After finishing our whiskey’s (well, everyone bar me who didn’t have one), we set off for the main stop of Day One: Loch Ness! Don’t let the sunny pictures fool you, it was really cold out. The sun bearing down on the bus had a greenhouse effect and with the heater blasting too, we were soon feeling very bus-sick! Passing in and our of consciousness, the driver gave us the above photo stop to bring us back to our senses.
Heating now off, we took off again for Loch Ness! A 45 minute stop to walk up to the water, take pictures of each other, and walk back meant we didn’t have much time to look for Nessy. The Fort Augustus end of the 23 mile loch was quite sheltered from the wind, so we were stripping off the jackets. Only a couple of girls were confident enough to take off their shoes and socks for a dip into the black water, however! We grabbed ice-creams on the way back to the bus feeling very summery.
The plan was to grind on for the Isle of Skye before the driver’s tachograph went over hours. Thus we drove on, listening to Scottish popular music and bag pipes (sometimes together) until we reached Eilean Donan Castle. Like many places in Scotland, this is a site with a long history that stretches back beyond fathomable time references for many on the tour. The earliest verifiable settlement here is medieval, or possibly Iron Age. At the entrance point to three different lochs, you can understand why lords of old would want to settle here. You’ll be sad to learn that the castle standing today is modern; being restored from a ruin between 1919 and 1932.