Friday, 21 June 2013

Monsters Of The Deep

Since we're so close to Loch Ness here, we thought we might as well do the 'Nessie' experience, so we headed up to Drumnadrochit and the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre. I forgot to take a photo, so I'm borrowing this one from

I have to say, it was definitely worth a visit. In a small group, we walked through a series of rooms, stopping in each one to watch images projected onto screens, whilst listening to a very informative voiceover explaining how the loch was formed, when and where the first accounts of the 'monster' appeared, and the science behind all the investigations over the years. You might have expected them to really 'play up' to the whole Loch Ness Monster myth, but actually they were very objective and matter-of-fact, explaining that there isn't really enough life in the loch to support some kind of giant creature, and that most of the sightings can be explained by other means. If people have seen a 'large fish', it's most likely to have been something like a sturgeon.

The only thing that spoiled it for me was that halfway around I suddenly had the awful thought that I'd left my hair straighteners switched on, and once you've thought something like that, you can't unthink it, can you? I could vaguely remember plugging them in, switching them on and using them, but I couldn't remember anything else after that. Did I switch them off? Did I unplug them like I usually do? I think they're supposed to automatically turn off if they're not used for 10 minutes, but what if they don't? We didn't come straight back to the cottage, because I tried to tell myself that I was worrying over nothing and that I would've turned them off, but it did kind of put a downer on the day.*

After the exhibition, we just popped back down the hill to a couple of gift shops, and a pet shop where I bought some more peanuts and sunflower seeds to replace the ones that disappeared yesterday.

From Drumnadrochit, we basically just followed the road around Loch Ness and back down the other side. We passed through Inverness, but didn't stop.

Inverness Castle, quickly taken from the car while at the traffic lights

Loch Ness

As we drove along the narrow road, to our left were, I think, the Monadhliath Mountains, but my geography isn't great so don't quote me on that. They always sounds to me like something out of Lord Of The Rings. Wherever we were, it was bleak but beautiful

This road dropped down to a lovely little loch called Loch Tarff,

and then eventually we were back in Fort Augustus, where we bought a couple of delicious sausage rolls from the butchers next to the locks. I also got a chance to go into That Cute Little Highland Shop which was closed on Monday - it was a very cute gift shop, but I didn't buy anything.

We came back to the cottage then, and I put some of the peanuts and sunflower seeds on the table outside the living room window. They were extremely popular with the chaffinches:

I think this was a juvenile, because it kept fluttering it's wings the way baby birds do

It had started raining at this point - wet chaffinch!
 I think this was a coal tit which came for something to eat - it was so tiny and cute!

And this is a great tit, posing on the bird table branch

As you can see from the photos, the weather stayed nice while we were out, better than we were expecting, and it only started raining this afternoon after we'd got back. We've just been pottering about inside the cottage; the other day I bought myself a little cross-stitch bookmark kit which I made a start on, although it doesn't look as though they've included enough thread to complete the design. I'm not wasteful with it either, I use as much of it as I possibly can, so I know it's not me. Might have to write to them to complain ;-)

So, it's our last day tomorrow. I think we're going to go out in the morning, but we're not sure where yet, and then the afternoon/evening will be spent packing and tidying up, so that we can get away pretty early on Saturday. Hmm, that's a depressing thought...

Spider-watch: one or two little ones here and there, but nothing major to report

* I had switched them off, but they were still plugged in and switched on at the mains, which I'm annoyed with myself about, because I always unplug them, usually... I think it's early onset dementia...

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