lovely seat when its dry.

The castle was mostly destroyed in 1692.

someone really needs to make the joke for me about these fence posts.....  pullleaseee.

That guy's been in prison a LOOOONG time.

Every good castle's got one.

After about 15 minutes of being in the castle, it finally stopped raining, so I was able to put away my expensive umbrella and take photos without having to manhandle the umbrella and camera at the same time (very difficult if you've never tried).  I was greatly relieved.
Loch Ness

Where does it lead?

Just a little wet moss.  

Just some castle remains.  Chillin.

Lone solider.

The doocot was for the doves/birds.  The birds laid eggs, shed feathers for pillows, served as the post office, and sometimes even got to serve as dinner!

Just a house with a red door.

(ok, so I didn't get a good picture of the Scottish flag since it was always so rainy)

Loch Ness

Ruins through the ruins.

Just around the corner.

The highest point of the remains, which I climbed.

First try of water droplets.

And in black and white.

So much lichen.

Even the rocks grow in Scotland.

Loch Ness

A wee cloud just floating by.

Apparently, carving in the wall of the castle was cool?

I didn't add to it.

Loch Ness

Nessie, is that you?

Through the peep hole at the top of the castle.

This is my best dread face.

The scariest steps I've ever traversed.  Narrow, wet, slippery, cold, and I had my expensive camera.
Nothing spells disaster quite like that.

There were only a few flowers (besides daffodils) to photograph.  So I did the best I could..  :)

Moss on the catapult.

Big (catapult) balls.

Pretty flower.

Yellow with droplets.. happiness.

Goodbye, Urquhart Castle!  It was much fun.

Then we started the 1.5 hour journey back towards Lossiemouth.

The reminders to drive on the left made me smile.

Chimneys in Inverness.

Quality store.  Candy and tobacco!

Cathedrals on the banks of Loch Ness in Inverness.

Fields of rape (seed).

That boat was really big.

If you look very closely at the hill in the center, it says The Loft in the grass.  It was an activity place that offered 4-wheelers, laser tag, different workout classes, and also had a restaurant that often had live music on the weekends.

Rainbow on the drive home.

We stopped at The Loft for dinner (since we'd eaten lunch at Eilean Donan, we were starved).  That was when I had my Cullen Skink (Haddock (fish) in potato soup).  I also tried a beer that was pretty tasty, but didn't get the name of.  I was definitely glad to arrive back at the hotel that evening to take a short nap and dry off some before my midnight watch started!

After catching up on some sleep and working a few days, I went to Elgin to visit the cathedral ruins and take pictures.  Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for those photos till I get back to America.

Uploading these photos takes a fair chunk of data and since I'm already on limited usage, I'm trying to cut out where I can.  The free internet was really slow, probably because I was trying to upload at high traffic time, but it's really the only time I have to use the free internet, so I'll just have to make do.

My goal is to get through the rest of the Scotland photos while I'm still in Australia so that way I'll be caught up and can do Australia photos at my leisure (shoot me, I've been watching a lot of Jane Austen movies).

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