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Loch Ness Tour by Ann Treacy
April 13, 2010, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Loch Ness

Want to know what’s not a good start to a 12-hour bus tour? Aine throwing up on me. But I’ve included a picture of me in my new shirt. I was thinking that we had kind of aired out when we got onto the boat at Loch Ness and they starting spraying air freshener around us – thinking it was remnants of previous guests. They were kind enough to then spray down Aine and me like we had just arrived from some quarantined island. But we’re tough so we tried not to let it bother us…

To start, the girls and I were on time for our 7:30 pick. (Patrick didn’t go. Don’t even ask!) Anyways, we don’t lead the earliest life in Dublin so I was relived! We headed out of town to open road. We drove through the Scottish Highlands. It’s a pretty windy tour – but it was fun to get more Scottish history as we drove. We learned about the kilt. Traditional the beauty of the kilt was that soldier could wear it (and animal skin shows) and run fairly easily through the heather as opposed to the over dressed English. The kilt used to be 5 meters by 2 meters. The wearer would pleat it each morning. In the rain half could be pulled up to cover you. At night you could unfurl it to use as a sleeping bag. The trick was to bundle up into the heather and wiggle a bit until you sunk in. The heather is apparently pliable enough to kind of envelope you – but too tough to let you slip unto the ground. So the branches of the heather would protect you from above and you’d be kept off the wet ground.

Another interesting fact – sometimes the kilts were difficult on the battlefield so often they’d fight in shirts online. SO I guess you want to be careful about “no shirts, no service” signs here. (I made that up – it wasn’t from the guide by the way.) We got to learn more about Braveheart and the parts that were less true than others. Of course it was all a little beyond me since I haven’t seen it. We learned about Mary Queen of Scots, which is more my speed since I’ve seen a play about her and read several of the Other Boelyn Girl series. We drove by a lot of things that would be pretty cool to see – I suppose that’s the down side of a coach tour.

The Highlands are beautiful and we got a great, dry day for traveling, not sunny, which is nearly better when you’re going on a marathon bus ride. We stopped in Spean Bridge for lunch. Then off to Loch Ness.

We took a boat tour of Loch Ness. I think you’ll be very impressed with what we saw if you watch our video. All I’ll say is that it was created on the boat in Loch Ness.

After Loch Ness we headed back to Edinburgh. It was a pretty , yet long, drive. We drove through the Cairngorms mountains – reaching Britain’s highest point at about 1500 feet. There was plenty of snow in the mountains. It was beautiful. We drove by some distilleries and learned a little bit about whisky. Almost made me wish that I liked whiskey as then the occasional to show off my new knowledge might come up. We drove by – where Macbeth actually lived and learned that Shakespeare wrote the play for Henvy VIII in hopes of getting on his good side. Shakespeare took some liberties and if I got it right one was making Macbeth out to be the bad guy when really Duncan and XX were just as bad except that they weren’t related to the king. But then I guess if you’re wirting it for a king I guess you can understand the spin.

The nicest thing about the tour – we were picked up at the door of our apartment and dropped off at the same. OK maybe that wasn’t the nicest but when you’re sightseeing with three kids it’s going to at least come in at a close second.

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