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Walking around Loch Garten, Loch Ness

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 17 & 18 June 2009

Wednesday 17 June, walking around Loch Garten, Loch Ness

Electronics and Iain, two things that do not go together and every time we are here, Teije has to spend some time solving his problems. What it is this time I do not know exactly but they have to go to Inverness up to 3 times for some parts. I am glad it is he who has to it, rather than me.
Loch Garten Loch GartenAt the beginning of the afternoon we have an appointment with Luc and Wilma, two friends from the Netherlands who are staying in a house about 60 kilometers away, to go for a walk. But the first few hours it rains and we just stay inside.
On the map we already see where we are going to walk, at Loch Garten, a freshwater lake surrounded by high pine trees. It seems that the forest is ancient here.
Loch Garten Loch Garten Loch Garten Loch GartenThe loch is located in a nature reserve near Boat of Garten near the Cairngorm Mountains. The loch is known for the many osprey nests that are there and there is also a well-known osprey center with an instructive visitor center. From there you can also observe a nest with binoculars. In the beginning of the 20th century, ospreys were extinct in England but in 1954 a few of them came here and since then they thrive.
Loch Garten Loch GartenWhen we start our walk we still wear rain jackets or a thick coat, but gradually it gets warmer and we start to sweat. It is not really a hard hike but occasionally we have to climb over tree trunks and the shore of the lake is not always clear as it is slowly becoming more dense and a strip of swampy area is formed.
Sun and clouds create beautiful reflections in the water.
At the cottage of Wilma and Luc At the cottage of Wilma and LucAfter about 2.5 hours we go back to the house of Luc and Wilma where we eat together and continue to talk for a couple of hours. It is 11:30 when we are back in Beauly and there we chat in the pub with some acquaintances from the village before we go to bed.

Thursday 18 June 2009, een rondje rond Loch Ness

Kessock Bridge over the Beauly Firth Kessock Bridge over the Beauly FirthWe turn around again in bed when we hear the raindrops clatter against the window in the morning and we only get up at 10 o'clock. But here we can have breakfast whenever we want. Then we drive to Inverness to see a few parts where we were not before. On the north side of the Beauly Firth we find a road that brings us under the Kessock bridge. This bridge hangs high above the water so that ships can sail under it. It was opened in 1982 after 6 years of work. Before that time people had to drive around the Beauly Firth completely, to go to the north. Now the A9 runs to Wick over it.
Wood art in Inverness Wood art in InvernessJust over the bridge we turn left, around the football stadium and then to the neighborhood in the Beauly Firth with a view of the bridge to the north. nd it proves again our theory that you can see unexpected things all over Scotland: here we see all kinds of beautiful expressions of wood carvings, mainly animals. Even the Loch Ness monster is there. There is Merkinch PS written on one of the images and that turns out to be a school in Inverness. Well, nice piece of manual labor!
East side of Loch Ness Wood art in a garden in DorresThen we drive along the east side of Loch Ness, the largest freshwater lake of Great Britain. Coincidentally, it is best known for the so-called monster but there are many more lochs in Scotland with a comparable monster, but they often belong only to local folklore while at Loch Ness they have really made it into a big tourist attraction.
Near Dorres we pass a garden where there are also a number of wooden statues. It is near Boleskine House, a house on the edge of the Loch Ness, where Aleister Crowley once lived, a well-known occultist.
Foyers falls near Loch Ness Elisabeth at the Foyers FallsAt Foyers we finally take the time to make the 2 kilometer long beautiful walk to the Foyers Falls, a waterfall that we wanted to see for a long time. Via stairs we walk through the forest to the beautiful waterfall that used to be much more impressive before in 1895 an aluminum melting factory was built that drained water from the river.
After this trip we drink a delicious coffee, something not often happens in Scotland since often it tastes like brown water.
Village near Loch Ness Waterfall near Loch NessOn the way back it starts to rain and it gets cold, according to the carthermometer it is 10 degrees. We drive around and continue to Fort Augustus on the south side of Loch Ness and via Drumnadrochtit on the west side of Loch Ness back to Beauly. Even now we see occasional waterfalls in the distance. With all the water that falls here from the skies, the lwo temperatures and the hills you expect nothing else.
In the evening we stay in the pub for a long time and chat with a couple of Americans and some Englishmen. It is only pub talk but still fun to talk to people from other countries.


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